By Beatrix Potter
Remote working has been a growing area of business for the last few years now, especially with the effects of COVID-19 shaking the world, it’s now a common way of working that every business industry and niche is starting to implement. With the rise of coworking spaces and modern collaboration technology, remote working will only become more common.
However, it’s essential to make sure that remote working is an empowering experience for your employees, and they have everything they need to have the best experience. When done right, you can also dramatically boost productivity and responsibility.
Here are the top tips you need to know on how to do just that.
Maintaining the Sense of Belonging
If your business doesn’t make your remote workers feel as though they belong and are not a part of your business, productivity and responsibility for the quality of work and your employee’s overall output are going to minimal.
When working in a modern business office, it’s easy to make your employees feel as though they are a part of your business. While remote working, it’s easy to forget about your employees and just let them get on with what they’re doing. If you do this, the effects long-term can devastate your business.
Promote a Positive Working Environment
Just like you would in your office building, you need to make sure you’re promoting a positive work environment in which people are happy to work in. Using remote working processes, you’re still going to be in touch via email, via video call, and via phone conversations.
These are your shared work environments, so make sure these are positive places. Personal and individual problems should never be aired in group chats when they don’t need to be, and you should be proactive in making sure interdepartmental relationships are positively maintained.
Communicate Often and Effectively
Just like you would with traditional workers, you need to make sure you’re often communicating. You need to be open to addressing problems quickly, and if someone needs to talk to you about something, there needs to be open lines of communication for this to happen.
What’s more, your remote workers may be working throughout the world, and maybe there are in different time zones. With this in mind, instead of having meetings every day just because you think you should, have meetings effectively when you need them, as not to waste anybody’s time.
Organize Non-Work Team-Building Days
Not everything needs to be about work all the time. In fact, as a manager or business owner, it’s important to make sure you’re organizing meetups or virtual events that aren’t related to work. Just like in a traditional office, if everything is about work all the time, people push away and want to disconnect, which seriously harms productivity and the sense of responsibility.
It’s true that team-building can be difficult when your team is remote. You’ll have to be inventive. Try having a remote dance party, quiz or scavenger hunt together – send team members to search for common household objects and whoever makes it back to their seat first wins the round.
Provide Growth Opportunities
Just because your employees are remote working and aren’t physically a part of your business, that doesn’t mean they don’t want to progress and grow through your business like a traditional employee.
Make sure you’re offering promotions and growth opportunities to your remote workers, just as much as you would physical office employees. Again, if remote workers don’t feel like an equal part of your business, they won’t be productive or responsible.
Create Remote Employee Advocates
When your employees are remote working for you, it’s a great idea to have them representing your brand in several ways that will not only help you develop a sense that they belong to your company, but also that they are an integral part of your business.
Many businesses that use remote workers, whether that’s locally or internationally, will allow their remote workers to become brand ambassadors while providing them with many benefits. For larger businesses, you can also help develop your individual’s personal brand simultaneously.
Encourage a Work/Life Balance
Your employees can’t work for you every single day. Just because they work at home, doesn’t mean they’re not working. Instead of slave-driving your remote workers into the ground, you’ll create a much more positive work environment if you encourage a healthy work/life balance.
It is easy for someone working from home to get in to unhealthy work patterns. With no coworkers around, you easily accidentally end up spending hours watching TV and before you know it, you’re forced to stay up until 3am to meet a deadline. Setting up a group chat or checking in with your employees via email at 9am and then again at 5pm or so will help the team to keep on task. You can also encourage your remote employees to clock off in this way, too.
Say ‘Thank You’
This one is a no-brainer. It’s easy to just accept work that comes in and then get on with things, but if your remote workers don’t feel appreciated for what they do, they’ll quickly feel distanced from your business. It takes no time to say thank you, and the benefits of doing so are huge.
As we mentioned earlier, it can be difficult to have fun remotely. Try implementing some remote perks – every Friday, you could have donuts delivered to each of your team members’ houses that you could all eat together on a weekly team video call. Or, You could arrange matching company mouse pads or t-shirts. Anything that helps your remote team to feel more together.
Promote a Positive Attitude
Finally, as said in most of these points, you need to make sure you’re proactive in making this remote working experience as positive as possible. Don’t just shun and let your remote workers get on with what they’re doing; make them a core part of your daily operations and treat them like an integral part of your business. Even when there are problems to deal with, approach them positively for the best results.