Why Communication Skills are a must-have for a Productive Remote-work Environment

Plethora Learning | Blog Author | Mitali Murdeshwar
Mitali Murdeshwar June 23, 2021
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The global working community has experienced one of its steepest learning curves in the recent past. The largest remote working experiment has been conducted -- and is currently in process in several countries -- as people were forced to move abruptly to working from home.  

Remote working has proved beneficial for many companies in terms of enhancing employee productivity. But it has also brought to the fore a pressing need for L&D to understand the new demands of the workforce to suit this kind of work style.

One of the most sought-after requirements for the remote work setting has emerged to be communication skills and L&D has had to focus the most on designing training around it. This should, of course, come as no surprise given that in the remote working world, in-person conversations are not a feasible task.

The MIT Sloan Management Review has rightly pointed out that, “One of the biggest downsides of remote work…is the loss of face-to-face communication as companies turn more heavily toward low-bandwidth communication methods like email and chat.” Truly enough, in the remote work environment, communication cannot take support from personal interaction and nonverbal cues as opposed to an in-office work culture.

There are several surveys and studies, conducted in the aftermath of the pandemic, that are all pointing towards effectiveness of communication in the remote working era.

The Understanding and Adapting to Today’s Massive Transformation of Work, a survey of 275 HR professionals has named communication soft skill as one of the top-most critical must-haves that employees require to be successful in the new working environment. As many as 60% professionals surveyed have said that communicating and collaborating well with others is an extremely important skill.

According to Google’s comprehensive research as part of its Project Oxygen, being a good communicator is one of the eight skills that define a good manager. The report also says that poor communication is linked to employee burnout. According to Udemy’s Humanizing Learning Research Report, communication is one of the unique human traits that high-performing organizations foster in their employees.

The reason why there is ample research on the importance of improving communication skills in remote working is because remote working is significantly different from an office work setting in the absence of colleagues or managers to offer support and discuss things face-to-face. This is also why L&D has to dedicate additional efforts to develop communication skills among the workforce to smoothen the workflow.

Another big change that the pandemic brought about in the corporate landscape – and one that has augmented the importance of good communication skills -- is that it has literally dissolved geographical boundaries and demographics. Even though people may be based anywhere across the world, remote workers still have to ensure that they have effective business communication as well as interpersonal communication skills. After all, remote employees do not have the luxury of just tapping someone on their shoulder to clarify a point or ask a query.

The good news, though, is that advanced Learntech is the panacea to help build good communication skills and boost L&D training programs during this time. There are several technologies that L&D teams can lean on to make their communication soft skill training programs more effective. There are a wide range of ready-to-use, curated courses that are designed specifically for personal and interpersonal skill development. These courses empower L&D to not only deliver robust development opportunities to employees, but also to achieve learning engagement and the desired business goals.

While we have seen the dialling up of skills like communication in the recent crisis, they have always been important aspects that underpin the success of organizations. At the core of all organizations is the need for productivity and performance, and soft skills like communication are essential to meet them.

Learn how Plethora's Microlearning courses are a perfect fit to deliver just-in-time skills to your employees.