For many businesses, remote working is the norm. You might work on a team that has people in New York City, San Francisco, and London. Geography is no longer a limiting factor in today’s workplace, but that doesn’t mean it’s free from friction. In order for remote working to be successful, seamless collaboration must be a priority.

Practical Tips for Better Remote Communication

It used to be that remote working was sort of taboo. And for those who did participate in unique remote setups, maintaining solid, seamless communication was a major sticking point. Thankfully, as remote working has become more common over the past five-plus years, new technologies have emerged that have made it possible to stay on the same page without losing anything.

As someone who manages a remote team, here are a few tips for facilitating better collaboration:

1. Use the Right Communication Tools

One of the biggest issues remote teams have is trying to conduct productive and efficient meetings with three or more people. And while it’s certainly ideal to have everyone physically present in the same room, there are ways to make remote meetings work.

If you haven’t already, you need to spend some time researching various communication tools that could help your team enjoy better collaboration, even with geographical separation. One of the best is Dialpad’s Uber Conference, which provides HD audio and intuitive screen sharing with no pins or downloads. It all happens via a web browser, which means anyone, anywhere can log in and join the meeting.

2. Make Yourself Available

At the heart of successful collaboration are free and open lines of communication. If you’re in an office and someone needs something, an employee would typically just come by and knock on the door, but this isn’t possible when you’re not physically in the same location. However, you can (and should) make yourself just as available.

Everyone has their own favorite platform, but Google Hangouts Chat is a good app for making yourself available. Encourage your team to sign in when they’re working and use different statuses to indicate when they’re available for quick conversations.

3. Cut Down on Pointless Messages

It’s easy to get carried away and send too many messages or too much information to your team. Many remote managers feel a need to over-communicate in order to ensure there are no misunderstandings. And while there’s value in doing this, pointless messages will water down the important ones and muddy the lines of communication.

When sending emails or messages, strip everything down to what’s absolutely necessary. Bullet points work well and allow recipients to clearly see what matters.

4. Bond in Person

Finally, don’t forget to bond in person, occasionally. While it’s rarely possible to get everyone in the same room at the same time, you should try as much as possible. There’s something valuable about being able to interact in a face-to-face manner that establishes trust and builds stronger relationships over time.

After spending some time bonding in person, you’ll find that your remote collaboration will naturally improve. Suddenly, you will understand each other more and have more contextual clues to build off when it comes to specific interactions.

Get Your Team on the Same Page

It doesn’t matter if your entire team works in the same room or you’re spread out across multiple continents, you have dozens of modern tools and resources available at your disposal that are designed to facilitate seamless communication. If you want your team to perform better and eliminate productivity-killing distractions, it’s time that you develop a targeted strategy and get everyone on the same page.