How to avoid communication distortion when working remotely

According to the 2021 State of Remote Report, “communication and collaboration” remain the top biggest struggles for remote workers.

A common issue that remote teams tend to face is the distortion in communication. There are several reasons behind this.

In this blog post, you’ll find out why miscommunication or misinterpretation happens in remote workplaces. We’ll also share some effective tips to get your message across loud and clear throughout the organization.

Why communication issues happen in remote teams

In the remote workplace, employees are scattered across multiple locations, and in many cases, they have different working hours or time zones. Because of that, there are a few things that are more likely to happen, things that cause miscommunication or misinterpretation in remote teams. Those barriers include:

  • Reduced frequency of communication
  • Lack of clear expectations
  • Important details are left out
  • Messages are poorly written
  • Getting lost in translation
  • Too many channels (lack of a single source of truth)
  • Departments are siloed
  • Lack of receivers’ feedback

Effective communication means overcoming these barriers and better engaging employees.

These tips will help you to minimize messages distortion.

5 tips to reduce distortion in communication.

Although it’s impossible to eliminate distortion when sending out a message in the organization, the following suggestions can help you to reduce it.

Keep your messages simple and to the point.

Complicated information or messages that pack too much information are more prone to distortion. Consider limiting the amount of information included in a message. Keep messages short and to the point. Also, avoid using jargon or slang in messages for the general audience.

Don’t keep people guessing about the interpretation of your message or the action you want them to take.

Have a central communication platform

Another great way to avoid miscommunication is by having a shared communication platform for the entire company. Employees can use it as a single source of truth for all information. Modern intranet platforms such as Involv have been proven as an effective platform for internal communication and collaboration. Especially with Involv, you can create multilingual and localized content.

Repeat important messages

To avoid important messages or information being ignored or missed, you need to repeat it (or its key points), in multiple formats, on multiple platforms, at multiple times. This helps to make sure your messages reach every single employee. With Involv, you have access to a notification centre where you can create and send notifications about published content on the intranet. These show up as mail or push notifications to your recipients.

📄 Read also: 4 ways your intranet can help you be more efficient working remotely

Hold meetings on a regular basis

Since everyone may have different working hours, it’s necessary to schedule regular meetings with specific agendas. Use these meetings to share updates, set clear expectations and goals, and review information or messages from other teams. In many companies, weekly interdepartmental meetings are also scheduled to keep the entire company updated on certain projects or issues.

Take notes and recordings

Meeting notes/recaps or recordings of virtual meetings are useful resources to reference when needed. It’s essential when you need to clarify certain details or issues. So, in any meeting, remember to assign a person to take notes and deliver these to all attendees after the meeting.

Ask for feedback

How do you know if everyone understands your message correctly? Without feedback, it can be difficult to know and measure the effectiveness of your communication. By asking employees’ feedback via surveys/polls you can gather important information that can be used to strategically change approaches or communication methods.

Summing up:

Effective communication is a must in any workplace. Especially in the remote working environment, we need to communicate with each other even more clearly and concisely.

Communication distortion is a common challenge in the remote working environment. However, you can reduce distortion and get your message heard loud and clear by following these tips above.

Would you like to learn more about the Involv intranet and how it benefits your organization and employees? Schedule a free demo with one of our intranet experts.

(Photo: Freepik)


Tim Bogemans

Tim is Collaboration Expert at Involv/Cognit. He builds leading solutions to help people collaborate easier, faster and happier. Connect on LinkedIn.

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