VP of Delivery at Relevant Software

Your 9-Step Guide for Smooth Remote Team Communication

August 15, 2023

As 2023 winds down, forecasts from companies like Gartner suggest a bold new reality: almost half the global workforce won’t be struggling with morning traffic or queuing for elevators. Instead, they’ll organize virtual meetings in cozy home nooks or their favorite local cafés. Remote work isn’t just the future; it’s our now. 

But here’s the real deal: technology may have shifted where we work, but the essence of great teamwork? That remains constant. At the heart of it, it’s all about clear communication, engaging interactions, and a solid sense of team spirit. But the real question is: how do you bring these values alive in a virtual space?

That’s what we’re here for. This isn’t just another guide to remote team communication; it’s your roadmap to making the world seem a little smaller and your remote development team a little tighter. Whether it’s cutting-edge tools or timeless strategies to improve communication in a remote team, we’ve got the secrets that’ll make geography irrelevant.

Why Communication Matters in Remote Software Development

Ever wondered what truly drives the best of the best in remote software development teams? Here’s some inside info: It’s not just about coding skills or having the latest toolbox. The key ingredient? Good old-fashioned communication. This is more than just being clear. It’s what keeps a team together, boosts morale, and creates a place where everyone loves to collaborate, no matter the distance. 

Just think about it. Your team member is stuck on a tough coding issue but can’t quickly chat with a colleague. Or even worse, they’re lost in a sea of confusing messages. Annoying, right? Clear communication is often overlooked, especially when working under the same roof. But now, with teams spread all over, it’s the backbone of smooth operations.

Remote team communication

But, and it’s a big but, it doesn’t just happen. To nail it in the remote software development world, you need effort, the right remote team management communication tools, and a willingness to try new things. And the payoff? Massive! We’re talking top-notch software and a team on the same page, ready to rock.

Now, before we dive into how to adjust effective communication with a remote working team, let’s change lanes for a sec. What about the pitfalls, the missteps? Because let’s be real: dodging those mistakes can be as valuable as the right moves.

Common Remote Team Communication Challenges

Planning to hire remote developers? You bet. Opportunities? Plenty. But bumps in the road? Those are there too. In the next bit, we’ll tackle the tricky parts of remote team communication and steer you toward smoother paths.

Remote Team Communication Challenges

Breaking Down Technical Language Barriers

Have you ever felt like tech folks speak a different language? With all the jargon, acronyms, and computer terminology, it’s like trying to read a manual in Martian language. When you’re all in the office together, you can lean over and ask, “Hey, what does that mean?” But communicate remotely? Sometimes it’s like yelling across a canyon, hoping someone hears you. Those misunderstandings can really get in the way of work.

Handling Asynchronous Communication

Imagine for a moment: you’ve got a burning question. You ping your team member. And then you wait. And wait. It’s the reality of remote team communication. With team members scattered across various time zones, not everyone can be online and responsive at the same time. 

This leads to what we call asynchronous communication – where you shoot off a message and don’t hang around waiting for an instant reply. It sounds simple enough, but managing it effectively is another ball game altogether. Read on; we prepared true and tested remote team communication tips for you.

Collaborating Across Different Time Zones

Just because the sun has set on your side of the world doesn’t mean it’s bedtime for everyone. This is the specifics of collaborating across different time zones. It can seem like a logistical nightmare but also an opportunity. Imagine having a team that’s virtually working around the clock! The key is to master the art of balancing responsiveness with respect for personal boundaries. After all, successful remote teams know it’s not about working longer, it’s about working smarter.

Each remote team communication challenge can be a roadblock to success. But wait, there’s more to the story. We’ve created a table that unveils some additional hurdles to give you a sharper insight.

1.Lack of PlanningYou know those random pop-up meetings? They can throw everyone off. Instead, try scheduling them in advance. This way, everyone’s prepared, got their info handy, and is in a good spot without distractions.
2.Forgetting Time ZonesGot a team that’s everywhere from Lviv to San Francisco? Remember to find a time that’s fair for everyone. It keeps things smooth and makes sure no one’s sipping coffee at 2 am for a call.
3.Ignoring Cultural DiversityYour team’s diversity is its strength. So, let’s celebrate it! Make sure everyone’s in the loop about each other’s backgrounds, festivals, and ways of life. It creates good vibes all around.
4.Expecting MultitaskingThink juggling five things at once gets more done? Think again because one study found that just 2.5% of participants could effectively multitask. It’s best to stick to one task, especially during team meetings.
5.MicromanagingIt’s tempting to want to know what everyone’s doing. But let’s ease off the gas a bit. Trust your team to get stuff done. A chat now and then works better than peeking over their virtual shoulder all day.
6.Lack of VisibilityIf you’re often left wondering who’s doing what and when it’s time for remote team communication tools. Maybe even turn those audio calls into video ones. It makes conversations livelier and clearer.
7.Communication without ContextKeeping it brief is cool, but missing context isn’t. When dropping a message, make sure it’s clear enough so everyone gets the full picture and there are no mix-ups.

Proven Remote Team Communication Strategies To Explore

Gone are the days when a simple email or a video call did the trick for remote teams. Now, we need to be on top of our communication game, creating a chat space that’s quick on its feet and rock-solid. Let’s dive in and discover how to make our remote team communication not just good but great—and fun, too!

1. Utilizing the Right Communication Tools

Your first line of defense in mastering remote team communication? Equipping your team with the right digital toolkit in your journey toward better remote communication. Take a peek at the table below, where we’ve gathered a handy set of tools designed to simplify life for remote teams.

CategoryWhat It DoesExamples
Collaborative ToolsLet’s ditch those endless email chains! These tools let everyone store, edit, and share documents all in one spot.Google Drive, Dropbox, Box, OneDrive
Project Management & Task DelegationTo keep things moving smoothly, these tools allow for task delegation, progress tracking, and more.Jira, Asana, ClickUp, Basecamp
Screen SharingHaving a “show, don’t tell” moment? These tools let members share their screens for clearer explanations.TeamViewer, Join.me, RemotePC
Video Conferencing ToolsNo need to miss face-to-face meetings! These tools bring visual virtual meetings to life.Zoom, Skype, TeamViewer
Remote CommunicationFor those chats and quick catch-ups. These tools ensure everyone stays connected, even without video.Slack, Microsoft Teams, Discord
Calendars and To-Do ListsTime’s ticking! These tools help everyone manage their hours and tasks efficiently.Microsoft To-Do, Google Calendar
Reward ManagementEveryone loves a pat on the back! Boost team morale by acknowledging and tracking performance.WooBoard, Kudos, Fond
Monitoring ToolsKeeping an eye on things? These tools let leaders track how much time team members are putting in.Toggl, TimeDoctor
Remote team management communication tools

2. Creating an Online Office Culture

Being far doesn’t mean feeling distant. A kick-butt online team vibe isn’t just about the occasional emoji high-five. It’s ensuring everyone feels like they’re hanging out in the same cozy room, even if they’re continents apart. Why not chat about the weekend in the team’s chatroom? Or cheer together for little wins? And why not have a virtual coffee or show off our furry friends in a fun pet contest? A bit of fun and creativity, and boom, your team’s buzzing with togetherness.

3. Setting Transparent Communication Protocol

Setting up great team communication is more than picking the right remote team communication software. It’s crafting the perfect game plan for your team’s communication routine. Let’s break it down:

  • Keep it Real: Show your human side. It helps to build trust and makes chats feel genuine.
  • Care, but Don’t Crowd: Show your team you’re there for them, but remember, everyone needs a little personal space.
  • Live Your Values: Let them shine through in every message and action.
  • Stay Steady: A predictable communication rhythm can do wonders for team morale.
  • Speak Clearly: Skip the tech talk. Simple and clear language wins every time.
  • Stay Updated: Keep everyone in the loop with regular news flashes.
  • Be Honest: Can’t share something? Just say so. Honesty goes a long way.
  • Less Can be More: Share what’s necessary to keep things crisp and to the point.

It’s not just about clear remote team communication methods. It’s about ensuring everyone on the team feels like they truly matter.

4. Opting for Asynchronous Communication Whenever Possible

Breaking free from the traditional clock-watching workday, asynchronous communication hands your team the flexibility they need. Imagine it like sending a digital note to a colleague, not expecting an instant reply but knowing they’ll get back when they’re ready.

Choosing this method isn’t just about using a tool; it’s about embracing a respectful and thoughtful way of working together. It’s about understanding that everyone has their own pace and that it’s not only okay but actually good for business. It’s about celebrating your team’s unique rhythms and trusting that you’re all still moving toward the same big goal.

Asynchronous CommunicationSynchronous Communication
Moment of CommunicationTakes place over a duration, not moment-to-moment.Occurs in real-time, moment by moment.
Response TimeAllows team members to respond at their most convenient time.Requires immediate responses.
PlanningOften unplanned, as it doesn’t require participants to be present simultaneously.Can be both impromptu or scheduled, as it requires simultaneous presence.
Presence of ParticipantsParticipants don’t need to be present onlineParticipants need to be present online.
ExamplesEmails, video recordings, project management tools, and direct messaging.One-on-one meetings, phone calls, water cooler conversations, and video conferences.
Asynchronous and Synchronous Communication

5. Establishing Clear Deadlines and Expectations

When it comes to remote work, clarity is key. The clearer the goals, the smoother the journey. Think of deadlines not just as due dates but as the heartbeat of your project. It’s a timeline that guides and energizes every move your team makes.

And while we’re on clarity, let’s talk about expectations. They’re your team’s compass, ensuring everyone knows where they’re headed. A clear vision of what success looks like can be the difference between aimless effort and targeted achievement.

Want a game plan? Make those deadlines and expectations SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Time-Bound. It’s a straightforward strategy to keep everyone aligned and motivated.

6. Fostering a Feedback-Rich Environment

Think about running a race blindfolded. Not ideal, right? That’s what working without feedback feels like. In the world of remote work, feedback isn’t just a nice-to-have—it’s essential.

But let’s be real; feedback is more than ticking off a box. It should be as natural as your daily coffee break. When you make feedback a core part of your team culture, you pave the way for open chats that drive growth and fresh ideas.

Building this culture isn’t a one-night affair. It’s about keeping an open mind, encouraging open conversations, and making sure everyone’s voice is heard. It’s about being clear, kind, and timely in our comments. Most importantly? It’s about trust. With a foundation of trust, feedback becomes a tool for success, benefiting everyone involved.

7. Scheduling Team-building Activities 

Who says distributed development teams can’t party? Let’s bust that myth wide open! Team fun isn’t just for those in-office; it’s the secret sauce that makes your virtual crew click.

Why not turn that usual Zoom call into a pop quiz showdown? Or spice up your week with a “life hack” session where everyone spills their favorite hobby or home trick. Ever dreamt of a cooking show moment? Host a virtual cook-off where team members tackle the same dish and show off their kitchen adventures. If competition is more your style, how about an online fitness face-off? Or, for a change of pace, gather your troops for a group meditation to recharge.

The magic? Sprinkling these fun breaks in between tasks. It’s like adding those coffee breaks and water cooler chats from the office, but online. It doesn’t just boost morale—it builds that team spirit that’s so vital in the virtual world.

8. Recognizing and Rewarding Effective Communication

Good communication isn’t just about who’s the loudest in the room. It’s about the ones who turn jargon into plain talk, open the floor for all voices, and make sure the whole team’s singing the same tune. It’s a nod to the ones who really listen, who can dial down a heated chat with just a word, and who light up online meetings just by showing up.

Now, how about we show them some love? Think about rolling out an ‘All-Star Talker’ badge every month. Or spotlight these chat champions in your company updates, letting them share their go-to communication hacks.

Because here’s the deal: cheering on effective communication with remote working teams isn’t just a pat on the back. It’s shaping a company culture where clear chats and open doors are the norm. It’s showing everyone that each voice counts, and every bit of input, big or small, steers the ship forward.

9. Embrace Flexibility

Expecting remote employees to stick to a rigid schedule misses the point of remote work. Giving them flexibility fosters trust and paves the way for open communication. It’s not just about where they work but also how they work best. 

As our world continues to pivot towards remote and hybrid work structures, it’s on us, the businesses, to redefine what “flexibility” truly means. Let’s break it down:

  • Pick Your Peak Hours: By giving team members the freedom to pick their work hours, you’re not just being flexible, but you’re also acknowledging that everyone has their own rhythm. Some are morning larks, others are night owls. Why not let everyone work when they’re at their best?
  • Swap Sundays for Mondays (Or Vice Versa): Not all tasks need the Monday-to-Friday treatment. If someone prefers working on a weekend and taking a weekday off, why not? After all, productivity isn’t tied to the calendar.
  • Little Changes, Big Impact: Sometimes, it’s the tiny tweaks in the way we manage flexibility that can spark huge positive shifts in remote team dynamics and their performance.

At the end of the day, it’s all about understanding and respect. By embracing these agile practices, we’re not just adapting to change, we’re thriving in it.

The Do’s and Don’ts of Establishing a Remote Communication Culture

When it comes to constructing a successful remote communication culture, a haphazard approach simply won’t do. It requires a thoughtful, structured plan that paves the way for open dialogue, clear understanding, and effective collaboration. Here are some guiding principles:


  • Promote Active Listening: Tell your team to tune in. Let them chew on ideas, ask smart questions, and think before they speak. That’s how respect grows, and connections deepen.
  • Prioritize Clarity: In our online world, fuzzy doesn’t fly. Be as clear as a bell with what you want, expect, and what feedback you’re dishing out. It’s like switching the lights on for team productivity.
  • Embrace Asynchronicity: Instant noodles are great, but instant replies? Not always. Give your team the wiggle room to answer when they can. It’s easier on the nerves and lets thoughts brew.
  • Advocate Over-communication: Remote work means you’ve got to say it loud and clear, and maybe a couple of times more. Think of it as a high-five in email form. Everyone gets the picture, and no one’s left hanging.
  • Establish Regular Check-ins: Don’t wait for the storm to hit. Regularly catch up to talk about what’s going on with projects, any bumps in the road, or fresh ideas. It’s like having an open-door policy, online style.
  • Create a Safe Space: Make a place where no question is too silly, no idea’s too wild. It’s all about respect and letting everyone have a seat at the table.


  • Sideline Feedback: Think of feedback as your daily coffee, not your yearly birthday cake. It’s gotta be regular. And make sure everyone’s mic is on, alright? Everyone gets a say.
  • Neglect Training: Remember, not everyone’s born with a laptop in hand. If your team needs a bit of tech tutoring, be there for them. Let’s get everyone comfy with those digital tools.
  • Overwhelm with Information: Keep messages clear and concise to prevent miscommunication. Not every detail needs to be shared; focus on what’s essential.
  • Ignore Non-Verbal Cues: Look out for those raised eyebrows and folded arms. Sometimes, silent signals shout louder than words.
  • Neglect One-on-One Communication: Ever feel like a face in the crowd? Don’t let that happen to your team. Make time for individual chats. It’s like a work-friend coffee date, and it matters.

So, what we’ve got here is a roadmap to building strong remote team communication without the bumps and potholes. Stick to these guidelines, and you’re steering towards a workplace where everyone knows the score, feels the vibe, and plays the game together. How’s that for teamwork?

Is The Future Remote?

The traditional office is making way for remote collaboration. Today, developers, managers, and entire teams can be found not in cubicles but scattered across various time zones, all working together to create modern and sophisticated software.

Now, don’t get us wrong. Physical offices won’t disappear overnight. But the traditional 9-to-5? That’s undergoing a massive transformation. Companies have witnessed firsthand the merits of a remote workforce: increased productivity, cost savings, and, yes, happier employees who cherish the work-life balance it offers.

Moreover, businesses now access talent pools they previously couldn’t touch because of geographical boundaries. The idea that your next star employee could be halfway across the world isn’t a fantasy; it’s a present-day reality.

Thinking of leveling up your business with premium tech solutions? Contact Relevant Software. We’re not just another tech company, but your global partners and experts in making remote collaboration feel like home.


Tags: management

Written by
VP of Delivery at Relevant Software
I ensure delivery excellence and high-quality of software development services our company provides. We carefully pick each employee and stick to high standards of product development to ensure the highest quality of code.

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