Market musings

What’s the Best Internal Communication Structure for Remote Teams?

by Sasha Viasasha
August 2, 2017

In the old-fashioned, traditional office everyone worked the same hours in the same place. While that had clear limitations in terms of business speed and talent retention, at least the communications structure was simple.

The boss handed down work plans directly to employees, usually face to face, and most other interactions like project status reports were handled in the same way. The arrival of email in the 1990s changed the communications medium but not the structure, for the most part.

Today’s remote teams and flat organizational structures have just the opposite problem. The business can operate around the clock and flexible work schedules generate better productivity from an engaged talent pool. The burden of organizational success shifts to the internal communication structure.

Message Integrity

As proven by the old game of telephone, message integrity is compromised by everyone that handles it between the originator and the final receiver.

In terms of remote teams, often the strategic component of the message starts with the business owner, who routes it following the organizational structure. In a typical business, the message may go from the business owner through a business manager, a local project manager and a team lead before it gets to the workers who will execute the plan.

Even in flat organizations, where the remote workers report directly to the owner, it’s common to see message fidelity loss. Various groups try to coordinate their action plans based on differing understanding of the message. The sender’s goal and the receiver’s assumptions will impact what is communicated, even when the message is identical.

Generational differences also interfere with clear communications.

Example of An Internal Communication Structure 

In all cases, the channel used for internal communication is as important as the message itself in aligning intention.

Your plan will be as unique as your business, but here is a framework covering what the most important structural components of your internal communications plan.


A good way to assure that your objectives and goals are clear is to start with the SMART framework, popularized by Peter Drucker.

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Achievable
  • Relevant  
  • Timely

Example: To keep all business leaders and remote teams aligned and informed so they can resolve problems quickly and turn plans into actions without delay.

Strategy and Tactics

This is a breakdown of the best channels, schedules and responsibilities. It should be a living document that is updated as the business grows and shifts priorities.








New project announcement

Remote teams A, B, C

Conference call

Project manager

As needed

Supporting docs by email

Status Update Project 1

Remote team C


Team lead

Every 2 weeks

Can be handled on a call or chat if there is nothing new to report.

 SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats)


 In person



Reports and charts due 2 weeks prior to meeting

Clarifications and Issues



Remote team lead

As needed

Send text/chat of issue type and urgency before call


This lays out plans for evaluating communication weakness and charting a better way for the road ahead.



Proposed solutions

Remote team A missing deadlines

Meet with team members individually for a comprehensive view of the breakdown. Schedule training on effective communications and team building.

Productivity slowdowns

Communicate the consequences clearly. Evaluate engagement and course correct based on motivational analysis.


Humans Before Technology

The world’s best internal communication structure can only work when team members are committed to using it in the right way.

Setting up communications network with a human-first design is essential to securing buy-in across the organization. Solving for this is a unique process for each business, and it starts with investigating the pain points and productivity roadblocks in your team.

Does your office phone system help you talk? 

From free VoIP technology accessible to any user on the internet to the more robust voice over ip (VoIP) experience associated with SIP trunking, busineses have many options when shopping for telephone providers. And yet, some office phone systems are so complex to set up and use that employees and customers don't actually use them. 

At Spoke, we believe that talking is the best way to solve problems fast, so we focus on getting more calls made and answered, on the phones that people love. 

We've built a simple, intuitive interface that employees and customers will love to use. Based off how small and medium sized companies actually use their phones, we've learned that less is more when it comes to business phone systems. We've designed Spoke around the core phone system features small companies need and want. It's built to be deployed across your mobile phone infrastructure and administered from a simple app. Simple to install and easy to use. Connect it to your business phone line or deploy it as a stand alone virtual phone system. 

Our smart directory keeps track of all your business calls and supports your company with features like an AI receptionist, easy call transfer, and group calling. You can choose a business phone line or port over the number you're already using. The Spoke app masks employees numbers so they can feel secure when they use their own device, and you can keep all your company call data and phone numbers in one place, 100% secure.  

Let's Just Talk

Spoke was designed for small to medium sized businesses, 3-30 employees, giving you enterprise capabilities at a low per user cost. Activate your 21-day free trial -- no credit card required. See what you can accomplish with lower costs and better connectivity. Or contact us for a demo, and let's figure out how we can get you talking. 

The Productivity Hacker's Guide to Integrating Remote Teams
The Productivity Hacker's Guide to Integrating Remote Teams