How to keep remote staff engaged
By Dr Andrés del Valle
July 16 2021 - As working from home has become the new normal, keeping your employees engaged has become particularly important. Many companies are used to Zoom video calls for face-to-face interaction however, this only does so much to replicate the feeling of in-person interaction.
While many companies will continue to offer remote work, the key question will still remain, how do you keep employees motivated and engaged? In this article, we’ll cover how you can maintain, or even increase employee engagement and make it a fundamental part of your remote working strategy.
Embrace the flexibility of remote working
You can keep your employees engaged by using the flexibility of home working to your advantage. As an employer, you can trust your employees to complete their work whilst working at times that suit them best. For example, if your employees need to pick their children up from school at 3pm, you may agree with them that they work at different times during the day to facilitate this.
Examples such as this help to show how embracing the flexibility of home working can keep employees engaged. The employee in this example may be making significant savings in childcare costs due to the flexible arrangements you’ve made with them. They’re likely to become more engaged as this isn’t something that all employers may necessarily offer.
Invest in professional development
Offering professional development opportunities to your remote workers is a great way to recognize the value of their contributions and maintain their motivation and enthusiasm. Whether through virtual training, online courses or remote webinars, you can equip your staff to continue business-as-usual.
A large number of employees are or would consider leaving their positions within the first year due to the lack of continual learning. Organizations with an efficient learning environment increase the chance for avoiding high turnover from both remote and non-remote employees.
Host virtual coffee breaks
Virtual coffee breaks can help employees to connect, boost energy, and return to work more focused, rather than experiencing burnout and losing the motivation to work. It could be just a catch up on small talk, discussing an upcoming project or office politics. These breaks are not focused on food or drink, but on recharging the mind and the body and socialising with team members, especially those you may not regularly speak with.
A video conversation helps break the monotony and touch-base with the team. It improves connection and commitment among team members, as they develop a stronger bond. This also provides employees with a break during the day, which will help with engagement as it’s been shown that employees working from home have been working longer hours.
Team building games
Team building games are a great way to foster healthy work relationships with your team members and to improve employee engagement. Getting groups working together and having fun may seem small but can make a big impact in changing the way employees feel about working from home.
Team activities are a great way to change the dynamic and give the chance to all members of the company to get involved. Activities like quizzes, virtual escape rooms, treasure hunts are perfect icebreakers and prompt to keep everyone participating and engaged. Whether you are the Manager or a junior assistant, everyone is expected to get stuck in and to have fun. As team members work together towards a shared goal, they will create strong bonds and increase their engagement.
Provide support for equipment
Equipment is one of the most important drivers of employee engagement. Working from home is challenging especially when employees are not equipped with the necessary technology and state-of-art tools.
These have a direct correlation with the quality of work and employees’ productivity. Having good quality equipment is beneficial not only to employees but also to your business image. It makes sure that the day-to-day work runs smoothly and increases morale and productivity of employees.
Keeping remote workers engaged is a constant task to nurture and develop. At TidyChoice, we have moved from a physical office to remote working and have utilised many of the above strategies to keep employees engaged remotely. One of the things we’ve learned from the last year is the constant need to continue developing new ideas to keep employees morale high, to prevent the workplace from becoming stale. These ideas are a great place to start for employee engagement and we’ll be looking to continue with similar ideas moving forward to make our remote working as successful as possible.
About the author
Dr Andrés del Valle is a telecom engineer, computer scientist and business innovator. Her areas of expertise include Digital Media and Communications, Human-Computer Interaction and Cloud Services and Platforms. She has worked for European research institutions as well as for some well-known large corporations.