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Maintaining Employee Engagement with a Remote Staff

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remote employee engaged with other office members

The current situation is forcing businesses to use novel approaches to stay operational. A large number of companies have already gone virtual with most employees working from home. 

This is not the first time that employees have been given the opportunity to work remotely. According to reports, about 43% of employees in the country have some kind of remote working experience. Yet, even they’re finding it difficult to stay engaged in this unprecedented situation that has forced everyone to stay home. 

Employees have been reporting a lack of engagement, focus, and productivity. If you’re facing such issues then check out these tips on how to maintain employee engagement when going remote:

 

#1 Make Sure to Work on Communication

A very good and reliable way to increase engagement is to keep people updated and encourage them to communicate. 

It may be a good idea to consider the ‘camera on’ approach so that employees can continue to see each other. This will not only motivate them to interact with each other but it will also give a more ‘work’ feel.

You can use video conference tools such as Google Hangouts and Skype. They’re fun, interactive, and easy to use. Schedule meetings with your staff members and ask everyone to stay connected via video so that they’re ready for it. Of course, employees can keep the camera off when they’re not in a meeting. They shouldn’t feel as if you’re invading their privacy.

Reports indicate that employees tend to be more productive when they work from home because there are fewer distractions. However, such may not be the case anymore since children will almost always be home due to schools being shut. Plus, pets and loud music can also be problematic.

When your employees know they’d have to be on a cam, they’d take steps to get rid of background noises, clutter, and other such diversions, which may end up making them more productive as well.

Take the first step and lead by example by turning your virtual office into a thing of beauty so that others are motivated to follow you. 

 

#2 Train People on How to Use Tools

Companies use a variety of tools such as Rever to keep employees on the same platform and streamline work. However, not all staff members may be tech-savvy and some may find it difficult to use certain applications, especially those that are hard to use.

A lack of understanding of these tools can discourage employees from being active or engaged.

The best way to solve this problem is to turn to a platform that’s easy to use and comes with guides. Our program is made for all kinds of employees and is among the easiest to deploy and use.

Moreover, you can prepare informative presentations on the tool your company has introduced so that everyone is aware of the ins and outs.

 

#3 Make and Stick to Rules

Working remotely offers flexibility but there’s still the need to introduce some rules for all employees to increase engagement.

You can allow employees to work from home at their desired hours but make sure to give them ‘deadlines’, i.e: to submit work before 9PM every day or to communicate before 5PM if there are any questions. 

It may also be a good idea to make it a rule to have ‘coffee’ together. All your employees can have a virtual party and enjoy a nice coffee break. If you don’t want video conversations, you can even have a nice ‘text message’ conversation. 

If you’re sticking to the latter then try to include more GIFs and emojis. They’re fun and can make a conversation more exciting.

Since many of us are bored and out of things to do, such rules will allow employees to feel more relaxed and give them an opportunity to smile.

 

#4 Avoid Micromanagement

It is very important to let employees do their job and avoid micromanagement. 

This can be quite a challenge if you’re used to working in a traditional office environment where you get to keep a constant eye on your employees.

Asking employees to send updates every few hours, answer your calls, or explain what they’re up to can make them feel that you do not trust their skills. 

The key lies in being transparent and keeping communication open so that employees can get back to you if they ever need your assistance. Make them feel trusted and never invade their privacy.

 

#5 Encourage Employees and Appreciate Feedback

You can continue to run your virtual office just like you ran your traditional office. Consider continuing to award ‘Employee of the Week’ and other such titles to employees to give them something to talk about.

This will not only push employees to get more engaged but can also motivate them to do better. In addition to this, make sure to ask for employee feedback on everything from your new office rules to communication channels.

We’re soon going to win this battle against corona but the trend to hire remote employees will only continue to grow as more people realize the benefits of offering work from home opportunities.

THE FRONTLINE DOJO

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