Managing Better from Home – Part 1: Minimizing Potential Conflicts & Communication Barrier

Good communication has always been the backbone of successful businesses. However, as we switch to a completely virtual work setting, the inability to conduct face-to-face interactions makes it hard for teams to collaborate effectively and build relationships the way we would in an office. While daily team meetings and virtual get-togethers are considered enough to bridge this gap temporarily – when communicating remotely – the underlying uncertainty of a person’s intentions and attitudes remains a risk of conflict between individuals.

COVID-19’s Impact on Communication

1. Due to a reduced employee base, some team members are required to work with people they may not be familiar with.

The spread of the coronavirus has left many business owners no choice but to lay off a portion of their staffs. Dealing with a sudden change in personnel, employees likewise must face the consequences of an interrupted workflow and accustom themselves to new professional networks.

2. New hires who joined right before or during the crisis may find it hard to fit into their teams.

The reason why onboarding is important, is so new hires can acclimate to their new work environment and familiarize themselves with the company culture. Missing the opportunities to bond in-person with your teammates can lead to a different experience. In these ambiguous times, new employees may find themselves in awkward positions where they struggle to adapt to their team’s dynamics.

3. It’s easy to make assumptions.

As with any types of relationship, words can often get misinterpreted in messages or e-mails due to the lack of emotions conveyed via text. The absence of non-verbal cues – like a person’s gestures, facial expression, or tone of voice – can make our assumptions go rampant when communicating online. For instance, is he replying with short responses because he doesn’t care, or is it simply how his personality is? 

Managing with Team-Fit

Often, even in the office, misunderstanding arises because we fail to recognize work habits and personalities that are different from our own. Acknowledging the truth that everyone is unique is merely the first step. During a crisis that demands mindful and strategic communication, efforts in understanding how your team approaches work are especially crucial for remote collaboration.

Prevue’s team-fit tool is designed to help teams learn how different temperaments work best with one another. Whether you’re dealing with new hires or a reduction in labour, we hope to assist you in any ways that will help you succeed during these uncertain times. While you’re here, watch our Occupational Psychologists discuss about the role of team-fit in communication here.