A key discovery during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic was that remote work was not only feasible but often preferable. It works out well both for employers and employees in many circumstances, and it seems very likely that it will continue to play an important role in the development of our economy for years to come. It was a trend that began before the pandemic took hold, but it has accelerated due to that unforeseen emergency.
While there are many things to love about remote work, there are some drawbacks as well. One thing that many employees report is a sense of disconnection from the rest of their co-workers and team. Being physically apart from them can cause some strain that might not have otherwise existed. This is why all employers should make it a top priority to work on motivating remote employees in any way they can. We have some actionable recommendations for how to make this work.
Focus on Their Health and Wellness
Ultimately, the single most important thing that an employer can do for their employees is look out for their health and wellness. This extends to their mental health as well as their physical health. When you strive to take care of all of this for them, you do so not only for the sake of being a morally good employer but also because you want to get the most productivity possible out of the people you employ. The Harvard Business Review has offered some of the following suggestions about how to help employees with these concerns:
- Allow More Flexibility About When Work Gets Done – Certain types of work must be done on a hard deadline, but not everything falls into this category. It is nice to allow your employees to set their own schedules and determine for themselves when they will get the work done (within reason). Some people work better under different time constraints, and you want to have allowances for that. It can reduce stress levels and help employees avoid the downsides of taking on more than they can handle.
- Stay Well-Staffed – Many companies get short-sighted when it comes to staffing levels. They think that if they run the business with minimal staffing, they will optimize the amount of money they are bringing in. However, low staffing levels mean that those who do work there are saddled with far too much work on an individual level. That can cause unnecessary strain on those employees and lead to health issues. Make sure you keep your operation properly staffed.
- Train Managers to Meet Employees’ Needs – It is incredibly important to have understanding and empathetic managers running the show. You want those people to listen to what employees need and respond to that appropriately.
These are a few of the ways that any organization can work on engaging remote employees effectively to improve their health outcomes.
Keep Lines of Communication Open
It is easy to fall into the trap of thinking that the things you have to say are all that matters when it comes to communicating effectively with your team. After all, you are providing them with directives about how to get their work done, and they should be open to receiving that information. While it is fair to say that you want employees who will listen to the information you offer them, you should also be keeping your ears open to hear what they have to say as well.
People sincerely appreciate it when they feel heard and seen within the organization they work for. It is a major factor in their decision to continue working for a particular employer or not. Remote workers may feel this emotion particularly strongly as they are already somewhat isolated from their co-workers and the organization itself. If they also feel that they are not being heard within the organization, then they might consider leaving. Make sure you allow everyone to have an opportunity to speak their minds during meetings (if they are doing so constructively).
Establish Personal Connections
You must maintain some level of professionalism in the office for sure, but that doesn’t mean you can’t learn more about the personal lives of your employees. Businessnewsdaily.com explains this in the following way:
“While you want to be professional with your team, keep in mind that your workers are still human. They have loved ones, celebrations, and bad days like everyone else. As an employer, you need to recognize their strengths, weaknesses, and interests to better connect with them.”
It is very clear that an employer that strives hard to create a personal connection like this is doing a wonderful thing for their employees. They are showing that they care and that they are willing to learn more about the people that they employ. Just taking a few small steps in the right direction like that can help improve morale among their remote workforces.
Bring Fun to the Office
There are games and team-building activities that you ought to consider offering as well. Everyone loves a great game, and there are many different options that you can choose to offer to your team. “Gamifying” the experience of work can make it a bit more fun for everyone, and it can encourage some friendly competition between everyone in the office. That is ideal as it opens the possibility that everyone will become more engaged and productive with the work that they are given.
Use Effective Time Tracking Tools
Have you ever reached the end of your day and wondered to yourself where all the time went? Many people feel like this some days, and they don’t like the feeling. Instead of allowing those hours to slip away and feel like you haven’t truly accomplished anything, use the Time Tracker by eBillity for a more efficient workday. Time Tracker allows you to easily see where your time goes and how you are using it. You can track every hour and make it easier on yourself to see how your schedule lines up and what you can do to improve it.