Remote work has been growing for years, but as it becomes more commonplace it becomes more difficult for business owners and managers to ascertain how engaged a remote employee is. This week, we thought we’d discuss a couple of ways that you can keep your remote employees engaged and productive.
The first thing you have to understand about remote employees is that most of them do better work faster from the comfort of their own homes than they do from an office. It’s just the fact that people take less time to do something productive when they don’t have to factor in all the other variables that come into play when they leave their house.
Another thing that you have to understand is that a remote worker has much more to distract them from work than workers that work in an office. Which is why it may seem like they are a little less productive, even if they are meeting their key performance indicators (KPIs) and meeting their deadlines.
This all translates to a very confusing situation. Let’s take a look at three tips that can help you keep your remote workers engaged.:
Your company culture is more than the free coffee and donuts (or beer) you provide, it is the way that your business treats its employees. When building a team of remote workers this can be kind of pushed aside for more practical decision making, but it is still extremely important to keep your team as engaged as you want them to be. Shared goals and interests connect people and encourage better work and communication.
One tip that can help you keep building your company culture is to have some fun on your collaboration tool or instant messaging platform. If you set up a “just for fun” channel where your team can communicate, share stories, memes, jokes and more, you will see more engagement out of the team members that need that sort of thing while they work remotely. Another tip could be to set up optional meet-ups such as a happy hour or a virtual meeting at the end of the week so people can interact with team members they may not come into contact with in the execution of their work. The more “normal” you can make working from home, the more productive and comfortable your team will be.
Remote workers depend on the software you provide them, so it stands to reason that the most engaged remote workers will have access to software that makes this a priority. There are a wide range of different technologies available today that can create close working conditions for remote workers. Whether it's collaboration software, video conferencing, or simply just a well-tested instant messaging platform, your remote teams will be better off if they have access to tools that make collaboration easier and communication less of a chore.
One often overlooked part of working from home are the pressures that come from the home. Some people can handle them a lot better than others. Proper organization communication is the most effective way to keep remote employees engaged, while also helping managers have a substantial effect on their motivation and productivity. No matter where you work from, you want to know that the company you work for sees you as an individual and not just a number on the end of a VoIP channel.
You’ll want to maintain regular communication with your remote employees, provide timely and constructive feedback, give them goals to achieve and establish a level of trust that makes them want to be engaged and productive.
Having remote employees may not always be easy, but the more it becomes commonplace, the more managers need to understand that it’s not the same as working from an office. If you would like to talk to one of our consultants about getting the technology your remote team needs to help build engagement and be as productive as they can, give Virtual Business Solutions a call today at (504) 840-9800 ext. 105.