The COVID-19 pandemic has reshaped the modern business sector to a great extent. Add to that that remote employees and freelancers are struggling to stay positive due to the rising threat of losing their jobs and contracts with clients –which is all the more reason why business leaders need to strengthen their communication strategies.

Communication is one of the pillars of productivity and efficiency in modern business, especially in a digital workplace and if you’re managing remote teams from around the world.

However, the pandemic has certainly made it more difficult to ensure consistency in data exchange and workflow, and it has created some new and interesting behavioral trends that you need to address in order to elevate employee happiness and productivity.

With all of that in mind, let’s dive right in and uncover the ways that the COVID-19 pandemic is affecting communication in the digital work environment. 

Communicating via project management tools

Let’s start by mentioning a form of communication that doesn’t really come to mind until you find yourself in a situation where you have to coordinate projects remotely – we are talking, of course, about a project management tool.

Nowadays, almost every company has one. However, its use can be limited to simple file sharing and data exchange when everyone’s working under the same roof. But when all of your employees are stuck at home, you have to be able to use the full functionality of the software in order to maintain productivity and the flow of the project. 

Many of the best project management tools come with built-in communication functionalities that allow you to stay in touch with your team members easily and remain up to date with the latest developments in every project category.

That said, you have to standardize the use of this tool in your company if you want all of your employees to use efficiently and effectively. Do that, and you’ll be able to manage all projects remotely with ease. 

Using messaging apps to communicate data quickly

Back in the office, you might have been able to pop over to your colleagues in content creation to deliver the latest updates or share your thoughts for the next social media post quickly, but now that everyone’s stuck at home, you’re forced to adapt. Now, you could schedule a meeting, give them a call, or drop into their Zoom app unannounced, but you have to keep in mind that people hate meetings that could have been an email or a short message.

Don’t get on your employees’ nerves; instead, shoot them a quick message and make it as short and direct as possible. The key here is not to elaborate on your thoughts — it’s to get the message across quickly and allow them to stay productive and focused.

However, be sure to standardize app use as well, making sure that everyone’s using the same messaging app for business communication so that you can get full end-to-end data encryption. 

The need for a cost-effective communication system

Managing remote teams and communicating with everyone seamlessly is difficult enough without having to think about the phone bill. Now add to that the fact that you still have to run an efficient customer support department, and you can really see how phone communication can jeopardize your financial standing. This is why you need to introduce a more cost-effective solution such as VoIP.

Voice over internet protocol is a cloud-based phone system that replaces the tradition phone infrastructure and brings various digital features to the table. However, its biggest advantage is its affordability.

Take the time to compare VoIP pricing and providers to find a plan that delivers the best features at the best price. Ideally, you should get an affordable phone service no matter if you’re communicating with employees and customers nationally or internationally. 

Respecting the newly-established boundaries

Even though you have all of this new software and all of these communication features at your disposal, that still doesn’t mean that you can just call someone out of the blue. It’s important that you recognize the new trends in workplace communication, even if you’re running a digital team, and that you respect the new needs of your employee collective.

What we’re getting at here is that you have to be mindful of the fact that not everyone wants to pick up the phone. People respond to crises in different ways, and while some employees have no problem jumping on a video call immediately, others will appreciate it if you didn’t disturb their productivity and workflow consistency.

You need to know whom to call, whom to shoot a quick message, and whom to schedule a meeting with a day in advance – your employees will appreciate it. 

Emphasizing security and data protection

Last but not least, now that you’re no longer able to talk with your team members in person, it’s important more than ever before to emphasize cybersecurity when communicating in the digital realm. You should educate your employees on data management and storage, and how to spot potential cyber threats and scams.

Next, be sure to integrate a network monitoring tool to retain a comprehensive overview of all traffic, and check if all employees have optimized their firewalls at home. 

Wrapping up

The global pandemic has changed the way we communicate from a behavioral and technological standpoint, which is why it’s important for business leaders to adapt quickly in order to maintain operational efficiency. Use these tips to ensure the productivity and success of your remote teams.

**About the Author: Jolene Rutherford is a marketing specialist turned blogger, currently writing for Interested in digital marketing and new technology trends. Love sharing content that can help and inform people.

*Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash