Communication During COVID-19

Trends and tips

Communication During COVID-19

Trends and tips

How have managers coped with communication during COVID-19? 

The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed how many businesses operate. Unlike typical challenges that businesses need to overcome, where solutions are widely available and the need for those solutions are planned in advance, the challenges presented by the pandemic have led to businesses having to achieve two things:

  1. Adapting to complex, new challenges that could not have been foreseen or planned for
  2. Achieving solutions to these challenges quickly enough that they do not have a devastating effect on the businesses health

One of the biggest hurdles businesses have needed to overcome is continuing to facilitate crucial internal and external communications during a period where in-office working and face to face meetings have been difficult, if not impossible to undertake.

In this article, we take a look at what the data tells us about communication during this period, what impact that has had on businesses and what they can do to ensure future success. 

Types of Communication

There are two types of communication that are crucial to the success of all businesses. 

The first type is internal communications. This is any type of communication that happens internally to your business. For example, a company intranet can be used to communicate key information internally to all employees.

The other type is external communications. This is any communication which is between your business or someone in your business with an external party such as a customer. For example, you may publish blog posts on your website which provide helpful information to customers. 

Types of communication


Different methods of communication are typically used for different types of communication. Such as shared documents and project management software for internal communications and online forums and chatbots for external communications. However, some methods can be used for both such as emails, social media and live streaming. 

Why is Communication Crucial?

Whether or not we’re aware of it, good communication is at the heart of all successful businesses. If you cannot communicate effectively internally then progress will be slow, effort will be duplicated and goals will be very difficult to achieve. If you cannot communicate effectively externally then you will not be able to reach your customers with the information they need to buy from you. 

Facilitating good communication is key to ensuring that crucial knowledge is shared across the organisation and with customers. It also helps employees and customers feel informed, connected, supported and valued. 

How COVID-19 Changed Communication 

With COVID-19 being spread through close contact, many businesses have had to close their doors during the pandemic. One studying of 5800 businesses noted that at least 43% of those surveyed had to completely close operations for a period during the pandemic. This has meant that many professionals have found themselves working from home. 

Although most businesses had initial concerns over new ‘work from home’ arrangements, a considerable amount have come to find this arrangement better both for the business and its employees. In fact, a massive 90% of those surveyed in this study highlighted that they saw big benefits in working from home arrangements – including increases in employee engagement and happiness. 

However, this new way of working also presented a unique challenge to businesses that could no longer rely on traditional forms of communication such as meetings, presentations and general office talk. Although there were a number of positives, another study also noted that 80% of small business owners also experienced negative impacts as a result of COVID-19.

What are Companies Reporting about Communication?

With increased autonomy and flexibility, employees are able to better manage their time, limit distractions and focus on achieving the goals that matter most to the business. 

Although some were concerned that with employees working from home they may face issues with collaboration and communication, they actually found that a huge 56% saw a rise in collaboration whilst remote working. There were also concerns over employees feeling isolated, yet with efforts from businesses to avoid this, 85% of employees asked actually felt that they were well supported during their time working from home. 

Businesses also found the need to rapidly roll out new technologies to facilitate home working and continued business operations, many of which have led to increased efficiency, with 78% of those surveyed having increased their digital channels during the pandemic. 



Ensuring Future Business Success

Although some form of normality is returning to the workplace, many businesses are hoping to continue benefiting from new flexible working from home arrangements. These businesses will need to undertake continuous improvements to ensure that they remain competitive. 

Permanent processes and tools should be put in place to establish a new way of doing things such as the roll-out of knowledge sharing tools, scheduling regular meetings and creating resources that can be accessed by team members regardless of their working location. 

COVID-19 & Communication

Communication is always crucial to business success, but never more so than during times of crises such as the COVID-19 pandemic. Businesses that recognise this importance and put in place tools to facilitate better communications will set themselves up for success as we move into a new way of working. 

Tips for managing communication during COVID-19


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Managing performance resources

Managing performance is central to effective management at any time but perhaps even more so during a pandemic. With this in mind you can use the resource we’ve developed to help you with your performance management skills.

Performance Management Skills

Whether you need a quick refresher or are thinking about your skill needs for the first time, performance management skills provides the practical advice you need. With five essential performance management skills for each stage of the performance management cycle, you can use it to assess your own strengths in each of the five areas:

  • Cultivate your goal setting skills
  • Improve your action planning
  • Develop your coaching skills
  • Provide feedback
  • Assess performance

Managing performance is one of the most important things a manager does. Yet it’s a role that many managers find the most difficult to do.

Think about how you can build your own expertise to manage the performance management cycle, so that you can put motivation back at the heart of performance.

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It’s All About Performance (24 pages, 4 diagnostic tools)
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Manage Your Own Performance (28 pages, 6 tools)
Motivating Performance (37 pages, 10 tools)
Performance Management Skills (19 pages, 7 tools)
15 Performance Management Tips (20 pages, 15 tips)
Performance Management Toolkit (66 pages, 41 tools – divided into the seven steps of a performance management process).

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