4 Ways To Balance Under And Over-Communication As A Remote Work Manager - Deepstash
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Finding Balance In Your Communication Frequency

Finding Balance In Your Communication Frequency

The only thing that has really helped to bridge the virtual gap between employees and managers is communication. However, both over-communicating and under-communicating — the extreme ends of optimal communication — come with their downsides. 

If there’s poor communication from the manager, there’s a risk of a wide gap in meeting team goals, delays in project completion, and duplication of work. On the other hand, if a manager is over-communicating, they risk wasting time, demotivating their team, and micromanaging their direct reports to the point of burnout

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Host Frequent 1:1 Meetings And Be Open To Feedback

1-on-1 meetings are a great opportunity for managers to talk candidly with their direct reports. They are also opportunities for managers to grow as leaders of a remote team, to reflect on their own mentoring skills, their ability to give feedback and listen to constructive criticism.

Some questions that managers can ask during these meetings:

  • What’s on your mind this week?
  • Last time we spoke, you said X was a challenge for you. How is that going?
  • What are your plans and priorities for this week?
  • How aligned do you feel with where the company is going?
  • What feedback do you have for me?

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Set Up Communication Guidelines

It’s really important for remote leaders to set rules around how, when, and which communication tools to use when working in virtual teams. When to use Slack? Which situations call for an email? Under what circumstances should an ad-hoc meeting be scheduled? 

Set up project collaboration tools to track project updates. If a project would benefit from creative and energetic exchange of ideas, then schedule a call for clarity. Complement video calls with traditional emails for company-wide communication.

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Make An Effort To Not Micromanage

Micromanagement can be a costly management style that can lead to low employee morale, high staff turnover, reduction of productivity, and overall dissatisfaction. 

Avoid constantly asking for status updates as this can come across as having a lack of trust in the team to do their work, and that’s a slippery slope no manager wants to be on.

Micromanagement can lead to impostor syndrome, and also lead to disappointment and lack of motivation for certain employees, so watch out for those common signals that managers may need to take a step back.

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Asynchronous and Synchronous communication.

  • Synchronous communication includes every form of communication that happens in real-time, and there’s an immediate response.
  • Asynchronous communication includes every form of communication that doesn’t happen in real-time, and responses can occur intermittently. Asynchronous communication is impactful for teams that work across time zones, as there’s no expectation of an immediate response.

It’s down to the managers on how and what tools they want to implement with the team.

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