It’s Not What You Say, It’s How You Say It

Since the pandemic, remote work has been on the rise. As things began clearing up and life started getting back to normal, more and more people suggested that remote work become a long term part of corporate culture.

With so many companies allowing employees to work fully remotely or in a hybrid role. It’s anticipated that 22% of Americans will be working remotely by the year 2025. This is a drastic increase in the amount of full time remote employees from pre-pandemic times.

As remote work is on the rise and workplace cultures are shifting to adjust, it’s becoming more and more important to set company-wide standards about the communication channels you frequently use.

Below we’ll detail out a few ideas to help you shape your own policies around the communication expectations you have for your team and your recruiters. It’s important to note that your team will set the communication precedent and help encourage the same behavior from the candidates in your pipeline.

So, what should you use and when?


When to Zoom

If you’re working on a team with remote employees. Zoom is best treated as the equivalent of having a face-to-face, in person, meeting with someone.

1 in every 4 people admit to experiencing Zoom fatigue from the stipulations that come with remote work. While not everyone is impacted, a large portion of the workforce is more easily drained by the thought of being online all day long. In order to keep employees productive, we suggest limiting the amount of time they are required to be on video calls each day/week.

For employees craving more, provide some optional ways for them to get connected, without enforcing the expectation that everyone be involved.

We recommend reserving Zoom for:

  • Performance reviews
  • Regular one-on-ones
  • Sharing performance related feedback
  • Team updates
  • Formal or final stage interviews


When to Call

Working with less centralized teams, as many companies are embracing remote work and/or hybrid models, can make it hard to get to know the members of your team. While it’s usually best to bring most conversation into the video chat space, sometimes a call will suffice.

If you’re looking for a way to personally connect with your team while easing the burden of being online all the time (and avoid dreaded wi-fi problems 😩), phone calls can be a great way to bridge the gap.

We recommend phone calls for:

  • Quick check-ins; to ask for clarification or more information
  • Times when your wifi or other tech isn’t cooperating
  • As a quick way to share thoughts when you have multiple things to catch up on or ask questions about
  • Explaining a complicated task that would be a pain to type


When to Email

Email, probably the most abused form of work communication on the market. Did you know the average person sends and receives 121 business emails per day.

It’s really no surprise that it’s a channel we push away when we’re busy. Email comes with an overwhelming amount of information to consume, digest, and take action on. It’s nearly impossible to not feel overwhelmed when you look at your inbox.

So, how can we better support our coworkers inboxes?

  • Send important contracts and formal job offers through email
  • Follow up on employee development conversations
  • Document things like meeting notes, takeaways, action items, etc.
  • Instead of a meeting, use email to distill consumable information to your team as a whole
  • Serve as a continuation of an in-person, video, or phone meeting to help keep the conversation moving

It’s important to have reasonable expectations about when someone will be able to respond to your email. While some people embrace accessibility, it’s critical to understand the boundaries your workplace shares around communication timelines.


When to Text

While texting was once an informal communication channel, it’s become increasingly professionalized as time has gone on.

After all, we get texts from everyone, our doctors, our dentists, our grocery stores, our favorite restaurants, and more! Most of these texts are to remind us about the things our busy life might make us forget.

Texting is an untapped communication channel for most companies. While it may not be appropriate to expect our employees to text for all matters, here’s a few ways to incorporate texting into your communication plan to help your team stay connected, informed, and efficient.

Where does texting come into play?

  • In the hiring/onboarding process, think – stage changes, scheduling, interview reminders, etc.
  • For direct communication to your contractors/freelancers/employees about quick requests or updates regarding meeting locations/times
  • To push someone to take action in another location, for example, using a text to remind someone about an emailed contract they need to review


At the end of the day, it’s mission critical to follow your mother’s advice, and remember, “it’s not what you say, it’s how you say it!”

By choosing the appropriate communication channels you can help your team build stronger connections and embrace remote work without feeling tied to their technology.



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