August 29, 2013
Nothing can frustrate your remote employees more than trying communicating through a maze of emails. The following tips will help you improve the way you use email to collaborate with your team, no matter where they're located.
Be professional, consistent and efficient by setting some ground rules about email communications through an email etiquette policy. Do not overuse Reply to All. Make your message personal. Do not attach unnecessary files. Write the subject line last, and include the most relevant information.
Respond to emails promptly, even if you are simply saying, "Got your email. I'll get back to you shortly." Your team needs to know you are available and present. Acknowledge the little things, even with a short message. Let your team know that even if they are working in physical isolation most of the time, they are still valued.
Read your emails before you send them out. Be concise and clear with your wording. A wrong word or missed punctuation can result in misinterpretation and potentially lead to frustration or miscommunication. Unlike spoken communication, an email has no visual or sound cues that indicate your emotion and intent.
Get your team together from time to time. Personal relationships allow us to "see" and better visualize and understand how the author of an email is communicating. Perhaps try using video conferencing or individual webcams.
There are several web-based email solutions you may want to consider.