According to Gallup statistics, telecommuting is more common than ever. 37 percent of workers operate remotely at least once per month, and around a quarter of those do it nearly every day. The only challenge is keeping these workers wrangled together.
While studies have proven that these workers feel more productive than the average office worker, managers and administrators may still worry that they are not in 100 percent alignment with the expectations and daily goals of the company.
Getting this reassurance and redirecting any misalignment is as simple as staying connected with your workforce on a regular basis. Here are just some of the ways you can touch base, connect your remote workforce and ensure that they are doing everything they can to help your company succeed:
Have Employees Check In on a Daily Basis
Full-time employees should not feel like contractors, so that means they are beholden to a regular schedule and working hours. You can ensure that they adhere to this schedule by making it clear that — while they have some flexibility — they still have to show up to work and tell people when they take breaks, just as they would in a regular office.
Have them call in via webcam or through a chat service like Slack or Skype just to say good morning before they start their day. You can also have them stay connected via chat or instant messenger so that incoming needs can be relayed and dealt with as soon as possible.
Have Company Meetings and Gatherings to Spread Company Culture
One-to-one meetings with supervisors are a great first step, but ideally everyone working on a team should feel a kinship and shared goal with fellow workers. One great way to accomplish this is to have employees share a chat conversation, allowing them to chime in and see the questions and progress of one another.
Even more important in the long run is having meetings that reinforce the company culture in a broader sense. To do this, have people come in for face-to-face meetings or group webcam meetings where you describe progress, upcoming goals and relay some thought leadership for them to chew on.
Use Meetings as Training Opportunities
Meetings can serve as more than progress reports; they are also a chance to train teams in group skills so that every team member can have shared tools and problem-solving approaches even when they work many miles apart.
Keep the Floor Open, Listen to Employee Ideas and Concerns
Remote workers should still have input on how their projects or workflow could be improved. Otherwise, they may feel a sense of “othering” compared to office workers, who get to voice their opinions on a daily basis.
Open the floor to questions or comments with every group meeting. Also have workers prepare tips for one another, such as great online tools or resources, so that they can enhance the feelings of camaraderie.
Reduce Unneeded Resources with IT Managed Services
When many of your employees work remotely, that means you have to dedicate less resources to on-site IT services since each employee is running their own home network. Using less IT resources means you can free up other resources to invest in your remote workers, including tools like cloud-based collaboration and task systems.
You can reduce your overhead and office footprint by looking into IT managed services for businesses, which can provide expert support without the investment of a full-time employee. Take a look at our capabilities under “Solutions,” and then contact us to find out how we can power up your remote worker program today!