The trend toward remote work has continued to grow even after the pandemic shutdowns for a variety of reasons, such as the fact that remote workers are more likely to be happier, productive, and engaged than their in-office counterparts. Companies have also found that a remote work option helps them attract and retain top talent, which is invaluable in a competitive job market. Of course, even with the many benefits of remote work or some sort of hybrid work environment, it’s still important to connect to your workers as they labor from home, remotely. The following are some actionable tips you can implement to do just that:
It can be easy to become a bit disconnected when your employees are working remotely. However, if you take the initiative and are purposeful about garnering connections, you can encourage a team environment, even if you never see them in person. Try weekly Zoom calls, with video, Google Drive, or use Slack to streamline communication. Encourage communication between all team members, not just from you to your employees and vice versa. Try some virtual team-building activities and encourage peer-to-peer feedback. Also, be upfront with your virtual office employees, keeping them in the know. Don’t assume since they are working remotely that they aren’t interested in the future of the company, its direction, or any policy changes.
Show Employees You Care
Allow your remote employees to set healthy boundaries around their workday and honor and respect those boundaries. It can be tempting, especially when an employee is working from home, to create a workday that doesn’t have a set end time. This isn’t healthy for your employees and will quickly lead to burnout. Instead, make sure they feel heard and know they are a valued part of your team. Acknowledge their effort, successes, and contributions. Give employees autonomy, and communicate openly and frequently to promote a positive workplace culture.
Ask for & Listen to Feedback
Provide employee feedback regularly in an encouraging manner, allowing your employees to improve their skills and perhaps move up in the company. Be engaged throughout the process. Listen to their ideas, and be approachable when it comes to not only advice and questions but concerns as well.
Support Your Newest Hires
A new hire who is also working remotely demands a strong onboarding process. Make sure that they have access to all important company information to do their job well, like their login credentials. They should also have document access, clear training on processes and technology as well as the correct tools, equipment, and resources to do their job well. Make sure you also train managers to support new hires. Be aware that this might involve a new employee coming in person to the office for some of this training.
Encourage Health and Wellness
With the growth of digital jobs that require sitting most of the day and an abundance of computer work, it can be easy to forget about employee health and wellness. However, especially when it comes to working remotely, employees should be encouraged to prioritize their own health and wellness through health incentives, gym memberships, or online fitness subscriptions. You should also be sure to prioritize mental health and encourage a healthy work-life balance. Create a business structure for these elements, so employees will always feel supported.
Make Sure Your Employees Equipped For Remote Work
As mentioned briefly above, all remote employees should have what they need to get their job done no matter if they are in-office or at home working remotely. Make sure that your entire team has the software, computer equipment, internet connectivity, laptop, etc. to do their job effectively at home. If getting the job done via remote work is made more difficult due to hindrances that could easily be changed if you provided for your employee, go ahead and make these changes. Ensure that each employee is equipped to do their job just as you would if they were in an office setting. This includes giving them access to training and additional information that could help them advance in their career.
Recognize Employee Contributions
Even employees who work remotely will appreciate it greatly if you acknowledge their contributions to the company overall. In fact, they might even appreciate it a bit more as they are often working on their own without a great deal of feedback or interaction. Therefore, when applicable, make sure that you recognize any contributions made by any of your employees. If you can give monetary rewards for helping the company succeed, that’s even better. However, if that isn’t possible, at least acknowledging their hard work will make them feel valued and noticed. A kind word or “good job” goes a long way when an employee is working on their own for most hours of the day.
Remote Work is Here to Stay
Having the ability to connect with remote teams is vital in today’s increasingly digital landscape. In order to foster a productive and successful culture within an organization, business leaders must be flexible and aware of the challenges and benefits of having a remote workforce as well as an in-person team. Keep the tips listed above in mind to engage with your remote workforce.