The number of remote employees, both those working remotely full-time or part-time, has risen steadily over the past decade. What was once considered a privilege has become a standard practice in many industries. The issue still remains: how to keep remote employees engaged, productive and happy. Here are several ways to keep your remote employees involved.
In a recent case study on remote worker professional development, researchers found that remote employees did not gain much assistance from online video tutorials. Employees indicated that they did not like videos because they lacked peer-to-peer learning. This kind of learning is informal and typically emerges out of classroom chatter and break times. Remote employees also felt that they missed out on important networking opportunities that arise in classroom contexts.
While video-conferencing tools can eliminate some of these barriers, researchers found that creating remote worker learning modules was one way to resolve these issues. Another way to improve informal communication and networking is to provide remote workers with text services that allow one-on-one communication with peers without leaving the safety net of a professional platform. Your organization might consider conducting a survey to determine the kind of culture your remote employees prefer.
An unhappy remote employee might need the opportunity to engage in a dialogue. Offering employees the opportunity to engage with their peers and supervisors in a relaxed manner encourages short, but necessary, conversations and exchanges. Text services, like Text Request, can help to integrate business texting into tools your remote employees already use, like Chrome extensions, webhooks, and others. This gives remote employees the chance to network and learn from their peers in a natural way.
Remote workers frequently keep their issues and opinions to themselves. This is costly to employers because it means that employees aren’t resolving issues in a timely manner, which can limit productivity and discourage engagement.
In an attempt to create a transparent work environment, many organizations offer employees a number of platforms that encourage collaboration and streamline group projects. However, several Forbes’ contributors noted that numerous platforms and a constant stream of information can disrupt remote workers’ tasks. Keeping employees engaged might mean limiting their sources of information to one direct channel to create a single source of transparency and to provide an additional channel for private communications with supervisors or peers.
Github’s #toasts forum is a way for remote developers to congratulate one another on their achievements. This kind of forum is effective for remote workers as well as office workers because it is a shared forum where all employees can equally engage one another, compliment one another, and build rapport.
Overall, remote workers seek communication tools that allow them to learn from their peers in informal ways during times when information is most vital. They are no different from office employees when it comes to seeking answers, being recognized and finding allies. An easy-to-use, casual form of digital communication can be all it takes to engage an otherwise distracted or unhappy remote employee.