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Improving Employee Engagement for Remote Workers

Posted by Insightlink on 09/04/19

Remote work is not more widespread than ever before thanks to technological advancements and the development of new collaboration tools. As a result, it is now possible to be much more productive when working remotely. According to a recent poll, the number of workers who telecommute up to 5 days a week has been steadily increasing, as has the number of Americans that work remotely which now stands at 43%

Improved workplace flexibility and accessibility

Many workplaces now understand that being flexible with working hours as well as providing the opportunity for their employees to work remotely, increases employee retention and improves workplace accessibility. This increase in remote work however can pose challenges when it comes to keeping employees engaged, as such, this article will look at the different ways in which employee engagement can be improved for remote workers.

Keeping employees plugged in to company culture

Companies are defined to a large extent by the culture that they create, and if employees feel like they are isolated from that culture, as can be the case with remote workers, this can certainly have an impact on employee engagement and productivity. There are a number of different collaborative tools that can be used to open communication channels between staff members near and far, but it is important to ensure that you have adequate cybersecurity software and measures in place, as working remotely can expose employees to a number of different cybersecurity vulnerabilities.

Setting digital workplace expectations

In order to ensure efficient and regular communication between team members, particularly when working on a deadline-driven project which can sometimes become an obstacle to staying in contact, you will need to set digital workplace expectations. This means creating certain guidelines as well as schedules around each employee’s availability. 
Most collaboration tools will allow you to create customised profiles and statuses in order to keep other employees informed of your location which can help to further advise colleagues as to each-other’s availability. Communication channels should be utilised to share as much information as possible to keep people in the loop such as meeting notes, videos and other communal documents.

Regular inter-employee check ins

According to studies, 46% of remote workers believe that the best managers are those that check in on a frequent basis. Regular check ins and daily greetings are a good way to ensure that remote employees feel supported and acknowledged. Celebrating successes is an important aspect of job satisfaction, employee engagement and keeping workers motivated, so any opportunities for both work-based specific feedback and recognition, or acknowledging milestones such as Birthdays and work anniversaries should be seized.
In addition, conference calls shouldn’t be reserved only for formal meetings, a quick video conversation every now and then on a non work related topic between different team members is a good way to cultivate a sense of community in a digital workplace.

Make time for extracurricular activities

Taking advantage of the many possibilities that the internet provides for social connection by setting up extracurricular activities is a great opportunity to increase social engagement and team bonding, both inside and outside of the working week. 
Some examples include a fantasy football league, online gaming tournaments, a book club, or even just an internal social network or employee WhatsApp group. This provides a great opportunity for employees to connect, share experiences and have fun. Arranging in person team building activities when possible is equally as valuable, promoting teamwork and collaboration and building a sense of community.
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