In light of COVID-19, many tech companies switched to remote work overnight. While the day to day might easily lend itself to out-of-office environments, people aren’t always so easily transitioned. Remote employees have to be in the proper mindset to stay focused, comfortable and connected while working from home. For some, this comes naturally, while others need a bit of guidance.

Among the handful if issues that can arise when transitioning to remote employment, a big concern can be communication. An in-person meeting is replaced by Zoom or Skype, slack communication can get messy and when exactly *do* you have a phone call? Here are quick tips on improving your communication, during quarantine and beyond.

Have a Clear Goal

Know what you want to say before the conversation starts. And know what sort of answer you’d like. Ex: “Hi! Can you get me a spreadsheet of our results for the month?” is better than asking “Can you send along the results for the month?” and having to ask for a spreadsheet after.

Be Organized in Your Delivery

If you have a lot to say and it needs to be done on a chat app, ask one question at a time, prefacing that you have more than one. Utilize bullet points on chat apps and email to break up large bodies of text. If you’re talking for a long time, pause for feedback and questions after each section or sub topic.

Slow Down

Slowing down before sending a message can help ensure you’re coming off the way you’d like to and if you’ve chosen the right strategy for your particular message.

Manage the Mood

Adding names, emojis, please and thank you’s are great ways to add a personal touch to a message when things seemed strained — or even when they aren’t. Managing the mood and tone of a conversation is as important as the content.

Check Your Messages

Re-read everything you write before you send it to make sure it’s coming across as desired, that you didn’t miss anything and that there are no typos or huge mistakes.

Vary Your Approach

Not everything is an email, not everything is a video call. Understand each type of communication inside of your org and objectively to make the best decisions when it comes to getting your point across

  • Slack/Chat Apps: Best for quick messages or making appointments. If you have to slack a longer message, utilize bullet points
  • Email: Best for longer messages that have multiple attachments and sections and topics. Handy when you don’t want things to get lost in a slack conversation and useful for when you need to follow up.
  • Phone Calls: Best for when tone is especially important or when you have a lot to say and it’s too much to type. Remember to pause for the other person to speak, check in and stay alert.
  • Video Calls: The holy grail of communication, video calls can feel like the next best thing to an in person meeting. They’re great for when you need to share a visual or when both tone and facial expression are important to the conversation.

Communicating while quarantined can be tricky but it’s not impossible. The best practices above can be extended to general communication as well; come prepared, be efficient and be effective!

Find me at www.cairo-amani.com

This article was originally published here. 

Cairo Amani is a Customer Success leader, career strategist and co-founder of ThriveNetwork, a professional development business for women. Whether she’s consulting people or companies, Cairo is obsessed with success and invested in helping people reach their goals. If you want to work with her, visit her site at www.cairo-amani.com

Cairo Amani

Customer Success Leader | Consultant | Strategist, Lane