In today’s increasingly wireless world, more and more employees with technical, creative, management and leadership skills can work remotely. This gives remote employees the leisure of flexing their schedules around their lives instead of scheduling their lives around work.
Chances are, you will work with remote employees at some point in your career. It is crucial to maintain these relationships for quality, efficient results and employee retention. Some best practices for engaging remote employees are touched on briefly below.
Don’t forget to share important company news, events and cultural benefits with remote employees. Even if they can’t participate each time, feeling inclusive is important to the quality of work.
To close the gap between remote and onsite employees, make sure remote or independent workers have a specific point of contact onsite to ask for technical or other help, when needed, and to feel more grounded to the organization.
The most crucial best practice is to make sure deadlines and expectations are clear, especially for remote members who might not be included in spontaneous office conversations related to daily and company goals. This is relevant for each project and the big picture.
In addition to project deadlines, other variables might include expectations around company culture, the types of clients and projects to expect, other team members they may collaborate with, the process for project management and approvals, how to best communicate with their direct manager or employees and the process for tracking time and payroll.
Remember that clear expectations go both ways. You need to respond quickly to remote employees if you also want them to be responsive and meet your deadlines with quality work.
Nothing beats connecting face-to-face. Try to bring remote workers in for major company events. Make the most of that time with team-building and social activities, so they can really get a feel of the company culture and feel connected to the onsite team.
For other meetings, connect via video for the next best thing – the new face-to-face.
In summary, by using these strategies, you can help your remote workforce feel less isolated and more connected to your company and their work.
A more connected employee is one that is more engaged, and ultimately more productive!
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