Telecommuting is a real trend in the workforce nowadays. It is popular with remote workers and employers for a multitude of reasons. If handled properly, telecommuting can be a highly flexible option for workers and highly affordable solution for employers.
However, when you opt for a decentralized workforce, the approach for managing your team will have to be different. Keeping remote workers happy, organized, and motivated is a challenge that you must learn how to overcome. A good remote work program saves costs, but also finds ways to engage the workers, reward them for their hard work, and keep them on board.
The benefits are a great incentive to team managers and companies. According to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, an average business saves around $11,000 yearly per employee when using the remote system. Not to mention, remote work gives companies access to a much bigger pool of talent.
Thanks to remote collaboration technology, it is now more than possible to complete the company’s tasks and reach the goals while allowing employees to work from home. Even so, the lure of flexible hours and working environment can ware off for most workers after a while. That is, unless you know how to keep them engaged. Here are some ideas.
1. Create an Effective Platform for Communication
Not working in the same office or physical establishment can seriously harm the communication. When it comes to managing remote workers, communication is key. These people might not work at the same location as you, but they are a part of the organization and need to remain in the loop at all times. Of course, they also need to have a way to reach out to their employers when they need guidance, assistance, or have questions.
With that in mind, you need to ensure that remote workers have an effective, easy-to-use platform for communication with the company, as well as other members of the team.
2. Promote the Use of Coworking Spaces
People who work from home often experience social distancing and become lonely. This causes them to lose motivation and become less productive. Because of it, remote workers and freelancers from all across the world go to coworking spaces to do their job. Communal workspaces can be found in almost every city nowadays.
In such spaces, remote workers can do their job while being surrounded by others. They get a chance to connect and collaborate with other people in their field, feel a sense of belonging, and stop being crammed in their home offices.
Since this has proven to be an excellent method, many organizations have chosen to open a satellite office for their remote workers. If you don’t have the funds to afford this or don’t have many remote workers in a single location, you can still rent a few desks in coworking spaces as an incentive to your employees.
3. Clarify the Goals
A remote team might be far from the company’s headquarters and offices, but they shouldn’t be kept in the dark about the happenings within. If you want to keep them engaged, you need to communicate with them continuously. Tell them what your goals for them are, but also share the goals of the company. Remote workers are just like other employees. They need clear direction in terms of their work and the company’s goals.
Since you won’t get the chance to speak to remote workers face-to-face as often as you would at the office, make sure to create reports about the progress and goals of the company to keep them in the loop. If you aren’t great at writing such reports, hire an Australian assignment help to help you craft the memos and messages. Give your remote employees access to project updates, vision statements, performance records of the company, etc. When a worker understands how he or she contributes to a company’s success, they will be more engaged and motivated to work.
4. Recognize Their Efforts and Show Appreciation
Remote workers are often taken away the opportunity to get praises from their employers. Even though the team is not in-office, this doesn’t mean that their work should not be recognized properly. This goes beyond just saying ‘good job’ or sending them a positive report on their work.
To make your remote employees happy, you need to create visible recognition that will keep them motivated and help them feel accomplished. Make sure to praise their hard work to other members of the organization, call out their big wins, and reward them for their hard work.
This can do wonders for the company as a whole. When you praise an employee for a job well done, this can empower the rest to follow in his footsteps.
Recognizing the work of remote workers does not always have to come in monetary form. Yes, you should definitely hand out bonuses where deserved, but there are many other ways to reward good work, even when you aren’t able to hand out promotions or money incentives. Send an individualized gift that shows appreciation such as vouchers and treatments, an item for their home office, or a day off. If you want to take this one step further, you can give them the week off, send them on a vacation, or throw a party in their name.
5. Make Them Welcome at the Office
At some point, you need to gather your remote workers at the company’s office. Depending on their location and availability, you should aim to do this often. It promotes creativity, helps build a connection amongst them and yourself, and will make them feel like part of the team. If you cannot gather them often, at least schedule face-to-face meetings every once in a while. And when you do invite them to come to the office, make sure to cover their travel expenses.
When your remote workers come to the office, make them feel like VIP. Welcome them with some treats and make sure that they feel your appreciation and are glad to be part of your team.
6. Spiff Up Their Home Offices
If your remote workers don’t like the idea of working in coworking spaces or don’t have the option to go in one, you might want to aim your budget toward spiffing up their home office or the place they use to work. Send a good standing desk for their office, buy them the comfiest chair you can find, or invest in inspirational quotes that they can hang in their office to keep them motivated.
7. Tailor the Benefits for the Remote Employees
Have special benefits for your remote employees. After all, the employees at your company already enjoy many perks that you cannot offer to remote workers. If you have a gym or entertainment centre in your company, give your remote workers a full-paid membership at a gym where they’ll refuel for the next work session. Create good healthcare plans for them, pay for communal workspaces if they want, send them home office equipment stipends, pay for their Internet plan, etc.
8. Help Them Manage Their Time
One of the biggest obstacles of remote workers lies in time management. Working remotely means a lot of flexibility, which is why many people jump at the opportunity to work from their homes. However, it can be hard to get adjusted to working at your own responsibility, managing your own time, and scheduling the focused work into your days.
To keep your employees stress-free and avoid delays and problems, do your best to help remote workers to manage their time. Point out to some tips and guides, provide them with useful time management tips, etc.
9. Get to Know Them
Many employers never meet their remote workers. This is a result of distance, different time zones, and many other reasons that might prevent you from actually getting face-to-face with the people that help you achieve your business’ goals.
To keep these people engaged, you should do your best to create a professional relationship with them. This includes communication. If possible, arrange meetings with your remote workers as often as possible. If not, make sure that you take the time to meet with them online one-on-one, find out what their needs are, and learn more about their personality and approach to the work.
There are plenty of ways that you can use to engage and motivate your remote workers. The best strategies are based on their needs and your abilities. But the bottom line is, you have a great part at how engaged the remote workers are, and must work hard to keep them happy and on