How Is Your Remote Company Handling Business Communication?

The pandemic has hit the business world hard, but many companies have been fortunate enough to be able to continue working in a remote environment. 

Nevertheless, the transformation hasn’t been an easy one. Stabilizing business processes also included their optimization – and those that haven’t done it previously now were forced to get on with it. 

One of the crucial aspects certainly was establishing new channels of communication as well as optimizing the ones already being in use. Specifically, as email is still the number one business communication channel, it’s also important to adhere to all the necessary email retention policies or run the risk of being severely fined. 

Let’s see how your company can successfully handle business communication in a remote setting. 

1) Create Communication Policies

While your company may already have certain communication policies in place, they are bound to suffer modifications if you are going remote. 

For example, water cooler talks now need to take a different form as people aren’t really speaking face to face anymore – and they need to be mindful of that both in regard to what information they convey as well as in what way. Remember, if you have an email archiving system in place, all communication will be saved for a certain amount of time in its original form. 

On the other hand, you may also need to create completely new communication policies suitable for the remote working environment. 

Since one of the benefits of remote work is flexibility in terms of working hours, your employees may now choose to partly work during odd hours. In order to maintain a professional working environment and not disturb others during their off-hours, it would be wise to set the ground rules for appropriate contacting times, as you do when creating an information retention policy. 

For instance, sending instant messages to coworkers in the middle of the night is simply rude and intrudes on their personal time. You can bypass that by asking all employees to state what their working hours are and whether they are available for contacting outside that time frame. This will certainly minimize the possibility for team conflicts as well.

2) Convey Important Information

Clear paths of communication between relevant parties – both internally and externally – are crucial for successfully conducting business. But can you filter? 

Depending on your industry or region you’re operating in, your company will be subject to email compliance laws that state all information is important and therefore must be preserved. 

However, that doesn’t mean your emails need to be a mile long and sent to every single person in the company even if you are working remotely. 

Organizations that operate effectively have policies and practices in place that clearly define who needs to have what kind of information, in what form, and frequently or soon from the moment it is originated. 

For example, it stands to reason that the team lead must have an insight into all team activities, but they may not be CC-ed in every single email between project collaborators. If the need arises, however, they may require information, which is exactly where the email archiving option is of great use.  

3) Clear the Appropriate Channels

With new ways of doing business come new supporting technologies. 

In terms of remote work, it’s always wise to have a company-wide policy about which tools are to be used for executing professional tasks – communication included. 

Some offer more options for successful information organization, use and storage which is why it’s important to choose those tools that are in keeping with your specific company retention policy and communication guidelines. 

Particularly important is to ensure continuous information availability to all company entities, which can be achieved by deciding which communication platforms are to be used and how – Slack for direct messages, email for reports, Google Meet for longer discussions, etc. 

Having employees relaying business-related messages via private channels can also provoke actions by the company, but make sure to convey that to them before acting. 

4) Mind the Tone

An integral part of properly maintaining professional communication is relaying information by using appropriate language. Email archiving is partially legally required to protect both employees from hateful talk, profanities, insults, and similar verbal behavior that is unsuitable for work. 

Whenever a new employee comes to the company, it’s the management’s obligation to specify what kind of language is expected at work, as well as the prescribed precautions and repercussions for improper behavior. 

However, keeping an eye on whether the company’s communication policy is being followed by all employees can be difficult in the remote working environment. Thus, it’s up to the company to actively cultivate a culture of open communication in regard to any issues and problems among the staff in order to prevent issues or easily resolve those that arise.  

5) Keep It Legal

Email compliance legislation states that all information must be stored in a safe manner for a particular amount of time in order to ensure its availability in the original form as needed. That may be for tax revision purposes, or it can serve as evidence in legal disputes between business partners, or between companies and regulatory bodies or employees. 

In that sense, it’s crucial to consult all legal documents that dictate what steps need to be undertaken, in what manner, within what timeframe and by whom. The most notable ones in the US are the SOX Act, HIPAA, FERPA, etc.

While different email compliance regulatory acts dictate different retention periods depending on the industry and region of the company, each mandates that all employees are responsible for maintaining the company legally compliant. 

Furthermore, IT managers design policies and specific email handling procedures, sysadmins ensure the implementation of proper archiving tools, while compliance officers make sure it’s done in accordance with legal requirements. 

In cases when the necessary conditions aren’t met – whether that means information is incomplete or tampered with, or that it’s not produced upon request – companies face million-dollar fines for the violation of a retention policy. 


Since remote is the future, legal acts are quickly catching up in order to create a regulated business environment in this new setting. Therefore, it’s important to keep the new necessities in mind when switching to remote operations, and find new ways of properly handling business communication as well as modernize old ones as well. 

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