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Addressing Technological Roadblocks to Remote Work Communication

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Technology is a wonderful thing. It allows us to socially distance ourselves amidst a pandemic and log in to work from the comfort of our own homes. These days, you won't even have to change out of your pyjama bottoms if that's what you choose since your co-workers will likely only see you through Zoom, anyway.

But technology isn't always a delight to use. It can be incredibly frustrating, too, and in the course of business, that frustration can even impact your productivity.

Technological roadblocks are likely to impact your communication efforts as you work remotely, presenting obstacles to overcome if you are to ensure your success. Fortunately, you can overcome these roadblocks by following a set of best practices.

Streamlining Communication

Working remotely depends on communication technologies. At the same time, communication is more difficult when we aren't face-to-face. This has created ample communication concerns for many remote reworkers, as they face the challenges that come with building a workspace online.

Digital communication and the platforms that enable it are entirely different mediums, ecosystems, and cultures for a workforce to learn. Mastering them takes time, especially for less tech-savvy workers. To overcome the many roadblocks that will arise in the remote work process, you'll need to standardize and streamline the methods with which you communicate.

This means setting clear expectations for the platforms you use for team messaging, video conferencing, document sharing, and more. For instance, PDF editing and signing software can help improve the efficiency of a remotely working team, allowing coworkers to pass the document back and forth as they communicate changes and improvements. However, if team members are using different software applications, you increase your chances of running into compatibility issues.

For a successful remote communication strategy when it comes to technology, you'll want to streamline the process with a comprehensive system that can take care of many of your needs all in one tool. Fortunately, software-as-a-service (SaaS) is a growing field with plenty of options open to you.

Integrating the Right Tools

You may understand the power and potential of tech for the workforce, but with this power comes drawbacks. Every tool and every system will have its pros and cons. From high overhead costs to steep learning curves, software and technology can create challenges you'll also need to overcome in the effort to enhance your virtual communication.

Meanwhile, the wrong tools will create more barriers to team communication. You need to categorize all your needs depending on what time zones you'll work in and with, what kinds of tools you'll use to communicate, and how you'll go about transitioning to new tools so that every worker is set up for success.

The tools you'll want to integrate will vary depending on your business model. For instance, if you're looking to scale into international opportunities, you'll want to find a Virtual Private Network (VPN) that works around content blocks that might make team collaboration impossible over certain borders. Additionally, you'll need software that allows you to streamline your communication processes, from Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools to workflow trackers.

Finding the best fit for your work situation can and should be a team-building opportunity in itself. In the remote workplace, these opportunities are more important than ever for engaging teams and can even lead to increases in loyalty and productivity. Inviting coworker opinions on communication software and tech needs, challenges, and opportunities can give you room to innovate while maximizing the potential of your tech integration.

Make the process of addressing tech concerns a team process and experience a happier workforce.

Securing Networks

Last but not least, you must plan for cybersecurity in your remote work communication processes. Data breaches are scary and expensive, costing the average business $3.84 million and putting customer personal information at risk. If you are to address cybersecurity concerns, you'll need a powerful system of checks in place to protect your data.

Start by building an IT team or partnering with a data service company that will store, back up, and protect your information. Ultimately, your security needs will come down to how you choose to host your network information. A cloud service will take the work off your hands but leave you with less control. Meanwhile, a private network requires that you take the proper precautions.

At the very least, practising strong cybersecurity policies like the following can help address the more malicious communication roadblocks like phishing:

●Use strong passwords and change them consistently.

●Adopt two-factor authentication for work accounts.

●Never click on a link from a source you don't know and trust.

●Use VPNs and firewalls.

A hacker entering your network can freeze up all your business files with ransomware. Imagine trying to communicate with coworkers without being able to access any of your files. With strong cybersecurity practices, however, you can prevent some of the most damaging barriers to work communication while preserving the reputation of your business.

Addressing Roadblocks to Secure Remote Work Success

There are plenty of different ways to create an effective remote work culture. To achieve success with any of them, however, you'll have to conquer the common roadblocks to quality communication. But tech and distance can make these roadblocks more significant.

As you address problems, assess methods of streamlining your communication, integrating new tools, and securing your networks. With the right approach, you can smooth out the challenges of remote work and maximize your business's potential for success.

Start now by writing out a list of needed improvements. Then, engage your coworkers in an empowering discussion about needed tools and how to use them. 

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