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The State of Remote Workers
According to a new study by IWG, 70% of people globally work remotely at least once a week. This includes employees who work remotely 50% or more a week. With increased flexibility, better health and wellness options and a renewed sense of passion for work, it’s no surprise the number of remote employees continues to rapidly rise. Not to mention the benefits companies are receiving in return– increased productivity, reduced turnover and increased savings. Our traditional idea of work has changed for the better, but with it, comes a new level of complexity we must maintain to keep our workers happy and engaged.
Engagement Factors to Consider
To accommodate this recent industry shift, organizations are now having to reevaluate their workplace culture and employee experience. Despite the benefits of remote work, it has created new factors to consider within overall employee engagement levels. In a recent study by Slack, 85% of workers want to feel closer to their remote colleagues and their organization. A majority of employees today still currently possess a feeling of detachment from their workplace, despite companies’ efforts recently to put more of their focus on employees’ needs. Most companies have come to look at the happiness of their employees on an individual scale, but are often quick to forget what their remote employees experiences are.
Remote employees have also expressed they feel even more disengaged because of their absence from their organization’s culture. Within the same study, 84% of remote workers also tend to hide workplace concerns for a few days before informing higher-ups, and 47% admitted that they didn’t address issues for more than a week. This lack of connection and openness makes them feel even further out of touch with their organization and thus impacts their overall experience negatively.
As we fully support organizations who have adapted this new style of working, we understand that sometimes it’s hard to bringing together employees near and far through a shared vision.
Here are 3 ways to keep your remote workers fully engaged:
1. Encourage New Communication Strategies
Schedule more calls and video meetings than email
Traditionally, more calls doesn’t always mean more productivity, but when it comes to making more face time with your employees, these two styles are a more personable way to connect with remote employees. Scheduled communication times better help align teams and in the end, keep bonds stronger between workers.
Have an internal communication platform in place
You know all those little moments remote workers may feel they miss out on because of their location? Facilitate fun digital activities or communication channels for all your employees to bond together over. Let them share experiences or have a place to connect during those important bonding moments that will increase their engagement during the workweek.
Host live broadcasts to bring all your employees together
Create flexibility, transparency, immediacy with your remote employees with a weekly, monthly or annual live broadcast. Whether you want to generate excitement around your company culture or keep employees up-to-date with the information they need to feel involved, live broadcasting can help align your organization better align. Make it an opportunity to connect employees with leadership, address specific questions or talk about how you can make your organization better.
2. Increase Participation
Create a memorable onboarding experience
An employee’s first day may be the only experience they get in person with your company – sometimes not even at all if they are far away. Take the time to think about how you want them to perceive your company’s people and culture. Set up impactful experiences and establish the type of openness and clarity you want them to convey by taking an interest in them from day 1.
Provide opportunities to take on more responsibility
Sometimes remote workers can feel frustrated doing the same thing day in and day out. Without anyone around to help continuously communicate your organization’s vision, they can quickly become bored or worse, burnout. Assign them responsibilities that communicates their purpose and creates value for them. They could plan your next company event or take responsibility for sending out regular video communications to your team.
Develop regular bonding experiences
In addition to your online efforts, you should also try focusing on the experience remote employees have when they are called to come into the office. Buying your department lunch, making an effort to ask about their day or recalling their favorite coffee order can greatly impact how much they are willing to make connections with other employees they don’t see as frequently.
3. Show Appreciation
Get to know your employees
Taking a personalized approach to get to know your remote employees will not only help them feel like they belong, but also help you nail down specifics about them, such as: their work style, personal preferences or even their hobbies and interests outside of work.
Find reasons to celebrate
Did your remote employee recently land a big deal for your company? Send them a personalized card and a small thank-you gift. Or, did they point out a valuable insight on a project your department is working on? Show your appreciation for their ideas by allowing them to grab dinner on the company card. Celebrating tiny victories will keep your culture fun and interesting while showing your appreciation for remote workers efforts.
Tailor specific benefits to them
Different kinds of workers need different kinds of benefits. Cater to your remote employees by creating special opportunities to speak with your upper level management, designated in-home office supply fund or a central location your teams can meet up at. This type of personalization will show your remote workers that you care while considering their employee experience.
With remote workers now heavily integrated into our workforce, prioritizing your organization’s culture and the experience of your remote employees should be a top priority. With these 3 important aspects to consider, you can be sure that they will always feel valued while affording them the opportunity to build upon the greatness of your organization.
3 Ways to Better Engage and Involve Your Remote Employees