Did you know approximately 91 million Americans have opted to work from home in the past year? This trend will continue to rise as companies offer hybrid working options to promote work-life balance for their employees. Organizations and employees today have begun to realize the advantages of working virtually. And it’s no surprise why. It means lesser expenses for the organization and zero-commute time for employees.
However, remote work can make employees feel disconnected from the organization and underappreciated. This can also affect productivity and overall employee satisfaction. So, it’s your job to keep your team connected with the company goals and objectives and feel appreciated in their roles.
Here are some ways you can increase team engagement in your virtual workforce:
Offer A Hybrid Working Option
A hybrid working system will help employees stay engaged with the workplace and their colleagues, as they’ll be effectively dividing their time at home and the office. The optimum setup for increasing engagement is to work three to four days from home and then spend a day or two at the office to improve collaboration and bonding between team members.
If your employees only work remotely, they might feel less focused, less productive, strained, and unhappy. So, it’s important that you call them in for important meetings or at least once in a while to the office to alleviate their discontentment.
Be Flexible With Remote Work
Try to give your employees some flexibility when it comes to getting the job done. Deciding when and how they work increases trust between the employees and the management and improves employee satisfaction. This can also help your employees develop a schedule that works best for them and allow them to balance their home and work-related responsibilities.
Give Them The Tools To Succeed
You need to ensure that your employees or any new hires receive proper training and tools to get the job done. These tools aren’t just limited to amenities and resources like equipment and hardware like smartphones and laptops but also internet connectivity.
You need to ensure that they have a proper place to work, developmental opportunities, stipends for co-working spaces, etc. Don’t be afraid of getting creative with your resources. When your employees feel secure in their place and job, they’ll always go the extra mile to break records and focus on growth and achievements.
Support Your Newest Remote Employees
Newly hired remote workers need more support than employees who come into the office every day. Therefore, your managers and executives should do their best to ensure that remote employees have a comprehensive, engaging, and seamless onboarding process. This includes ensuring access to:
- Adequate resources and equipment to do their jobs
- Clear training on technology and processes
- Document access and log-in credentials for the company’s internal communication system
Keep Your Remote Workers In The Loop
You should keep your co-workers in the know about company news, team progress, goals, and projects. Since a lot of information circulates in the cafeteria, at the infamous water cooler, across desks, etc., it can make remote employees feel out of the loop and disconnected.
You can use different modes of communication like emails, goal setting, and tracking systems to give everyone access to new projects, progress updates, and company goals. You can also regularly check in with your employees to hear grievances and give everyone a chance to connect and know what’s going on in the company. So, if you keep your remote workers as part of the company dialogue, they’ll feel more engaged, appreciative, and connected.
Recognize And Laud Their Contributions
Remote workers often end up putting in more hours than their office counterparts, yet they sometimes feel like they aren’t part of a team. So, you need to make employee recognition a priority. You can include an employee leaderboard or a recognition platform where anyone can comment and give real-time feedback for recognition and appreciation.
As a manager, when you begin praising your employees for a job well done you’ll be improving employee engagement and satisfaction.
Ask And Listen To Feedback
Feedback works both ways. So, when you ask your remote employees for feedback, it’ll show that you value their opinion. And when you show value and respect for them, they’ll feel more engaged and happier in their work.
And don’t shy away from sharing constructive feedback and help them take advantage of developmental opportunities. Remote employees already have a difficult time expressing their opinions and needs. An open-door and easy-contact policy can help employees feel more comfortable coming to you with their problems.
Give Long Weekends
You can allow them to take a Friday off each month to let them spend time with family and friends. This can help refresh their mind and start work on Monday with enthusiasm and motivation.
Show Your Remote Workers That You Care
You need to build meaningful relationships with your remote employees. So, give them the freedom and permission to create balance in their work and home life. You can respect their time by setting healthy boundaries around performance expectations, assignments, and project schedules. So, take some time out to ask them about:
- Their workload to avoid burnout
- Emotional and mental health
- Personal hobbies and family
Work On Social Interactions
One of the main drawbacks of remote working is the lack of socializing and loneliness. So, keep your team connected with video chats, virtual team-building games, and team engagement exercises, or invite them to meet quarterly at the headquarters if possible.
You can also assign mentors to new remote workers, so they have someone to rely on to ask questions.
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