Employee Engagement During the Rise of Remote Working
By now, you’d struggle to find anyone in the world of business who has yet to seriously entertain the idea of working from home. While office-based work has defined many of our professional lives for decades, it seemed that our interest and motivation in continuing that legacy is quickly fading.
There are, of course, plenty of benefits to embracing remote work. Not only can you cherry pick your team without any geographical restrictions coming into play – and foster a much more flexible philosophy that accommodates a much wider demographic of potentially valuable employees – but you can also ensure that staff are kept happy and, in so doing, work to minimise staff turnover rates.
Still, merely allowing employees to work remotely is not enough to guarantee employee engagement – particularly in a world where so many businesses are doing the same.
What’s more, remote working certainly poses its fair share of challenges to business owners looking to keep employees engaged in the same way they were during office-based work. Even if employees are completely in favour of remote working, that’s not to say that every impact felt by it will be of benefit to the business, or their productivity.
So, how can you keep employees engaged while also embracing a remote working policy? From considering employee engagement companies to organising virtual coffee breaks, read more below.
Find a New Way to Thank Your Employees
One of the best ways to support remote employee engagement – and, in doing so, work towards better motivation and retention – is to rethink your approach to acknowledging good work.
Reward and recognition initiatives represent an intrinsic part of the employee engagement platform offered by the employee engagement agency www.incentivesmart.com, which specialises in driving profits and performance amid the challenges of a modern – and potentially scattered – workforce.
Be (Occasionally) Indirect
Boosting productivity is not always a linear process and, from time to time, it will be beneficial to you to explore avenues that do not seem to hold a direct correlation to boosting engagement.
For instance, exploring the more creative side to remote communication – virtual coffee breaks, for instance, in which the traditional ‘chat by the water cooler’ is reinvented can be highly beneficial.
This study of US employees found that almost 20% were worried that taking regular lunch breaks would suggest a poor work ethic to their employer. By actively embracing opportunities for respite, you can convey a healthier and more supportive environment for employees who may be struggling to find a balance that naturally occurs within an office environment.
Be Open to Flexible Working Schedules
Remote working may represent a far more manageable opportunity for your employees, but that’s not to say that following the traditional 9-5 will be the most effective for them – or, for that reason alone, for you..
Provided the role allows for it, enabling employees to be a little more autonomous when it comes to choosing how they approach their contracted hours is a great way of demonstrating your trust, and of ensuring that you both get the very most benefit from their role within the company.
It may feel like a leap of faith as an employer but, provided you have hired a strong team, it could easily prove to be a gamechanger for productivity.
Don’t Mistake Flexible Working for Continuous Availability
If your employees are able to work from home, then that means they should be capable of dropping into the virtual office whenever they’re at home, right?
No – and this is a trap that some businesses have already fallen into since the seismic shift toward remote working first began.
In fact, more than ever before, employees need to know that there is a firm division between work life and home life – even though they all take place under the same roof. Respecting those boundaries and acknowledging the difference between a flexible working schedule that adheres to contracted hours, and the slippery slope of overstepping your bounds as an employer, is vital to anyone looking to embrace a remote workforce.