Does your company employ a remote workforce? Would you like your team to work partially or entirely remotely? If you've ever thought about allowing your team to work from home, you're not alone. There are plenty of benefits to having a distributed team. But many company leaders are concerned that engaging remote employees will be a chore.
In this article, we'll show you how you can easily engage your remote team to ensure they feel just as involved as their in-bound counterparts.
The Rise of Remote Employees
The number of global remote employees is rising. Experts expect this trend to continue to rise for the foreseeable future. After looking at the stats, we're not surprised. Did you know that:
- Remote employees are more productive: Contrary to popular belief, remote employees get more done. A Stanford study found that remote employee performance was 13% better than that of office workers.
- Remote employees are happier: According to a study conducted by Owl Labs, remote employees are happier than their office-bound counterparts due to improved productivity and focus. Happy workers tend to be far more engaged in their work!
- Remote employees cost less: Unsurprisingly, remote employees cost companies less money in rent and utility costs. Global Workplace Analytics found that an organization could save $11,000 per year for every half-time remote worker it employs.
Those are three very solid reasons to jump on the remote employee train! But working with a distributed workforce isn't without its drawbacks. Namely, team engagement. How can your company keep its staff engaged when they aren't physically present in the office? In the next section, we'll give you four tips for engaging remote employees.
Engaging Remote Employees: 4 Tips to Get You Started
Ready to embrace the remote work revolution? Follow these four tips and engaging remote employees will be a breeze!
1. Communicate Effectively
Clear, effective communication is critical for every business. But when working with remote employees, it becomes even more important because managers aren't in the room with their teams. This could easily lead to misunderstandings, which in turn can lead to employee disengagement.
Ensure that each of your remote team members knows exactly what's expected of them. It's also a good idea to make them aware of core values and company goals so that they can feel more involved.
To keep the lines of communication open, we recommend using a tool like Slack. It will allow you to communicate effectively and frequently with your offsite staff, keeping them engaged.
Another great communication tool is video conferencing software. As G2 suggests, video conferencing solutions eliminate the need for in-person attendance in daily meetings and ensure open and consistent communication between teams. These features make it the perfect feature for any company with remote employees because it allows them face-to-face time with the rest of your team. It allows your remote workers to feel as though they're still part of the conversation, even when they're not in the office.
2. Don't Micromanage
Don't take our communication tip too far, though, by attempting to micromanage your remote team. One of the reasons remote workers are generally more productive and happier than their office teammates is because they have more freedom - freedom to work when they want, where they want, and how they want.
Don't try to take this away from them! If one of your staff works best at 2 AM, let them work at 2 AM. If another employee likes to work at the Starbucks down the street from their home, what's the harm? As long as each of them completes their tasks well and on time, don't stress.
3. Organize Annual Meetups
As you'll be saving on significant costs by hiring remote workers, budget a portion of your department's funds for an annual team trip. This will allow you to have face-to-face time with your offsite staff and help build trust and rapport.
While modern technology makes it easy to talk with and even see people from all corners of the globe in real time, nothing beats face to face interaction. When your remote employees have had a chance to meet and have fun with their colleagues, they'll feel much more invested and engaged in their work.
4. Recognize Remote Team Members
Finally, we recommend that you establish an employee recognition system for your entire team — both in-office and remote workers. Think about it this way: would you be excited to work for a company that didn't appreciate your efforts? Probably not!
This strategy is especially important when employing out-of-office talent. By including your remote employees in your recognition efforts, you'll ensure that each of them remains engaged and feels valued for their hard work, even when they aren't physically present at the office.
A platform like Kudos allows you to easily recognize your team members and prevent them from becoming disengaged. You'll be able to enjoy the extra productivity they'll bring to the table because of it.
Wrapping Up: Start Engaging Your Remote Employees Today
Engaging remote employees doesn't have to be hard. Consider starting with our tips outlined above and you'll be well on your way to keeping your offsite staff productive, happy and engaged. We wish you the best of luck as you start (or continue) to manage your remote team!