As we, ideally, head toward a post-COVID world, there is no denying traditional office dynamics and structures are not what they used to be. More and more companies are not only allowing but encouraging, team members to work remotely either from another location or from home.
While this can provide an improved work-life balance for employees and can lead to improved employee retention and lower business expenses, having a hybrid workforce can also lead to a lack of communication and engagement between the traditional office and staff who are working remotely.
“As a recruitment agency we deal with numerous employers and are definitely seeing an increase in opportunities for candidates to work remotely, particularly in the white-collar space,” Asquith Workforce Managing Director Jillian Asquith said.
“While this can be a great incentive for recruiting the right candidate, it is vitally important for employers to make sure there are strategies in place to keep remote employees engaged and feeling like they are a part of, not just the team, but something greater – the industry they represent.”
Here are our Top Tips for keeping remote employees engaged with your company
- Transparency and Frequency = Inclusion
Clearly, not all company information can be shared with staff, but regular updates of company goals and how employees can contribute and be a part of the journey can be a great way to keep everyone engaged and feeling they are part of something bigger than their individual roles.
By sharing what the company is working on overall and discussing any troubleshooting (where applicable ) with staff, can also offer a sense of ownership and emotional investment in the company and its overall success.
- Make time to touch base or recognise work well done
Being a company leader can be a busy and time-consuming role, but without the full commitment of your employees your business will inevitably suffer. By making the time to touch base, via a phone call or face-to-face online platform, and taking the time to recognize work well done, can make a huge difference in the productivity and commitment of your staff.
- Consider revising your internal communications strategy
If your internal comms strategy was created pre-COVID it’s definitely worth reviewing it in the brave new world of remote working. Be sure to consider the new challenges a hybrid workforce brings and how to address them. By including the feedback of those employees working remotely you can provide a sense of ownership and engagement from staff who do not work in the main office.
- Utilise online platforms as your new townhall
Your existing internal engagement strategy may include regular, or sporadic, town hall meetings and by that we don’t mean actually meeting at the town hall of course – it’s just a communications term for large-scale staff meetings and workshops. But, if your team includes staff who work remotely and are not able to attend such meetings, having them Skype or Zoom in when everyone else is face-to-face it can feel a little disharmonious, whereas levelling the field by having everyone on the online platform can create a sense of unity and inclusion across the company.
- Make use of technology
There are a number of apps out there today, some free, that can work wonders when integrated into an internal comms plan and calendar.
One free online brainstorming app is Miro, which allows staff to participate in a variety of think tank and mind mapping boards, while another almost free at $8 month for unlimited team members, app is Notion which can curate multiple items including roadmaps, documents, CRMs, design, and marketing into a multi-user system.