Today, nearly 4.7 million Americans work remotely. That’s a 159% increase between 2005 and now–and the trend doesn’t show any signs of changing. While the prospect of working from home is appealing to many employees, the fact remains that keeping workers engaged and involved with the company while they’re telecommuting isn’t always easy.
Fortunately, there are a few tips employers can keep in mind to help remote workers feel valued and invested.
1. Collaboration is Key
First of all, understand that even remote workers need to feel like they’re part of a team in order to truly feel involved and engaged with their work. Therefore, it’s your job as a business owner to research and implement collaboration tools that your remote workers can use to share ideas, update each other on a project’s progress, and communicate in real-time. Some options to consider in this regard include:
- video chat software
- project management software
- real-time meeting programs
2. Don’t Overlook Personal Interaction
One of the most commonly overlooked aspects of being part of a physical workplace is that of personal interaction between co-workers and supervisors. These seemingly small interactions, such as a chat about the weather in the elevator or a water-cooler discussion, are more important than you might think.
Try to mimic these interactions with your remote workers to the extent possible. This may mean sending a simple e-mail to an employee asking how his family is doing or even remembering to send a card or small gift on a remote worker’s birthday. These little gestures make a big difference when it comes to a remote employee’s perceived relationship with a company.
3. Remember to Provide Feedback
Finally, your remote employees need as much feedback and encouragement as they can get on their projects. This way, they know that their work isn’t being overlooked and that their efforts are appreciated. Consider taking the time to provide detailed feedback on an employee’s work once a project is completed, or ask for “progress reports” from your remote workers as you go along. This way, your employees know that their work is being looked at but not necessarily scrutinized.
Making sure your remote workers feel engaged and invested in your company will take some effort, but that effort and time will be well worth it when you’re able to keep your most valued employees working for you for many years to come.
Learn how easy it is to keep your employees engaged regardless of location with Lessonly.