While remote working used to be offered as a more flexible way for employees to work, it is now becoming the norm. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) announced the COVID-19 global pandemic, many organizations have been forced to revolutionize their workplaces.
With remote work being more commonplace, managers must make it a priority to keep their employees engaged. Workers should be treated the same as they do in an office, however, this poses various issues, especially when you cannot physically see or speak to employees in person. On the other hand, remote working has many benefits for both employers and employees which WebHostingProf has researched in great detail.
It’s imperative that employees remain engaged and don’t feel isolated, in order to maximize productivity, communicate effectively, and maintain positive morale.
1. Communication and Connection
It’s natural for people to crave connection, and this is no different for your employees. Employees want to feel included in communications, announcements, and changes throughout the business. Not only that, they want to be able to share personal achievements, moments, and stories, much like they would in an office to their colleagues.
It’s important to create a safe space for employees to be themselves, whether this is through a communication channel like Slack, or by creating a segment of time during daily meetings where employees can have a light-hearted conversation with their colleagues and managers. Taking 5 minutes out of the day to ask your employees how their weekend was or what their evening plans are could make the difference between feeling connected or not.
Communicating effectively with your employees allows you to build a strong working and personal connection with them, making them feel included and valued. It creates a space to celebrate achievements or even offer support if this is required.
2. Remote Development and Training
While employees are working from home, it’s just as important to engage them with training and development opportunities as they would have received while in the office, perhaps even more so.
Online training sessions are a great way to engage employees across multiple timezones, offering a variety of ways they can connect with their trainers through questions, polls, etc.
Training sessions can be used to improve employee’s development skills, as well as gaining a greater understanding of what’s important to them as remote workers. This greater understanding offers employers more opportunities to engage with their employees, understand their needs, and be able to make relevant changes in their personal goals and needs.
Remote workers want to be as much a part of decision-making while working from home as they are in the office. They want to be heard and have their own word with regard to decision making, where appropriate.
Employers should focus on empowering their employees to make decisions, implement ideas, and communicate with their colleagues. Remote workers with a high level of empowerment are rated with engagement at the 79th percentile. This shows that empowerment really does count, benefiting employees and employers the same.
As well as empowering employees to make decisions, it’s essential for them to share knowledge among their peers as this can create success for the company and employee development. Remote working can present difficulties with communication if the right channels and portals aren’t available. However, once this has been overcome, fostering a culture of knowledge sharing can be made easy through modern technology, regardless of where in the world each of your employees is.
It’s easy to arrange face-to-face meetings in the office to offer feedback to your employees, whether this is a weekly or monthly catchup. Remote working employees should be offered the same level of feedback in order for employers to connect with their staff and encourage communication.
According to a survey, 60% of respondents said they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis. This recognizes the importance of peer-to-peer feedback which can be implemented through a rewards or recognition program, or something else that your employees deem to be motivational.
While remote working has many benefits, it may not be something that all of your employees were prepared to sign up for. It’s therefore important to effectively engage your employees online, which can be made achievable through the use of the extensive technologies that are available.
From showing simple gestures of appreciation to enabling your employees to have access to development and training programs, employers can engage successfully with their staff to ensure they don’t feel segregated or forgotten about while working from home.
When an employee feels cared about, engaged with, and they believe they have access to the right tools to do their job, they are more inclined to work productively and even go over and above for their employer.