Good communication is vital for every business; whether big or small, working from an office, or from home. Without good communication it is likely that tasks will not be completed on time or to a satisfactory standard, which will lead to customers being let down. Communication difficulties can also cause problems with suppliers, leading to unnecessary confusion and ultimately, cost.
Communication can cause different problems for different businesses, depending on the size of the organisation. A large company has difficulty with internal communication because of the amount of bureaucracy involved, as well as inter-departmental communication also often being a weak link in the chain.
It would be easy to think that small businesses with members of staff who work from home would suffer communication difficulties; however, I have found this not to be the case. When managing a team working from home it is imperative to have the necessary strategies in place for communication, but after the initial set up, working remotely can lead to people communicating better than they may do in an office.
That may seem like a strange thing to say, but without body language, or the ability to chit-chat, most people’s natural instinct is to ensure that they have enough information in order to fulfill expectations. As long as all team members are responsive, either via small business software, telephone or email, working from home should not cause communication problems for small businesses.
Interdepartmental communication can be the cause of great business success, but it can also be the reason for failure. If sales and manufacturing are both working in tandem, it can cut down on waste. However, if the lines of communication are blurred then it is possible that a lot of money and valuable materials will be wasted unnecessarily.
Another important aspect about internal communication is the motivational benefits of keeping staff informed and making them feel like they have not been left “out of the loop”. If they do not feel like they are part of a team in which each person is pulling their own weight it can be difficult to retain staff in the long-term. When working from home, all this needs to be is a brief team meeting held for 10 minutes every morning. If it’s making staff members feel valued and necessarily informed to complete their tasks, it’s definitely time well spent!