Everyone knows that remote work has benefits for both employees and employers. Employers can find talented people from all over the world, and employees can enjoy the freedom of working from wherever they prefer. It’s not surprising that people who work remotely are often happier than those who work in an office. A recent study by PwC found that only 8% of remote workers wanted to work exclusively from their employer’s office. What’s more, an impressive 83% of employers and 71% of employees think that the shift to remote work has been successful. However, employee engagement in a remote work environment is vital.
But there are challenges with remote work and one of them is keeping remote employees engaged. It’s really important to make sure your employees stay committed and connected to your company, even though they’re physically far away from the main office.
Remote employees often don’t get to take part in social events that happen in a regular office, like birthday parties, casual chats, and team lunches. Without these chances to interact, remote employees can feel like they don’t belong or like something is missing. To help increase employee engagement in a remote work environment try using these strategies right from the start.
10 Strategies To Engage Remote Employees
- Foster Connectivity Through Technology
Make sure your remote employees stay connected by using good communication methods and the right technology tools. For example, you can use platforms like Zoom, Asana, GoToMeeting, and Slack to make communication and project management easier, so your team can work together smoothly. Encourage everyone to use cloud-based file sharing to make work more efficient and give everyone on the team easy access to files.
In addition, make use of video calls. While email and chats are helpful, seeing each other’s faces through video calls can make it feel like you’re really present in the virtual office. Schedule regular team meetings and use video calls with screen sharing. This helps create a stronger sense of teamwork and inclusion for remote workers. It can also help people who work in the office see remote workers in a more positive way.
- Encourage Social Interaction
Even though remote work has many benefits, the main problem that employees often face is feeling lonely. To tackle this, actively encourage connections among your remote team by organizing social activities, video chats, and virtual team-building exercises. Assign mentors to new employees so they have someone reliable to turn to for help and support in their first year. Whenever possible, plan in-person team or company retreats and outings to help strengthen these connections even more.
- Demonstrate Your Employee Care
Build strong relationships with your remote team and support their work-life balance. Respect their time by setting clear boundaries for schedules, tasks, and performance goals. Have conversations with them about:
- Their Family And Personal Hobbies
Show that you care about their personal lives and ask about their families and hobbies. This shows that you appreciate them as individuals, not just for their work.
- Stress Mental And Emotional Health
Make a supportive atmosphere where employees feel okay talking about stress, mental health, and emotions. Encourage open communication and offer resources to help if needed.
- Workload And Burnout Prevention
Make a friendly atmosphere where employees feel okay talking about stress, mental health, and emotions. Encourage open communication and offer help if needed. By having these conversations, you show that you really care about your remote employees and want them to be happy and successful.
- Encourage Feedback And Active Listening
Encourage open communication by asking your employees for feedback and showing that you value their opinions. Make sure to keep them informed about the actions taken or the reasons if their suggestions can’t be implemented. This helps them feel listened to and valued, which leads to greater happiness and employee engagement.
Also, don’t be afraid to give helpful feedback to help employees improve. By giving guidance and support, you help them develop and succeed in their personal and professional growth.
- Acknowledge And Appreciate Employee Contributions
Remote employees often work longer hours than those in the office, but they may not always feel fully part of the team. One solution is to make employee recognition a priority. Use an online platform where every employee can see, comment on, and give recognition in real time. Our research shows that recognizing employees is important for keeping them engaged.
When employees receive regular recognition from both their colleagues and managers, it helps them feel connected, appreciated, and valued. By actively acknowledging their efforts, you create a positive workplace that boosts employee engagement and overall satisfaction.
- Ensure Remote Workers Are Informed
It’s important to regularly and clearly communicate with your remote workers to keep them informed about projects, goals, team updates, and company news. Since informal conversations in physical office spaces may leave out remote employees, it’s essential to bridge this gap and make sure they don’t feel disconnected.
Set up a user-friendly system for setting and tracking goals that give remote employees access to company goals, progress updates, and new projects. Have regular check-ins with remote employees, both one-on-one and in team meetings, to give everyone a chance to connect and stay updated on what’s happening in the company. By including remote workers in the conversation, they will feel more empowered in their work, fostering a sense of connection and employee engagement. This will keep them well-informed and aligned with the organization’s broader objectives.
- Provide Assistance To New Hires
Based on our research, 76% of employees who recently joined the company felt less prepared for their roles, while 85% of more experienced colleagues felt prepared. This shows that there is a need for better support for new hires, especially in remote work situations. Managers should provide extra training, clear communication, and enough resources to help new remote employees during their onboarding. This includes making sure employees have access to:
- Essential Information
Give new employees the important information they need, like usernames and passwords, and make sure they can easily get to the documents they need to do their job.
- Clear Training
Provide thorough training on procedures and technology to assist new employees in comprehending their duties and completing their tasks effectively. This has a very significant effect on employee engagement.
- Tools, Equipment, And Resources
Provide complete training on how things work and the tools we use to help new employees understand what they need to do and do it well. By giving support and things they need, managers can make it easier for new hires to adjust and do well in their new role as part of the remote team.
- Equip Employees For The Success
Making sure that employees feel confident and empowered to do their best work, no matter where they are, is really important for keeping them engaged and performing well. It’s important to give your remote team the right tools and training they need to succeed, whether they’re new or experienced. And remember resources and support go beyond just computers and phones. Also, think about whether your employees have a good place to work at home and opportunities to grow and learn.
Don’t be afraid to try new ideas. For example, you can give money to employees to use co-working spaces if they don’t have a home office, or pay for them to go to conferences and training courses to improve their skills.
- Embrace Flexibility
Being able to work remotely offers a lot of freedom. While there may be some times when the team needs to meet and work together, it’s important to give your employees the freedom to choose when and how they work the rest of the time. Trust your employees to get their work done. Building trust between managers and employees is really important for keeping everyone happy and engaged. And being flexible lets employees create a work schedule that works best for them, which leads to a better balance between work and personal life.
- Provide A Blend Of Remote And In-House Options
Giving employees the choice to work from home or come into the office can make them more engaged. Studies show that the biggest increase in employee engagement happens when employees work remotely for 3-4 days out of the usual five-day workweek. Coming to the office allows employees to feel connected to their coworkers and makes it easier to collaborate and bond as a team in person.
But most of the time, working from home helps employees concentrate, be productive, feel less stressed, and be happier overall. It’s clear that remote work will keep growing in the future, so it’s important to manage and engage remote employees well. Luckily, there are many ways to do this. Use these tips to make the most of having a remote team and keep them happy, healthy, and productive all year round.