Top Communication Challenges in a Remote Workplace

Uncover the challenges of communication in a remote workforce, and how they can hinder productivity and rapport. Delve into how these barriers can be overcome using comprehensive tools like WorkViz, fostering efficient communication and fostering a vibrant remote work culture.

Due to its convenience, feasibility, and flexibility, the remote workforce has become quite common in today's time. It gives a good work-life balance to the employees while saving adequate revenues for the owners. With the viability of both parties, remote work has filled the gaps for several workplace dilemmas.

Although remote working has endless benefits, one thing still remains questionable in this work culture, and that's communication. Communication, which is one of the most important aspects of an organization, serves as a challenge for a remote workforce. Due to bad communication, a remote company witnesses misunderstandings and loss of productivity.

Here's more to communication challenges in a remote workforce:

Language Barriers and Cultural Aspects

Remote working has definitely fostered new opportunities for people worldwide. A person from Europe can work for a US company seamlessly nowadays, thanks to the remote work culture. However, despite the feasibility and equal opportunities, language and cultural differences act as a barrier to communication.

Of course, the company can choose any one language (that's understandable by the entire team) as a source of communication. Yet again, there are differences in the gestures and specific terms in cultures that can lead to miscommunications.  

Sometimes this miscommunication results in internal disputes that further disrupt the work atmosphere and productivity.

Different Time Zones

As beneficial as it is to hire people from different geographical regions, the time zones sometimes act as a communication barrier in the remote setup. Although this isn't much of a concern for countries with 2-3 hour gaps, it definitely becomes a nuisance if the time difference is nearly half a day. In such cases, the team lacks communication and misses out on relevant aspects of a project. It also results in a lack of coordination and missed deadlines causing more problems for the team.

Lack of Emotions

When you have a group of people with whom you need to interact on a daily basis, you are required to exhibit emotions and sentiments. That's because emotions make communication clear. Positive emotions can boost team morale and encourage them to work harder. Similarly, an emotion of concern or worry can help employees to understand the depth of the matter.

As remote setups are free from face-to-face interactions, teammates are likely to find it hard to understand each other's emotions/non-verbal cues (despite audio/video calls). This may further lead to miscommunications and more controversies in the workplace.

Imbalanced Time Distribution and Low Productivity

Due to time differences, cultural gaps, and fewer interactions, it may get tough for a team to maintain communication with each other. It may also affect productivity and ruin the overall profits of a company. At times, some employees can take advantage of miscommunication and give less time to the projects. Eventually, it may cause lower outcomes and reduced company efficiencies. That's why monitoring a team's active vs. idle time is crucial to maintain good communication.

Endless Meetings

Just like conventional companies, remote employees are likely to face back-to-back meetings to initiate important discussions. But sometimes these meetings become a bit too much for the employees. Eventually, it rises to the level where it starts hampering the communication of the team. This is the reason why it's important for the superiors to understand the meeting frequencies and schedule them accordingly.

Bad Onboarding

Onboarding is the first step to an employee's professional career. And if a company misses out on onboarding, it may miss out on an important factor for good communication.

Although remote teams are beneficial for the workers, depending on the company culture, some employees feel left out during the process. This could be justified by a survey, where nearly one-third of employees found the onboarding process confusing, with the figures rising to 36% for remote employees.

Information (Too much or Too Little)

Remote workplaces are often exposed to too much or too little information. This can act as a barrier to employees and result in miscommunication. If an employee is over-informed about a matter, it can result in distraction and unnecessary importance on an insignificant subject. Similarly, if they are under-informed, one can expect confusion and uncertainty. So, it's important for a team to keep the members updated with the right amount of details. Anything less or more can turn out to be an issue.

Lack of Regular Interaction

Meetings are helpful for maintaining good communication. But, besides that, a remote company requires other mediums to share ideas, make decisions, and ensure good team relationships, just like in regular offices. In traditional setups, employees can interact through game rooms, activities, or water cooler gossip. But as remote companies lack them, employees can miss out on such interactions.

In fact, some remote employees have even complained of facing difficulty in making friends in the workspace due to the remote culture. It indicates how things can become tough when you have coworkers behind the screens.

How to Overcome the Communication Challenges of a Remote Workplace?

To overcome these barriers, a remote workplace requires a comprehensive solution that handles all these issues easily. It needs a one-stop platform that resolves the challenges and ensures a vibrant work culture for the employees.

Speaking of which, WorkViz is a reformative tool for a remote workspace that prevails over the communication barriers and ensures good organizational efficiency.

The tool is secured with incredible features like:

  • Daily reports of all employee's activities
  • Time distribution records (active vs idle time) to interpret the time spent by the users
  • Productivity alerts for onleads, overcapacity workloads and roadblock detection
  • Emoji feedback to fill the gap of emotive inadequacy in a remote workforce

With these attributes, users can stay assured of the following benefits -

  • Real-time emotional check-ins to facilitate good communication
  • Easy to balance workload (either increased or decreased) to prevent any work stress
  • Smooth and successful onboarding for employee retention and satisfaction
  • Boost team cohesion and productivity
  • Increase efficiency and streamline operations
  • Timely feedback and motivation

To sum up, tools like WorkViz are likely to overcome all the communication challenges that we mentioned above.