Remote work has only grown more popular with time, to the point where it is now common for employers to offer it in some capacity. While the pandemic may have expedited this shift, it is clear that remote work has become a new normal in some industries. Today, we thought we would address one of the hot-button issues about remote work: keeping your staff engaged and productive.
Engagement is More Than Production
First, you need to understand that remote employees often do better work much faster while they are in the comfort of their own homes. It’s simply a fact that people take less time to do the same tasks they would do in the office while working remotely, and since they don’t need to consider other variables that they normally would when leaving the house, they can get right to work.
It’s also important, however, to acknowledge that there might be more distractions in the home environment compared to the workplace. While it might seem they are a little less productive, we recommend sticking to the key performance indicators as a clear metric for how productive they truly are.
To shed some more light on this sticky situation, here are three factors that you can use to ensure that your employees are engaged with their work, and therefore, productive throughout the workday.
You Still Need Culture
Your company culture is much more than the incentives you offer; it’s also how you treat your employees. A remote team might feel like they are pushed aside or lurking along the sidelines rather than being a part of the team, so you need to do what you can to engage them and work toward that sense of belonging. Shared goals and interests can connect people and encourage them to work better together.
One way you can engage your remote team is to use your collaboration tool for a little bit of fun, like adding a “just for fun” channel where the team can communicate, share stories, memes, jokes, and so on. You could also set up an optional meetup for your team to just hang out in a virtual space to talk about whatever happens to be on their minds. Basically, the idea is to normalize the idea of working from home so that they don’t feel so disconnected from what’s going on in the office.
Get the Right Tools
All that said, none of this is possible without the right kind of collaboration software. There are plenty of solutions on the market that utilize different technologies to promote an inclusive work environment. From collaboration software to video conferencing, or even just a simple instant messaging platform, you might be surprised to see just how much of a difference it can make.
Provide Emotional Feedback and Support
Believe it or not, working from home can add quite a lot of stress and pressure to workers. Some simply handle it better than others. Keeping your communications organized and efficient can be a major way to take some of the stress out of their day-to-day responsibilities. You want your employees to know that they are people, not just a square in a Zoom meeting or a number on the other end of a VoIP channel. Maintaining regular communication and offering timely, constructive feedback is incredibly helpful to ensure that your employees stay engaged, productive, and happy.
It’s not always easy to manage a group of remote employees, but with the right tools and practices, you can take a lot of the challenge out of it. To learn more about how you can do so, reach out to us at 810.230.9455.