Working remotely has skyrocketed with recent events, forever changing how the job market runs. Many jobs have been able to transform into remote work, with companies adjusting their business model to keep their employees at home rather than in the office. However, some companies are facing the challenge of maintaining employee engagement. Here are the steps you can take to keep remote employees engaged when they are unaccustomed to working remotely.
When employees are working from home, there are likely a plethora of distractions that make the standard nine-to-five schedule nearly impossible. They could easily be distracted by kids needing supervision, pets wanting attention, spouses having questions, or chores that need to be done. Combine that with a rigid work schedule, and you have a recipe for disaster.
To keep remote employees engaged, give them schedule control. By letting employees control their schedules, they will be able to maintain their work-life balance properly. They may need to work early in the morning before their kids wake up, or in the evening after they go to sleep. They might be able to work for a couple of hours, then need to fix lunch, help with school work, or take the dog for a walk, to then come back an hour later. By giving your employees a flexible schedule, they will not only be happy but also work hard to complete all of their tasks.
As we said above, working remotely can be a bit tumultuous at the beginning. Employees who are used to constant guidance on the job may not know which steps to take while at home. That is why it is vital to maintain consistency to keep remote employees engaged.
You can do this by having virtual company-wide meetings. Use this time to communicate goals, provide and receive updates on projects, and keep morale high. Let your employees know that you are present and available for any questions or concerns. In addition, keep realistic expectations and remind your employees of what is expected of them.
When working from home, employees can feel isolated and undervalued. To keep remote employees engaged, you want to recognize them for their successes. When a milestone or project is completed, send them a “good job” message, or share their accomplishment in a company-wide email newsletter. It may seem small, but a virtual pat on the back will remind them that they are appreciated and needed.
You can also encourage employees to share personal and work successes on community forums or groups. By keeping them connected with each other, they will naturally motivate themselves and their coworkers to continue working productively and happily.