10 Things that make remote employees love their workplace
A decade ago, where employees were concerned, the word ‘remote’ was used to describe workers in far-off offices. Today, it is the new cool.
As a result of technological advancements and collaboration tools, working remotely now represents a more productive option for companies across different niches. According to a Gallup Poll, about 43% of gainfully employed Americans work remotely.
With the influence of the COVID-19 pandemic, you can expect this number to go up.
If you can figure out how to engage with remote employees, it translates to increased productivity, loyalty, and forward-thinking. It all seems straightforward, right? However, despite the many obvious perks, remote working isn’t all unicorns and rainbows.
Often, there is a tendency for isolation, especially when a remote employee can work without supervision. When this happens, it leads to poor team performance and reduced employee retention rates.
A recent study of 1,153 remote employees revealed that up to 52% of remote workers don’t feel like part of the team. 41% even go as far as saying that they think their colleagues have negative feelings about them. In terms of workflow, 64% of remote employees complained about sudden changes in strategy and project direction.
Ultimately, all of these factors combine to form the feelings a remote employee has toward the company. Where there is negativity, you’ll have to spend valuable time resolving problems. In time, it will start to affect overall team cohesion and productivity levels.
The answer to how to make remote employees love their work lies in finding and maintaining a delicate balance. This balance should cover social activities, task delegation, and intra-team relationships.
Out of sight doesn’t have to be out of mind. Here, we will discuss 10 of the most useful hacks that should form a part of your remote work strategy to make sure your employees love their workplace.
Open communication should be first
Open communication is one of the key ingredients to making sure everybody on the team is on the same page. When employees are all in the same physical location, it’s easier to communicate. However, with remote work, there’s a need to be more deliberate about it.
Here, we recommend using communication tools that allow for fast responses between remote employees, managers, and other colleagues. This simple hack can double engagement levels with your remote staff.
The next step is to schedule check-ins with your remote workers. Make a conscious decision to speak with them. For instance, at the beginning of every workday, managers can check in with remote employees. Up to 46% of remote employees have a high opinion of managers they speak with frequently. In other words, you can never communicate too much!
Another way to ensure open communication is using surveys and group updates. With these communication methods, you’re making it easier for remote workers to speak out and discuss their work-related ideas. Everybody wins!
Small talk can make a difference
In the quest to make remote workers love their workplace, most managers focus on the work aspect of things. You don’t want to fall into this category.
Your remote workers are not robots. Even though it’s the protocol to reserve group calls for work-related meetings, they can be so much more. For instance, a video call conversation with a remote employee is an excellent opportunity to discuss subjects away from work.
If you’re short of inspiration, start by exploring their hobbies and interests. If your remote worker loves a particular sport, steer the conversation in that direction. Doing this will foster an air of camaraderie, which can quickly spread across the team. Who knows, it may even be the beginning of a new friendship!
In the same vein, small talk can be a great opportunity to discuss thoughts about company processes. In a less formal setting, people are more likely to express what they honestly think.
Source: Dialog/Executive Language Center
Clearly outline KPIs and individual goals
39% of people who work from home complete designated tasks faster than employees in a physical workplace. However, for you to achieve this kind of productivity, there’s a need to set measurable objectives for remote employees.
When remote workers don’t have a clearly assigned goal to hit, they tend to feel a disconnect toward the team and the overall project. Usually, it’s because they don’t quite know where they fit in. With proper remote product management, it’s possible to plug this gap.
You can change things for the better by remaining crystal clear about all obligations and objectives. If possible, put it into writing. With marketing collaboration software, you can clearly highlight the recommended work schedule, available resources, deliverables, and set objectives. Be sure to review these obligations as applicable!
Celebrate with remote employees
One of the most effective ways to make remote workers love their workplace is by extending the hand of love and appreciation. Be more intentional about celebrating achievements and significant contributions from remote employees.
Don’t just do it in private either. It’s best to celebrate a remote employee on a group conference call with other members of the team. However, celebrations should not be limited to work; try to acknowledge their personal milestones too.
Here, tools that can help you organize employee details will prove useful. To illustrate this, a simple card signed by the whole team can do wonders on birthdays or work anniversaries. Such a gesture will signal to the remote employee that they are part of a community — perhaps more crucially, an organization that cares about them.
Inclusion is everything
Sometimes, it’s easy to shunt remote workers out of certain meetings and decision-making processes. But the truth is, if they were in the office, you would likely include such employees.
If this is the case, make a deliberate effort to include remote workers in meetings and work calls. From discussions with clients to strategy meetings, be sure your employees are a part of them.
Thankfully, technology has made it easier than ever before to involve remote employees. Tools like Skype, Adobe Connect, and more can prove hugely useful. You can also use file-sharing websites to pass information across easily.
Including your remote employees in key meetings will help foster the belief that they are a crucial part of the corporate culture. That’s all anybody wants really—to belong.
Source: Help Desk Geek
Encourage feedback between peers
If most of your employees work remotely, one way to help them feel at home is to encourage feedback between peers. This kind of feedback comes with a lot of advantages. For one, it means remote employees have a platform to learn from each other. In doing so, they can help each other settle in faster.
According to a survey by PwC, up to 60% of remote employees like regular feedback. To help remote employees fall in love with the company, encourage feedback from on-site workers too.
This level of recognition will send a signal you’re thinking of them. Consequently, they will be far less likely to start feeling isolated.
Inject some fun
“All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.” This is an old saying used to remind adults to let loose from time to time. In this context, it can be a great way to develop a relationship with remote employees.
In a physical workplace, there are all sorts of jokes, pranks, and banter. All of this contributes to the positive feelings that exist between employees and team members.
With remote work, these kinds of interactions can’t exist naturally. However, fun initiatives can help replicate them. For instance, workspace decorating contests, virtual team building activities, challenges, and gift exchanges can help your remote workers to settle in faster.
Empower remote employees
Most of the time, we find that remote employees feel stifled where creative decisions are concerned. It’s only natural considering they may not be around for in-house strategy meetings.
However, every employee is important. If you want your remote employees to fall in love with the workplace, give them more freedom to implement decisions.
For instance, a remote worker may feel that a new strategy will help the team achieve more desirable results. However, in many instances, they have to spend time obtaining clearance before making these decisions.
Instead, empower your remote workers. Let them know they can make these kinds of decisions. Of course, there has to be a level of trust in their skills. With this level of understanding, it will be almost impossible for a remote worker to dislike working for the company.
Invest in their career growth
The opportunity for career growth is a factor that is sure to keep an employee working well within the wider team. Usually, it’s easier to invest in the development and training of in-house staff. After all, their presence is a constant reminder.
In most cases, therefore, it’s the remote workers that suffer neglect. So you have to be more deliberate about the growth of your remote employees. You can start by discussing this with them. Find out what they want their ideal career path to look like.
Using this information, you can then provide advancement opportunities. Don’t just limit it to opportunities though: if it’s a digital agency, go one step further by sponsoring their training, attendance at industry seminars, and excursions, for example. After all, they’ll be using the skills they learn for the betterment of your company.
Equip the team with the right communication tools
Conversation is crucial to the fostering of any relationship. Whether it’s between co-workers or a manager and an employee, good conversations will always leave a positive mark.
There’s a need to go the extra mile with remote work by using the right communication tools. Thankfully, there are companies like Broadvoice that provide enterprise-level telecommunications services.
You may be thinking that surely emails are acceptable. That’s not always the case. Since there’s a disconnect in the form of human interaction, emails may not always hit the right spot. Instead, it’s better to use communication tools where it’s possible to read and assess facial expressions.
If you’re looking to make a remote employee fall in love with the workplace, every message you pass across should hit the right spot. Thankfully, there are communication tools to help companies bypass the communication barriers posed by remote work. For instance, Fuze alternatives can make it easier to collaborate within a team.
It’s all up to you. Choose a tool that makes it seamless for remote employees to stay up-to-date on company updates, instructions, and team objectives. More importantly, you want this tool to complement the size of your team.
Remember, communication with remote workers is more likely to be punctuated, so there’s a need to do your best to make each experience as positive and refreshing as possible. The right communication tool will do half of the work for you.
Remote employees can also be a part of the family
A disconnect between managers and remote workers is not set in stone. With deliberate planning, you can help your remote workers to settle in and love their workplace. The tips above are a vital part of the plan. With the right human resource management tool, you can start implementing your ideas today. Good luck!
Cover Design: Vignesh Rajan
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