Remote work communication best practices that work best in 2024 | .wrk
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Nowadays, it's hard to imagine a company that doesn't have remote workers, however, in the beginning of 2020 the remote format was very unpopular for most. The COVID-19 pandemic impacted remote working and the attitudes of businesses and business owners towards it greatly. Remote communication became a daily routine for many workers in areas ranging from IT to entertainment industry. In March 2023 Gartner predicted that by the end of 2023 39% of all working people in the world will work in a hybrid model: at home and in the office, and about 10% will work completely remotely. The trend toward hybrid work is more prominent in the U.S., where about 50% will work hybrid and 20% will work remotely.
One of the reasons for the rise of communication with remote employees is the globalization of the labor market. Companies are now actively hiring employees from other countries, because this is a way to get talented professionals, and it can be much cheaper than hiring full-time employees. But at the same time, the transition from face-to-face communication in one room to remote communication via Skype or Zoom is not quick and easy. Often such transitions become quite difficult tasks for company managers, because it is not immediately clear how to organize the process of communication between the team scattered in different parts of the world, so that the quality of results and the efficiency of work processes are not reduced.
In this article we tell you about the challenges that can arise when working with a remote team, as well as consider some remote work communication best practices and rules.

What is a remote work

If we define «remote work» strictly, it can be summarized as follows: it is a practice when an employee can perform work tasks outside of the office. This practice is often referred to as «working from home» (WFH), but these concepts should still be distinguished. A WFH job can be done from anywhere: home, co-working space, favorite coffee shop, or any other location that is convenient for the employee. According to the FlexJobs service, 95% of remote jobs involve being in a specific location (country, time zone, city, etc.), so that, for example, an employee was able to work with the head office or clients conveniently. This means that only 5% of vacancies can be called truly remote.
As we wrote above, the remote format of work has several advantages:

  • Opens up the possibility of hiring talented professionals from all over the world;
  • Saves companies money, as hiring remote employees is usually cheaper than full-time employment, and also saves on organizing a physical workplace;
  • Allows companies to organize uninterrupted work processes if they can effectively manage the work of a team located in different time zones.

Remote team work challenges

Establishing communication for remote teams is an important task for managers and executives, but avoiding serious errors that can disrupt continuous workflows is equally important. Before we get into strategies for effective remote communication, here's a look at the challenges remote teams can face and how they can be solved.

Remote team work challenges

Working in different time zones

Employees in a team may be in different parts of the world and their time may be very different from yours, which can be a problem in synchronized communication, regular calls and simultaneous work. Therefore, this issue should be monitored by managers to conveniently organize calls and regular meetings for employees in different time zones.

Technical miscommunication

In such an industry as IT, it is necessary to understand the technical nuances of the project and the problems that arise. And if during face-to-face communication it is possible to solve all the problems promptly and show all the necessary details of the problem, then during remote communication such an opportunity may not be available. This may cause frequent errors in the product and disruption of work processes. To prevent this from happening, it is necessary to create a convenient and full-featured software infrastructure in order to solve problems, including technical ones, quickly and with full understanding of what needs to be done.


This is a common problem that new companies have when dealing with remote employees. Managers want to know what employees are doing, how they are doing, and more. This reduces productivity and motivation in the team. In this case, remember one thing: when you hire a remote team, you go through many stages of selecting potential employees, study their skills and capabilities, negotiate all the working points and fix all this in the contract, which means there is practically no reason not to trust your employees. Trust your team, and they will do their job well. Of course, it's hard to leave a team completely unchecked, so regular checkups and conversations with employees will be a reasonable solution in this situation.

Best remote team communication strategies

We found out what tools can be used for effective remote work and what difficulties managers and supervisors may encounter when working with a remote team. In the whole remote communication thing, the most important part is communication, creating a friendly working atmosphere and mutual respect. Let's look at a few communication guidelines for remote teams, and many of these techniques will work while working offline in the office as well.

Best remote team communication strategies

Use synchronous and asynchronous communication together

In order to work effectively in a team, you need to combine synchronous and asynchronous communication and understand how they differ and when to use each.
Synchronous communication is real-time communication, whether it's messaging or calling between two or more people. A simple example of offline synchronous communication: you go up to specific people in an office, ask them a question and get an immediate response. The key here is to get a response right now. However, remote employees are often deprived of this opportunity for various reasons: being busy, being in a different time zone, or the person is left without an internet connection and can’t write a message or answer an email at the moment. That's why synchronous communication is used for scheduled meetings and calls, whether it's a messenger conversation, a daily meeting within a sprint, a scheduled call or an operational meeting due to serious problems. Everything else should be the responsibility of asynchronous communication.
Asynchronous communication has the opposite principle than synchronous communication: an employee sends a message without the need for an immediate response. This method of communication becomes convenient for remote teams that are on the other side of the world. Everyday work conversations are better off in asynchronous format, which allows employees to focus on more important tasks and respond to a message when free time allows. Moreover, there is a psychological aspect to asynchronous communication: during synchronous communication there is a chance to make rash and reflexive decisions, while asynchronous communication gives time to think about the problem and propose an objective solution.

Establish common and clear rules for communication

In companies, face-to-face communication often happens without much trouble, but remote communication often has some difficulties, so companies should make sure that communication rules are communicated to each employee and they are clear to them. For example, they may contain instructions on which channels to ask certain questions, what working hours each employee has (adjusted for time zones), how to warn about illnesses, after-hours work and other emergency situations.
Such rules make it possible to resolve issues quickly and get rid of situations when everyone who is not affected is included in the conversation.

Use easy-to-use communication tools

In recent years, technology companies launched a large number of software products that organize remote work communication effectively. All of them can be divided into several categories:

  • File storage. Most employees send documents and messages the old-fashioned way using email, which forms endless chains of emails where it is impossible to find anything. Cloud storage such as Google Drive, Dropbox, OneDrive, and others come to the rescue to help optimize such an aspect.
  • Project management tools. In these, the team maintains the progress of tasks to achieve common goals. No matter which project management methodology you choose, most software products and services support them. Some of them include Jira, Asana, Notion, Trello, and many others.
  • Video calling programs. These tools have become an indispensable part of the toolkit for communication within IT teams (and not only). Zoom, Skype, Google Meet or Discord – it's up to you to choose which tool is more convenient for your team, management and customers.
  • Internal communication software. Such programs as Slack, Mattermost or Microsoft Teams will help your team to promptly solve problems on projects and decide who will order what for lunch, as well as to share beautiful photos of their pets in the «watercooler» channel.
  • Calendars and to-do lists will help your employees effectively plan their workday, choose time for calls and negotiations, as well as prioritize current tasks and small daily reminders. Google Calendar and Microsoft To Do are some of the most popular products in this category.
  • Time trackers. These tools help you understand how much time is spent on each task, as well as keep track of possible employee overwork and prevent it. Examples of time trackers are Toggl, TimeDoctor that also have a Pomodoro mode, when you work for 25 minutes and then take a 5 minute break, and after a few iterations you take a big 15-30 minute break.

When choosing tools for remote work, focus on solutions that offer multiple tools in one or offer an ecosystem of different services. Using multiple unrelated tools can confuse employees and make work more difficult.

Create channels for informal communication

Teams are united not only by work, sometimes you want to share something distracting, for example, a funny picture or video, cool news from your personal life or just another picture with a cute kitty. For this purpose there are so-called "watercooler" channels, where you can discuss all this during small breaks. This brings the team, who are in different parts of the world, closer together and makes them feel part of something bigger.

Show humanity

This rule doesn't just apply to managers and executives, but to everyone who works in remote teams. If you want communication within a team to happen effectively, you need to make your own contribution to it. In addition to openness and transparency, which are proclaimed by Agile methodologies to be an integral part in communication, it is worth paying attention to the following aspects:

  • Briefness and simplicity of messages in remote team communication and chats are the key. Try to avoid complex words and constructions, some technicalities, and use simple language and direct constructions. This will increase the chance of a quick and accurate answer to your question.
  • Using emojis in messages has become part of formal conversation. They can be used, for example, to set the context of a conversation or show the person’s mood for a particular situation, which can greatly clarify communication.
  • Showing empathy and respect is also a good tone when communicating. Even just saying "good morning" to coworkers can help create a warm environment and a sense of importance within the team.

Conduct team building and onboarding sessions with remote employees

In terms of company engagement, remote workers have the hardest time because they can't participate in office life, communicate with coworkers and other activities. Therefore, the process of onboarding a new employee should be given special attention, as this way employees will clearly understand their responsibilities, tasks to work with, get acquainted with the team and who does what, as well as learn about some organizational aspects related to the resolution of work problems, paperwork and so on.
It is also important to hold informal events, team building, which is especially necessary for remote employees to understand who they work with, what they can talk about besides work and how they can spend leisure time together. If you have the opportunity to invite an employee to your company's offline events, then be sure to take advantage of this opportunity, so you show your interest in your employees.

Support and encourage effective communication

There are almost always people in the team who light a spark in other coworkers, provide great ideas and set topics of discussion that ignite a heated debate. These instances are worth encouraging because it builds company culture and sends a message to all employees that communication within the team is more important than ever.

Have one-on-one communication

No matter how effective your company's communication is within teams, face-to-face communication should also be an important component. It's a good practice for a company manager or department head to have one-on-one conversations with his or her team members, as this is a good way to learn about some of the issues and challenges employees are facing that they don't talk about publicly.
In this way, management maintains openness and transparency in work processes and can solve problems before they become a complete disaster. Also personal communication with employees can also let them know that they are important to the company, that managers are worried about them and are ready to help and support them in difficult times.

Ask for a feedback on the effectiveness and usability of communication tools

Everyone in your company uses the communication tools you suggested, and they likely have something to say about them, suggest changes, and tell you about problems. So don't forget to regularly ask your employees for feedback on the tools, problems and suggestions related to communication, as this will help you understand if your communication strategies and tools are working and whether you need to change anything to make communication more effective.


In terms of communication and parallel work, there is no substitute for the offline office, and it's not going anywhere. However, our world is becoming more global and more digital, and working on a strict schedule in some industries is becoming a relic of the past, so remote working is becoming our present. This format of working offers many benefits for both companies and employees, but it also comes with many challenges, primarily related to communication.
In this article we looked at some of the specifics of remote work, the difficulties that companies may face and how to solve them, as well as a few techniques that can improve remote communication. That being said, no matter how many tips you read on how to improve team communication, your company should choose the best creative ways to communicate with remote employees given its industry, number of employees, their location, and their needs. A considered decision should always be on your side.
Speaking of remote work, we have been working with our customers remotely for many years and been providing development teams for various projects, which necessarily include managers, so you can be confident about the organization of product development processes and communication. If you would like to hire such a team, then fill out the form on our website and we will happily answer your questions, offer project estimations and match professionals to your needs.

About author
Alexander has been a part of the team since 2013 and is deeply interested in building top-notch web development products.

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