Communication tips for remote work

September 21, 2020
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As institutions make the move, temporarily or permanently, to partial or total online administration, we’re all learning new strategies for communicating with staff and serving students. 

Kathy Simmons, Director of The Hub at Trident Technical College, offers these tips for supporting meaningful communication in your office.

1. Make sure staff have the tools they need. In order to work from home, do they need laptops? Headsets? Software? 

“Give staff the proper equipment to do their jobs well,” Simmons said. “Ask them what they need.”

2. Embrace new technology. If you need to establish a VPN for secure, reliable phone calls; adopt a new service for better online meetings, or rework manual processes into electronic ones, take the leap.

“Don’t be afraid of the unknown,” Simmons said. “Change can be good if you embrace it. And if we don’t change with the times, we’ll lose this generation of students who are familiar with these technologies.”

3. Be more collaborative than ever. In order to do the above, you have to have a great relationship with your IT team. And to keep the institution running smoothly, you need excellent communications between all areas — academic, advising, admissions, and more.

“You have to have a good communications plan,” Simmons said. “You need to work with other departments to remove barriers and make it a seamless process for students, so they know how to communicate and with whom, and get responses quickly without having to jump through a lot of hoops.”

Moving forward

“Schools are having to move away from old ways of doing things,” Simmons said. “We have to change with what’s going on in the world. And as long as students are succeeding, we don’t have to go back to the way it was.”

Simmons will share more communication tips for working remotely in her session at AACRAO’s virtual SEM Conference, Oct. 28-30, 2020. Learn more and register now.