The COVID-19 pandemic has uprooted life as we know it and changed everything about the workplace, including communication. This new workplace development doesn’t necessarily mean that we throw out the old rules and styles of communication, but we need to improve and build upon traditional communication techniques.
We’ve put together a list of our top tips to help you survive the pandemic through increased workplace communication.
Reading Is a Top Communication Rule
Workplace rules used to revolve around listening, but that’s not always the case with social distancing and work from home. The new workplace revolves more around less talking and more writing. It’s important not to skim or use search functions for workplace communication. Instead, take the time to read everything to help avoid misunderstandings and miscommunications. Conscientious reading is a top priority, and remember never to sacrifice thoroughly reading communication for the sake of speed. Read all relevant points and questions, so you have a better understanding of the subject at hand.
Writing is Critical When It Comes to Workplace Communication
On the flip side, conscious writing is critical in today’s world. Not only does every word count, but if you accidentally forget a word or have an unintended typo, it could change the meaning of an email or text. So make sure to use grammar and proofreading programs before hitting send. To also help readers digest information, be sure to use bold text for important points and add bullet points to help set vital information apart in a message. Check out our favorite grammar tool!
Picking Up The Phone Can Help Improve Communication
If in doubt, pick up the phone. Hours of time-sucking email exchanges are mentally exhausting, and sometimes it’s best to have old-fashioned communication over the phone. Talking to someone directly can help clear any issues up, prevent confusion and avoid miscommunication.
Here are some good times to call someone:
- You need to address a sensitive topic or subject.
- You want to continue building good relationships.
- You receive an unclear or confusing message.
Scheduling Communication Programs
It’s hard to accomplish work with various communication channels abuzz, whether it’s Zoom, Slack or emails. But it’s not practical to have work regularly interrupted, especially when most of the communication likely isn’t time-sensitive. Additionally, people are more likely to give thorough responses if they can think about it instead of feeling on the spot. Therefore encourage employees to schedule a time to check communication channels and respond to focus on their workload instead of being interrupted and distracted throughout the day. For example, phone calls should be returned within two hours, Slack responses within four hours and emails within a business day.
Be Comfortable and Find Your Workplace Communication Voice
Remember that your communication style will evolve, and you need to find what works best for you. Being consistent can help, but being considerate and understanding that your communication style may differ from what works for other employees is essential.
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