What many thought was just a temporary symptom of the pandemic, the reliance on remote employees seems to have persisted even two years later. Recent numbers show that remote working rates are holding strong even though COVID positivity rates are declining, and vaccination rates are increasing. People are feeling more comfortable with leaving their homes and returning to normal activities. However, they still prefer to work from home some, or even all, of the time and will seize the opportunity to do so, even if that means leaving a job they’ve had for years. Now that employees know they can work from anywhere, they’re jumping at the chance to pursue better opportunities that come with more flexibility, pay and benefits that they didn’t have access to before.
Although remote employees have become part of the new normal, there is still a lot of nuance and uncertainty that comes along with them, especially for employers who have not had remote workers in the past. Unintentionally, these employees are often forgotten about or put on the back burner while the needs of in-person employees move to the front and center. This leaves remote workers feeling left out and under-appreciated which, as we’ve seen, can result in them turning their sights to other job opportunities.
It’s become a necessity now for employers to work on enhancing the remote employee experience to keep them happy and engaged. Employees that feel engaged are proven to exhibit improved efficiency, increased job satisfaction, and are more likely to go above and beyond in their job whenever possible.
Here are a few simple things you can do to improve engagement with your remote employees:
Stay Connected: Use tools like Zoom, Google Meets, and Slack to keep open lines of communication between employees. Encourage teams to use cloud-based systems for sharing files in real time.
Foster Social Interaction: Hold virtual team-building activities, rewards and recognition programs, social hours, and more.
Ask for Feedback: Encourage remote employees to share their feedback and listen to what they say. Make them feel like their opinion is valued.
Encourage Wellness: Show them you care by asking about their lives. Give them time to prioritize their mental and emotional wellness. Check-in on their workload to help avoid burnout.
Keep them in the Loop: Communicate with them regularly about projects, goals, progress, and news. Schedule regular touch base conversations to help them feel more connected.