Business communication is an important part of team collaboration. In the work from home or remote work setting, there are certain Do’s and Don’ts that we need to follow for work mails, video conference calls or chats. Read to find out more.
Do's and Don'ts of Business Communication: Exchanging ideas and thoughts is the essence of communication. When a group of people come together, be it at an informal setting like a dinner or a more formal setting like a meeting, exchanging of thoughts and ideas becomes an integral part of the said settings. This exchange becomes that much more important when there is a collective goal that the group has to achieve. The efficiency of an organization heavily relies on the effective exchange of information and ideas or effective communication. Communication, although being different from collaboration, is an intrinsic part of it.
A business has to communicate within the organization itself and with clients and people outside the organization, to ensure that the information meant for a party reaches them effectively and in time, the organization has to establish effective ways of communication. Ineffective communication is one of the biggest ways the efficiency of a company suffers and in turn, leads to loss of revenue for the company. According to David Grossman's article "The Cost of Poor Communications," a survey of 100,000 employees from 400 organizations found that ineffective and incomplete communication among employees costs each organization $62.4 million per year.
We have established the importance of communication for a business, and what lack of effective ways of communication can cost a company. It is also one of the aspects of business that most organizations can improve on. According to Project.co, 96% of people who deal with businesses feel that the communication process in the business could be improved. Not only the clients but also the employees.The same report states that 8 out of 10 employees believe that the communication system in their organization is either average or poor. The new normal has brought with it a tectonic shift in how business is conducted. With this shift, the dos and don'ts of effective communication have also changed. Effective communication advice such as “reading the room” and confident body language have been replaced with keeping your microphone off and keeping track of email threads. In the Work from Home working model, there are 3 main avenues of Business Communication other than verbal communication
Emails are the most important, non-retractable, most formal mode of communication both in an office setting and in a work-from-home setting. Since emails are the first point of contact for most projects or communications which is followed by a meeting or a one-to-one conversation, they need to be perfect and on point. It is known that 65% of businesses use email as their primary source of communication (Project.co). For a quick follow up use the task status enquiry function on Butter.
Check your email twice, read it out loud to make sure it sounds right. Put yourself in the receiver’s end, see how you would feel when you received the mail. Make sure the point gets across nicely without coming off strongly and you are more likely to get a response. Make sure your email is important and there is a valid reason for sending it. According to Expertmarket, only 38% of emails in the inbox are relevant.
Let your emotion get hold of you. It is tempting, it is valid to get frustrated but be polite. We are all in the same boat. Don’t use harsh or commanding terms. Use persuasive language and communicate urgency with a humble request. You will definitely get a response. Don't try to explain complicated plans over mail. If you want to pitch something, send an email with your idea asking for a small meeting. Additionally, don’t CC more people than required;if required at all.
Video communication, although nothing new, has become popular since 2020. Zoom itself states that it currently registers 3.3 trillion annual meeting minutes globally. Video conferencing is important now, more than ever. It would help to know a few Dos and Don’ts.
Look into the camera, make eye contact with the camera and not the screen. Be visible, make sure it is not just your forehead attending the meeting. 90% people find it easier to make a point when they are more visible (Lifesize) Make sure you are in a relatively silent environment. Distractions at home are unavoidable but make sure that you explain to your family that you are in a meeting. It helps to be prepared.
Try not to fidget. Swiveling in your chair, playing with your hair, brushing it back, etc are signs of being distracted. It means that you are overly conscious of your appearance or worse, downright bored. Sit quietly, listen attentively. Physical cues are absent in a video conference, try your best to look interested and attentive to make up for the lack of physical cues. Don’t multitask on camera. Looking here and there is not the best way to go about it. Checking your phone or simply switching tabs is a common phenomenon. We think the other person cannot tell what we are doing, but it is very evident.
Surprised that chatting comes under business communication? Apps like WhatsApp were never formal until all corporations started using it for having groups and daily communications, especially in the pandemic. Although these can be distracting and sometimes downright unproductive, stay on track with easy to use collaboration tools like Butter. It even has a chat feature that helps you check up and assign tasks with ease.
Maintain a formal tone as much as possible. Just because it is a chat platform does not mean that the communication is informal. Think of these as mini mails but with the same amount of formality. Actively respond to messages and engage. This way you can get people involved and get to discussing ideas and contribute more through a chat-based setting.
Use informal language and colloquial terms. Avoid sharing jokes and other non-work-related messages to your colleagues during work hours. It is easy to get carried away and send one or two jokes that way. Not to mention the chat can also have informal chats that are not work-related. Often important messages get lost in a sea of chit-chat. Keep work and casual chat separate with Butter’s task assignment feature.
Business communication is essential to a company’s success. It helps create the culture that the company will have and this will subsequently show in their work. It becomes essential to have some guidelines and some tips to make the most of the work from home setting and this guide helps you in just that.