Remote work has become the norm in today’s workforce. Whether you’re a small business owner or part of a larger organization, chances are you have employees who work remotely at least part of the time. But how do you ensure these employees feel connected to your organization and its team members? It’s not easy. Remote workers often feel like they’re on the outside looking in, and they may not know what’s going on with their coworkers. In the absence of an office environment and the interpersonal interactions that go along with it, how can you engage your employees and keep them engaged?
Recognizing Remote Employees
They already feel like the red-headed stepchildren when they don’t work at the corporate headquarters, but there are ways to continue to include them in formal recognition programs and celebrations. Make sure to do it… Recognizing remote employees is important. It’s a way to show them that you appreciate their hard work and dedication, and it can also help build your organization’s culture by fostering a sense of camaraderie and teamwork. The best way to recognize remote employees is by giving them recognition in front of their peers. This can be done in a variety of ways—from sending them an email or giving them a shout-out on social media to hosting an awards ceremony or creating a trophy case that displays photos of all your remote employees’ accomplishments.
Keep them involved
It’s easy for remote workers to feel disconnected from their colleagues when they aren’t able to see or interact with them on a daily basis—and this can lead to disengagement, which will ultimately hurt productivity and overall team performance. Make sure that your remote employees know what’s going on at the office by sending out regular updates about new initiatives or projects that are rolling out soon. Also, send out reminders about upcoming meetings, so they can prep themselves accordingly.
Create opportunities for collaboration
When you’re in an office setting, there are lots of formal opportunities for collaboration: meetings, brainstorming sessions, group projects… But when you’re working remotely? Not so much! So if there isn’t already an established process for collaborating together on projects (like sending links back and forth over email), you should come up with one. Maybe it’s just a weekly meeting where everyone can share what they’ve been working on, or maybe it’s something more formal, like a group Zoom call every morning at 9 am. Whatever you decide, make sure your remote team is always engaging with each other and building their relationships so that they feel connected to one another even when they aren’t physically in the same room.
Remote work is an opportunity for organizations to take advantage of what makes them unique—the ability to hire people from anywhere in the world and make them feel like part of the team, even if they’re not sitting at their desks next door. But remote work can also be an obstacle for employees who don’t feel connected with their coworkers or managers at all times of day or night. It’s up to you as a manager or leader to make sure your remote workers feel like part of the team while still getting their work done as efficiently as possible.