Remote work has been thrust into the spotlight these past few months. In many organizations, this sudden transition has been disruptive and confusing \u2014 for employees who are more comfortable with the routines of a traditional physical office setting, as well as leaders who previously haven\u2019t managed remote workers.\nThat\u2019s why it\u2019s critical to deploy parameters and guidance around remote work \u2014 from technologies to good practices. While it may require a little extra work for C-level executives to manage remote workers in the short term, it has payoffs in the long run as employees discover improved communication and collaboration.\nChoose communication mediums carefully\n\u00a0here has been a bombardment of virtual meetings, emails, and chats. All the conversations that occurred in the conference room, at the water cooler, around cubicles, and at customers\u2019 locations now suddenly take place online or on the phone.\nTo help them feel less overwhelmed and frustrated, employees \u2014 especially those new to remote work \u2014 may need guidance around which communication method is best.\nTo that end, advise remote workers to consider the conversation\u2019s: complexity, length, emotional delicacy, time sensitivity, and the level of collaboration required. Here are some tips that can be shared with employees:\n\nEmail: Good for straightforward, brief, neutral, and evergreen information that doesn\u2019t require timely responses, collaboration or discussion.\nIM\/Chat: These conversations encourage socializing and are great for quick Q&As, real-time collaboration, and to share time-sensitive information and announcements.\nVideo and Web Conferencing: Even without physical presence, virtual face-to-face meetings improve communication. Use video conferencing to explain complicated information and collaborate, and use screen-sharing to review project plans and documents.\nPhone: When video is not a viable option, use the phone to communicate information that\u2019s sensitive, complicated, or lengthy.\n\nConsider how and what to communicate\nThere\u2019s a comfort level associated with physical presence in an office \u2014 an understanding that it\u2019s a place of work. Whereas, business leaders may wonder whether employees working at home have the right equipment and the right organizational structure to get work done.\nTo avoid confusion and making assumptions, clearly communicate goals, expectations, deadlines, and progress. And remember: It should be a two-way street; employees should keep you updated on these same things.\nAlso, be flexible around availability and individual work schedules. Some remote employees might prefer starting work early, taking a siesta at lunch or doing an hour of yoga in the afternoon, and then work late. This can work, as long as they build a regimented schedule and understand company requirements and timelines. Just stress that everyone needs to over-communicate their individual work hours, so there is no misunderstanding or team frustration.\nSet the right example\nIt\u2019s also important to focus on your own methods of communication as a leader. Especially during times of crisis, schedule consistent meetings \u2014 like all-hands, project update meetings, and one-on-ones with department heads.\nWhen good communication practices start from the top, employees remain engaged and informed.\nFinally, consider the tools remote workers are using to collaborate. Productivity and security should be primary objectives.\nTo help customers and critical services providers during the COVID-19 crisis, LogMeIn is offering Free Emergency Remote Work Toolkits f0r educators, municipalities, healthcare workers and more. Check out the details here. And for more information about managing and leading remote teams, check the Remote Work Resources Toolkit.\n\u00a0\n \n\nMark Strassman,Senior Vice President and General Manager \n\n\nMark Strassman is the Senior Vice President and General Manager for LogMeIn\u2019s Unified Communications & Collaboration business unit overseeing market-leading UCC products GoToMeeting, GoToWebinar, Jive, Grasshopper and more.