Miscommunication During Remote Work: Ways to Recognize and Avoid

Published On
Feb 21, 2022
Read Time
4.5 Minutes
OnBlick Inc

Effective communication has become a challenge for several companies in the era of hybrid work. Having the right lines of communication can improve employee performance and engagement. Managers should implement strategies to thrash any miscommunications occurring in the company.

This article offers some tips to get rid of miscommunication in the workplace.

Benefits of Communication

Proper communication is instrumental to business success as it boosts productivity. Supervisors should make all efforts to communicate adequately with their team members and convey the messages timely.

Here are some of the features of proper communication among employees and the company.

Creates strong Teams: The employees form a strong team when the communication is good. Managers can ensure that the team follows the company’s vision through proper communication. In turn, the company will own a strong team.

Lesser complications: With neat communication, you'll have lesser complications. When the idea is clear to the team, the work improves every time. People will come forward with complaints when confusions occur. Gradually, when managers and employees come together and communicate to sort out any issue, it results in the smooth functioning of the organization.

Better problem solutions: Every organization will have its ups and downs. Employees may experience miscommunications due to crises the organization faces due to changes in plans or any unexpected issue. During such situations, a manager should be exhibiting his best communication skills. There will be better solutions when their issues or crisis is shared with the team. Employees will develop ideas to sort or even stand together to work hard.

Watch out for Miscommunication Disasters

Miscommunication is ubiquitous in all walks of life. The cases of miscommunication vary depending on the situation and persons included in it but often causes confusion and frustration. It can result in conflicting situations.

Let’s see how miscommunication affects an organization.

Miscommunication causes speculation: When the organization isn’t communicating with clarity, the employees start assuming things. It will create much stress among them, and the byproduct will be low self-esteem and low productivity. Managers should be aware that the management keeps communication precise and clean. Also, make sure to clear any doubts during meetings, conferences, or while delegating new projects.

Employees stay sterile: Lack of communication makes employees stay limb to work. Individuals remain in their comfort zones and wait for the management to push them into doing something. They become less productive. Thus the company remains stagnant. Managers should watch employees closely to monitor if such behaviors are exhibited due to miscommunication and find solutions.

New challenges: Lately, there have been changes in the working environment. Companies are opting for remote work more now than ever. It often becomes a challenge for managers to keep the employees in the loop. Distance often feeds miscommunication. Sometimes the organization forgets or assumes the workforce is updated while managing people from the office and people who’re away. Watch if they are updated and if everyone knows what is happening.

Miscommunication during Remote Work

Ever since remote working spaces came into vogue, core communication has been happening with the help of a medium - the Internet.

Written communication complications: Remote workers often rely on written communication. However, it can cause various problems down the road. Miscommunication can occur when the intended message isn't being read the way it is delivered since the tone is not understood. This issue usually applies to teams that rely on email and chats for communication.

Disconnection and miscommunication: Employees that telecommute tend to feel disconnected from their colleagues due to the lack of in-person meetings. Less collaboration may cause frustration for them. During off-work hours, people usually engage in small talk or have food together as a group. Remote workers who lack such team bonding can experience miscommunications.

Over-communication and alienation at remote work: It's also common for remote workers to feel alienated when they work in mixed teams. Over-communication can also worsen while employees ignore boundaries as they communicate too often. Some remote workers are also prone to avoiding social interaction.

Despite the challenges of communicating in the distributed workplace, HR managers can still use the strategies below to help remote workers thrive.

How to Avoid Miscommunication?

Miscommunication is not a strange thing. However, careful and clear communication can reduce the complexity of differences in understanding what is said or shared. There are ways to avoid miscommunication at workspaces. Here are the most important ways to prevent them.

1. Be present and clear: The best communicator is not only the one who speaks clearly, but also listens. Managers should be good listeners. Active listening ensures the employee that they are heard, and at the same time, managers can be sure that the employee is on the same page. Also, talk to the point be clear with the ideas. Distractions are common in workspaces, but when the management chooses to listen and concentrate on what employees communicate, they create trust and more commitment and dedication.

2. Observe: It is crucial to observe the nonverbal cues while communicating. When an idea is shared, it is essential to share it clearly and watch the crowd if they grasp the concept the way it is delivered. Understanding the employees through their body language, facial expressions etc., will help managers know them better and do better for them. Observing and then preparing to communicate will give you more success in delivering any idea.

3. Discuss: Conversations must happen while communicating. Get people talking and sharing their ideas as well once anything is expressed. Communications happen when conversations happen; otherwise, it is dictation or oration. Nothing to do with not being formal, but it is advisable that managers initiate conversations and know the expectation of the employees while delivering the needs or vision of the company.

4. Know the limitations: There are limitations for communication while it is purely electronic. After the rise of the hybrid era, emails, messages, and chatting are being used more often. But, to truly understand the tone of what one person is communicating, it is always good to have proper face-to-face communication. In such cases, video conferencing is a boon. Managers should be aware of the limitation of electronic communications and take advantage of its benefits at the same time.

Final Thoughts

Miscommunication lowers productivity and employee morale, making it harder to motivate your employees. A strong and effective culture of communication can help your company achieve its goals and develop a competitive advantage. We hope the points listed here help managers avoid miscommunications in their teams.

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