Remote working is likely the future of work as organizations and employees continue to prefer this way of working. Moreover, while most were forced into remote working by the pandemic, the benefits are very clear. Employers are seeing improved productivity and reduced costs while employees are enjoying the flexibility that remote work offers. However, managing remote workers comes with unique challenges as well. While the primary goal was to make remote work possible, employers now have the task of keeping their remote teams happy and productive. This means employing practical strategies to keep employees engaged in a bid to drive motivation and productivity. Here are some ways employers can achieve this.
Keep employees connected
Working in isolation can get lonely at times, which can impede employees’ productivity. That is why it is important to make employees feel like part of a team even when working alone in remote locations. You can enhance connections by implementing effective communication between you and your employees as well as among team members. Make use of communication and collaboration platforms such as Slack, Zoom, and the like to keep in touch and ensure that everyone stays on the same page. Besides formal communication about projects, goals, and more, social interactions should also be part of the parcel. Establish channels that employees can use for water cooler conversations, social hours, and sharing non-work-related issues.
Provide all essentials
Employees work at their best when they have everything they need to get their jobs done. For this reason, ensure that all remote workers are empowered with all essentials for their daily work. It is no brainer that they need a computer and a good internet connection. In addition to this, it is essential that you ensure that they have a good place that they can work from effectively. Please encourage them to create a dedicated space at home for work only. If the budget allows, offer them stipends to purchase a good chair and desk. Another important essential is information and knowledge. Ensure that they have access to operational checklists, often-referenced information, and other relevant information in a user-friendly form.
Additionally, ensure that you equip your team with essential tech tools for optimum productivity. These tools can include remote interpreting platforms for employees who speak a different language, VPNs, and file-sharing platforms for secure file sharing. Remember to also train them on using these tools and their importance.
Set clear goals and expectations
Remote workers have the freedom to create and follow their own schedules. While that allows them to work when they are most productive, a lack of a clear direction can easily sway them off track. That is why setting clear goals and expectations are very important. Ensure that the goals have specific metrics for measuring progress and structured timelines for completion and evaluation. In addition, make it clear how these goals align with your company values and vision. Most importantly, to keep employees engaged and committed to their work, let them know their individual contribution towards achieving company goals and vision.
Build meaningful relationships
Employees thrive where they feel valued. In addition to enhancing connections between team members, it is essential that they feel that you care about them as their employer. Make it a point to connect with them personally every now and then. Talk with them about their families and personal goals. Celebrate their milestones with them. Have conversations around their workload and help them to structure their schedules better to avoid burnout. In addition, have conversations about mental and emotional health.
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Most employees prefer working remotely for flexibility. By having the freedom to start and end their day when they want, they are able to achieve a positive work-life balance. As an employer, you should ensure that your remote workers actually find the flexibility that they are looking for. Other than the times when you need them for meetings, don’t invade the rest of their time. You should trust that they will deliver on their tasks regardless of the time they choose to work. This is a great way to drive employee engagement and enhance satisfaction.
Another element to consider is to find ways to integrate coworking spaces into your working habits. Coworking spaces offer an environment comfortable for employees to get productive and create a new network. The other good thing about coworking spaces is their spread in many cities nowadays.
With clear success, both employers and employees are signing up for continued remote working. Employers then have to come up with strategies to enhance productivity and job satisfaction if they are to be successful. While there is no one-size-fits-all strategy, the above tips can get you thinking. Find and implement the ones that work best for your remote team.
Written by Josh Levinne.