Research shows remote workers tend to be more satisfied and engaged than on-site workers, but that doesn’t mean you can take a “set it and forget it” approach to managing these employees.
Remote employees can easily start to feel cut off from the daily rhythm of a company and removed from team goals. Telecommuting can be isolating for workers, and not addressing that isolation can be costly for a company.
Trying to keep remote workers on-task and engaged is an issue worth addressing and doing so as soon as possible. The quantity of people working remotely is significant, around 43 percent of Americans, and growing. With such a large proportion of off-site employees, company leaders must keep them engaged and effective.
Consider the following tips.
Establish clear expectations
Worker productiveness stems mostly from a clear knowledge of what’s expected. Remote employees are one step removed from a corporate culture, so it’s even more integral to offer plainly written tasks and goals, as well as hold one-on-one meetings regularly. These actions help remote workers know they’re a vital part of the team and helps ensure they stay informed and accountable as jobs and goals change.
Giving your team efficient collaboration tools can also help develop a culture of responsibility by offering a cross-team view of how employees are performing against goals. This encourages remote workers to remain motivated and supplies a clear picture of their part in overall team success.
The flexibility a worker has due to working remotely can also result in inefficient communication. Setting up clearly articulated, regular deadlines that remote staff members can work towards helps to offset the problems associated with irregular communication. Many work-management platforms allow you to create automated update requests, so remote employees can check in. This allows them to deliver updates to project sheets without resorting to productivity-killing email threads.
When people working together are all in the same office, it’s easy to communicate verbally and non-verbally to stay on task. Teams that include remote workers don’t have the benefit of proximity, so it’s up to you to bring collaborators close together in a virtual sense.
There are a number of collaboration platforms out there and many of the popular ones can be quite effective. When deciding on a system for collaboration, it’s important not to give remote workers too many channels and tools. Switching between emails, Dropbox, Trello, Slack, Google spreadsheets and other tools can be frustrating and productivity-sapping.
Too frequently, remote employees are left in the dark because they’re not getting updates. A collaboration platform that includes significant transparency can help remote workers see progress and pass along relevant information to team members. Automating routine tasks and updates helps teams to move forward while having easy access to information.
At Thompson Technologies, we help our clients reach their goals by providing them with custom talent acquisition solutions. Please contact us today to find out how we can help your organization.