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Remote working is increasingly popular with employees and employers who recognize the potential productivity, efficiency and satisfaction benefits. The COVID-19 pandemic has seen more workers than ever working remotely, creating greater awareness and ongoing positive support for the practice.
A focus on employee engagement for remote employees helps avoid remote workers becoming alienated from their colleagues and collective goals and supports their wellbeing.
Here are six best practice employee engagement ideas for remote workers.
Keep everyone connected and informed with all the information they need to make sure they feel included in the organization and culture. Remote employees can feel left out, when they can’t turn to a colleague to chat about what’s happening.
Short, frequent catch-ups can help to replace the opportunities that on-site employees have to ask questions or seek support face-to-face. Make a point of planning and sticking to contact times to engage remote employees, even if there’s not much to say sometimes.
Keep remote employees connected to colleagues and teams and foster engaged working relationships through a social platform like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Channels and threads can cover non-work topics, hobbies and interests, helping to replace the water-cooler chats and social interactions of a traditional workplace. You could organize a virtual team lunch or coffee break for group online socializing.
To improve employee engagement with remote workers, try video instead of voice calling to increase connection in meetings. Look for training and courses that help boost productivity for remote workers. Share tips you find and encourage team members to do the same. You could reward remote workers for suggesting ideas and sharing their own examples of ways to work well remotely.
Give your remote employees the freedom to work at times that suit them. By letting workers select the working times when they’re most alert, engaged and focused, they’ll be at their most productive. If necessary, you can agree core hours for them to be available, depending on the needs of your business, and leave the rest to them.
Remote employees may experience feelings of isolation and stress which it’s not as easy to pick up on when they’re physically removed from colleagues and managers. Make sure mental health and wellbeing topics that are discussed regularly, provide easy access to work related schemes and useful resources. For example, encourage your remote workers to take breaks for lunch away from the screen.
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