Top tips for engaging work from home employees
Remote working isn’t just a dream for companies craving better work/life balance anymore.
The age of hybrid work has finally arrived, driven by the restrictions and requirements of 2020. Following a year of social distancing and isolation, many companies have discovered the benefits of remote employees for themselves. Going forward, companies will largely be splitting work opportunities between in-office and remote workers.
Though the last year has offered companies some opportunities to practice their new workstyles, there’s still a lot of growth and discovery to be done.
If you’re concerned about keeping teams aligned and employees productive in the work-from-home landscape, the following tips will help.
Invest in the Right Tools
The right tools are the foundations of successful hybrid and remote-working strategies. As we progress towards a long-term strategy for the work-from-home team, it’s time for companies to re-assess their tech investments from the last year.
Do you want to continue using the meeting and collaboration tools you originally embraced in 2020? Is it time to upgrade to something with a better level of security, more integrations, or even a wider range of features? Taking the time to properly assess the tech your remote workers need from both a software and hardware perspective will ensure you can empower your team.
Remember to look into:
A full evaluation of your business should help you to determine which tools are most crucial for you.
Commit to Communication
In 2020, when the pandemic tore employees apart, we discovered first-hand just how important communication is. When you’re working with remote employees long-term, you need a strategy to ensure they stay in-the-loop. Your remote staff shouldn’t feel like second-hand citizens just because they don’t share the same office space.
Commit to communication by:
Remember, communication shouldn’t just be focused on work, either. If you want your team members to be engaged, you need to encourage relationship building through informal “water cooler” chats too. Give your teams a place to simply chat casually with each other.
Be Video First
89% of people say that video helps them to complete tasks more efficiently.
During the pandemic, many of us discovered the value of video first-hand. It’s important for companies moving into the future of work to keep a strong focus on their video-first culture.
Encourage all of your employees to turn their camera on when they’re in a meeting and ensure that everyone has the hardware to get involved. If your remote staff don’t have a webcam, send them one. Face to face interactions will help everyone to feel more like a real part of the team.
More than half of communication between humans is non-verbal, so managers need a strategy that keeps employees connected through more than just voice. Even if your team only commits to one video meeting session a month then gradually works up, every interaction will help.
Build and Establish Trust
Despite a rapid shift to work from home strategies in the last couple of years, many business leaders still struggle to trust their remote workers. This is evident in the number of time-tracking tools and other monitoring systems used to keep an eye on worker productivity.
While being able to ensure your employees are getting work done is important, too much micro-managing from a distance can have a negative impact on employee sentiment. If you make your staff feel like you’re always watching them, they’ll be too nervous to innovate and use their initiative.
Establishing trust is crucial to keeping your staff members engaged. Use things like project management tools and calendars to ensure that your staff working according to any deadlines that are essential to your business. Outside of that, try to focus on the results that your employees deliver, rather than how many hours they’re clocking.
Prioritise Recognition and Feedback
Just because your employees aren’t present in the office, doesn’t mean you should forget about them. These staff members are giving their all every day to ensure that your business achieves crucial results. With that in mind, make sure that you’re giving them the recognition they deserve.
A recognition and awards strategy that can include both your in-office and remote employees will be extremely beneficial. For instance, you could use a karma bot on your Microsoft Teams platform that allows team members to give each other kudos for their work.
Giving and receiving regular feedback will be essential too. If your employees aren’t delivering the results you expect, speak with them and ask what the problem is. You might find that you’re not providing the tools your staff need to be their best.
Taking feedback from your employees outside of one-on-one meetings will also help you to optimize and enhance your work-from-home strategy as you go. Make sure your staff feel comfortable sharing their insights with you.
Keep Your Staff Engaged
Keeping employees engaged is a must for any business, no matter where your staff might be. If you’re working with WFH employees in the new age of work, make sure you’re keeping them committed to, and engaged by your business.