Virtual Workplace Communication and Etiquette Hacks
Communication is key to building team productivity. We have said this many times in the past few blogs that we have written. It’s like PB and J sandwiches: as a critical aspect of team building, it enhances the flavor of productivity at work. It creates a process by which your workers can deal with problems that may arise in the course of their tasks. Of course, the process will only be fruitful if done properly.
Remote teams work in different time zones and different cultures. You need to be careful of how to approach them. Sometimes they can be stressed and anxious. This can make them less aware of their attitudes that lead to ineffective communication and rude behavior.
To achieve a better result, you need to think about one thing in particular to enhance communication. that is creating a "code of conduct" for the workplace. Saying things that are hurtful produces bad performance. Good manners, if practiced properly, can give your workers a positive work environment.
Communication should not be a burden. It should become a way to enhance productivity. We are offering you these tips and hacks on how to apply communication etiquette to your workplace so you can maximize your productivity.
Be mindful of your tone
Think before you speak. Always consider that each person on your team has different moods. You have to always check to see whether they’re happy or stressed. Be considerate in how you speak to them. Your tone can either help them or hinder them in the work they are trying to do.
Their moods are often visible on their faces. If they’re frowning, ask what’s bothering them. Don’t just laugh when their faces are like that! You have to discern how to communicate that you care about what’s going on with them.. When they open up to you, be supportive. Talk to them gently, the way siblings do when having heart-to-heart talks.
You have to be sympathetic. One simple insensitive mistake, and your teammate could mess up. Your conversation can either help relieve their stress or add to it, contributing to burnout. You want to set a tone that will lessen their stress. Don’t always try to “light a fire” under your team by setting high standards. This can backfire by discouraging them. Remember that your team is a group of people, not a group of robots.
Always try to be aware of what else could be happening in their lives if they’re stressed. Be empathetic, and try to put yourself in the shoes of each of your workers. Steele Flippin says “the first step to better communication is being self-aware of how you’re dealing with stress personally and professionally”. One way of dealing with the stress of your team is that you always have to be kind. It’s not that hard right? By being mindful of your tone, you can get better results in your workplace and improve the well-being of your team.
Create casual conversations
It’s easier to convey a message without formality. We communicate more effectively by using simpler terms rather than using thousand-dollar phrases and words. You don’t need those words to convey an idea, right?
Casual conversations can be relaxing and stress-reducing for your workers. They can convey their ideas in simple terms when they come up with ideas for their productivity. This also relieves some of the fatigue that they feel when they’re stressed.
One example of casual conversation is a teammate who talks with a coworker about what they’re having for lunch or even a company’s vision change. You can use this style with them too.. A quick casual conversation creates a way of connecting with a person. Your workers will feel that they’re really part of the team. Not only that, they’ll feel like they’re at home (since they’re working at home, LOL).
But don’t forget that there are limitations on the kinds of topics your team talks about. They should focus mostly on work-related subjects. When the conversations have to do with topics outside of work, tell them that they can do it on break time.
The way you casually converse with your team makes for a relaxed work environment. It can help your workers feel that they can focus on what they are doing without always wondering if you’re about to give them more to do.
Bring up ongoing miscommunication issues
Communication mishaps happen all the time. But before you address a miscommunication, remember to be aware of your tone. Keep it reasonable and approachable.
Post Senning says, “Doig so (i.e. bringing up a problem) in the heat of the moment could lead to an argument rather than a compromise.” Always remember that you’re handling a group of people who have feelings. When they’re feeling stressed, they can’t just put on a smile whenever you open up issues. They’ll probably mess up more, and that leads to discouragement. That leads to less productivity. You don’t want that to happen.
Instead, ask them if they’re ready. Set the tone such that they can open up to you. Use the phrases “Mistakes can happen sometimes.” or “There’s nothing to worry about, we’re a team here”. Give them the comfort that they need. This creates an atmosphere conducive to solving the problem. Miscommunication can be cleared up with the proper tone and timing. Let them open up, since every team worker has a different perspective. It’s like you’re all from different roads coming into a single highway. A highway that leads to a solution to your miscommunication.
In a remote work environment, 75% of workers share that they experience stress and burnout at work. This is due to either miscommunication or other types of common mistakes people make at work. It’s better to start working towards a solution to miscommunication. At the very least, clearing up misunderstandings lessens the stress of your workers. That’s another step toward making productivity rise in your virtual workplace.
Be a model to your team
It’s time to look at your workers again. Have they been doing well? How about their behavior? Are they following the rules and tips that we give you?
But first, take a look at yourself. It’s easy to look at the others’ flaws . What about you? How can you control or even influence a team’s behavior if you cannot be an example to them? You must follow the above hacks first and apply them to yourself. That way, your team can see you working on these communication ethics and applying them in your work environment. It would be embarrassing if you told them to use the hacks, but you didn’t do it yourself.
Become an example for your team to follow. We’re certain that your team studies how you speak to them. If you model the behaviors we have shared with you, they’ll see you as a great leader or boss. Slowly but surely, you can shape their behavior on how to communicate with each other (with the hacks above that we’ve shown you). Unless you do this, a wide range of negative behaviors can create risks for the team’s harmony. These include:
Gossiping - refers to the actions of a worker who habitually reveals personal or sensational information about others. They don’t care if they’re factual or not.
Displaying insolence - rude, disrespectful speech or behaviors and physical intimidation. Examples are: making insulting and demeaning statements; using angry, hostile tones; berating staff and colleagues in front of others; and shouting, throwing things or slamming doors when displeased.
Bullying - about having power over someone else—often a direct report, but also toward anyone who may seem weaker than the bully.
Refusal of tasks - intentional refusal to obey an employer's lawful and reasonable orders.
The end result? You fire them. And your manpower will take a hit. Reduced manpower leads to less productivity (it holds up deadlines of projects, and that can disrupt your company’s plans). Everything is in the hands of a leader or boss. Make sure to stay on top of your team’s behavior by becoming an example to them.
Communication and etiquette should never feel like a burden in the workplace. In fact, when done well, they can become powerful tools to increase productivity. We hope our hacks will help you apply communication skills and etiquette in ways that will work best for you and your team. And if you’re looking for more guidance on this topic, we have plenty of blogs and resources (you can check them out here). Our blogs are packed with information on how to make your career soar. So take a look at them and let us show you how to take your business (and productivity) to new heights!