In the United States, almost 50 percent of the workforce works remotely. And that number will likely rise in the next few years.
Why? Because working from home often results in higher productivity levels, employee happiness, and saves companies money on operational expenses.
But there is a challenge for businesses: finding ways to keep your remote workforce engaged, productive and part of the company culture.
Here are a few simple tips to help you improve employee engagement with any remote worker, whether they’re full-time staff or a contract employee.
Host Get-Togethers and Retreats
The easiest way to help your distributed workforce feel like a part of the team is to get together as a company at least once a year.
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Host an event where remote workers can network with people they only know virtually. You can even make it educational by having industry experts give talks or make it fun by turning the event into a party.
If most of your remote team is local, consider making a monthly get-together a priority. This helps the entire team connect and get to know one another better. And the better your team knows each other, the better they can work together and rely on each other.
Make Use of Chat Applications
In the office, your team has a chance to chat and talk both about work and their personal lives. Open that dialogue to remote staff by using online chat platforms.
This allows your distributed team to communicate in real time with each other and your in-house staff. And it’s often easier and more reliable than communicating through email.
Have a question that you need an immediate answer to? Ask it through chat and you won’t have to wait for your employees to check their email and formulate a response.
Stay on the Same Page
Use an employee engagement platform to keep up to date on your remote employees’ progress with projects and tasks. These tools let you see what’s taken care of, make notes, and communicate updates all in the same place.
When combined with chat programs and email, your remote team will be just as in-the-loop as your in-office workers.
These tools give you a way to streamline additional communications and workflow management tasks all from the same place. Employees on different teams or in different departments can make updates to help everyone stay on the same page in real time.
Think of it as a way to foster teamwork across the entire company.
Everyone likes to feel appreciated by their employers. And it’s easy to express your appreciation for employees’ work when you see them every day.
But with your remote team, it takes a bit more effort. Don’t be afraid to talk up their accomplishments in company-wide chats, meetings, or emails. It shows that you’ve noticed their efforts and can go a long way towards improving morale.
And better morale often means improved worker productivity both in-house and remotely.
A Remote Worker is Still Part of Your Team
Every remote worker you employ is an integral part of your team. As long as you show them that you appreciate their efforts and take the time to cultivate relationships, your distributed team will stay engaged and productive.
Use these tips to start fostering better morale and check out our latest posts for more expert hints and advice.