Letting your employees work remotely has been gaining popularity in the last few years. According to a study conducted by Tammy D. Allen, Timothy D. Golden, and Kristen M. Shockley, by 2014, “more than 3.3 million U.S workers reported their home as their primary place of work”. And there is a good reason why.
Although there are several studies on the topic, there is only one thing every researcher agrees on. And that is the importance of company culture. The effectiveness of remote workers highly depends on the company’s attitude and whether the management has the expertise and knowledge for keeping remote employees happy and motivated.
In this article we have collected the 12 major things companies should be aware of if they have remote workers.
Communicate Frequently and Provide Positive Feedback
As remote workers are not physically present in the office, there is no personal interaction between employees and managers. Fortunately, there are several other options for communicating from social medias or screen sharing to conference calls and webinars.
Use the Name of the Employee When Communicating
As Dale Carnegie wrote in his famous book How to Win Friends and Influence People, “Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.”
Try to keep this in mind whenever you are communicating with your remote workers. It will establish a more relaxed, and friendly connection that will definitely pay-off in the long run.
Make Some Small Talk
It can be really demotivating when the only time a manager speaks to a remote worker is when there is some kind of task to do. Try create a better connection, by talking about non-work-related topics once in a while.
Do Not Micromanage Too Much!
The whole point of remote work is that the employee has more freedom in the way he/she is working. There are no meetings to attend, or check-ins from the manager. If a manager starts to micromanage too much, the employee will feel their freedom is being taken away.
Recognition and Appreciation
Make the recognition highly visible so all other members of the organisation are aware of the valuable contributions remote workers are making on a daily basis. This will help build a connection between office and remote workers.
Offer Opportunities for Growth
A company’s growth is very important, but it is equally important for a person to have his/her own professional growth as well. Knowing what the employees want to achieve or what their long-term goals are, can help a lot in providing remote workers with growth opportunities.
Implement Time Tracking Software
One obstacle of remote work is the reduced supervision. When working at home, employees may be distracted by the family, the postman, or anything. If there is too much distraction, by the end of the day the employee might realise that the task has not even been completed. So help remote workers manage their tasks by implementing a time tracking software. Such software can help employees allocate their time efficiently, while also providing directions on what to do.
Create Formal Remote Working Policies
Partly related to the previous point, if there are no formally set expectations and directions given to the employee, tasks may not be completed or performed in the correct way. Also, without a formal policy, managers are not able to measure the performance of employees.
Make It Fun. Try to Attach Tangible Rewards to Objectives
By adding rewards to goals and objectives employees become more committed to their work and will try to perform their task better, without feeling like they are being overworked.
Start a Bit of Friendly Competition Among Employees
Similarly, creating some competition among teams or employees can highly influence the performance of employees. It is simply in our nature that we would like to be the first or the best at something.
Ask All the Remote Workers If They Are Happy
Because of the decreased interaction with remote workers, there may be some issues that could be addressed and would result in better performance of the employee. So if remote workers need anything to perform better, give it to them. Usually, these are small things such as additional training or new hardware.
Allow Flexible Working Hours If Possible
This only applies to situations where no client interaction is necessary for the employee. It is simply about letting employees work when they feel like they are most productive. If someone performs better at night, for example, then let the person carry out his/her tasks at night.
Hopefully after this article you can see that having remote workers in your company is not the end of the world. Actually, it can be extremely beneficial for both your company and your employee if you pay attention to the above mentioned things. Still having doubts or would like to share your experience? Feel free to comment down below.