Across the world, around three percent of all working people do so from home. This may seem like a small number, but it equates to about four million people, and the figures are expanding every year.
Not all businesses can offer remote working opportunities, but it is something to consider if yours is one that can. There are many benefits to remote working or even flexible working where the employee can choose whether to come into an office or stay at home and work. For one thing, the employee will be happier and more content, leading to better productivity, and for another, you can save money on the upkeep of premises.
Something that often worries managers about remote working is how to keep their employees engaged with they aren’t in the same building as them. There are several ways this can be done, and here are some of them.
If your team is more spread out, living in different states or even different countries, then team building activities aren’t going to work well for you. However, you can invest in connectivity tools to ensure that everyone can stay in touch. Some of these tools are even free, and the only time and effort that you need to put in is when you train staff to use them effectively.
You can have one overall platform where everyone can send messages and ask questions, and where documents are saved to enable collaborative work. You can also have specific programs for different departments. Using HRIS (human resources information system) is one example of this. If everyone can log on and not only see their work but also connect with others, and if they can gain all the information they need, these platforms can be invaluable for boosting engagement.
An issue that some remote workers have is that they don’t feel like part of a team since they don’t often see their colleagues. Over time this can lead to feelings of loneliness and isolation, which is not good for morale and can make the employee ineffective. They may even want to leave the job.
Therefore, it’s good to bring in team building regularly. If everyone lives relatively locally, you can have physical team building days where you all participate in an event or activity and work together to achieve a goal. If this is not going to suit your workers, then organizing a team meal or picnic or barbecue would be a good idea. If everyone comes together two or three times a year (or more if you wish), then it will boost morale and keep everyone happy.
Provide Training Opportunities
Training is an important part of any workplace. If you can offer your employees the chance to gain more knowledge about their job and your sector in general, or even train in something new that will help them and you in the future, then you should do so.
When an employee receives regular training, they will be stimulated to learn more. Plus, it’s a chance to do something different, and it shows that you are pleased with their progress. As a result, they will work harder for you.