It can be challenging to keep remote workers from feeling disconnected from your organization. They may experience self-doubt, boredom, and loneliness, all of which are common consequences of remote work setups and contributors to lower productivity and morale.
By following these simple tips, you can help keep your remote workers feel connected and valuable to your organization.
Host virtual activities
Providing remote workers with an opportunity to connect with their colleagues in person is always a good idea. However, that may not always be possible due to a variety of reasons. For one, many businesses these days have virtual offices, with remote workers based in other states or even countries. But just because workers aren’t in the office doesn’t mean that they should be isolated from the rest of your team.
Look into virtual activities such as watch parties, online trivia nights, and other video conferencing-based activities to keep your remote workers engaged and entertained. You can even set up video game nights where you and your staff can play online multiplayer games. Just make sure to set up a private server to prevent outside players from joining.
Send them care packages
Care packages are a great way to connect with remote workers — everybody loves receiving gifts! One-size-fits all care packages are fine, but it would be best if you put careful thought into what goes into the care package of each person in your team, as it would show them how much you care.
Items you can include in your care packages are healthy snacks, coffee, skin care products, and even clothing such as t-shirts and caps. But don’t send everything out at once; send out smaller packages every few weeks or so, so that your employees will have something to look forward to.
Encourage them to pursue side projects
Smart leaders know that encouraging the pursuit of side projects is an excellent motivator, especially for remote workers. It allows them to continue doing activities they love while providing them with creative exercise and variety to help stave off the monotony of constant work.
It’s also good to keep in mind that several of the most successful products in history are side projects. 3M’s Post-It Notes, for instance, stemmed from a failed attempt at creating a better super glue. The glue’s creator used his creation to stick loose notes together, which he then pursued as a side project. The rest, as they say, is history.
Maintain a culture of connectedness
A culture of connectedness entails understanding the uniqueness of each member of your organization, and recognizing that employees aren’t just workers. Your remote employees may want to share snippets of their personal lives with their in-office counterparts. But for this kind of interaction to work, there must be safe spaces for employees to connect with one another.
Light-hearted conversations may encourage your remote workers to open up about the goings-on in their lives. It also pays to demonstrate to them that personal conversations are treated with privacy and respect. Never use information from these conversations to create competition between employees or as a reason to serve punishment.
Take advantage of automated tools to keep conversations rolling. For example, business communications app Slack has a WaterCooler feature where employees can chat about non-work topics. It can also be configured to automatically post topics to start conversations. Employees can even send photos or video responses to the topic. It’s a great way to keep things light in the virtual office space.
Recognize their contributions to your company
All employees appreciate being recognized for their efforts, but remote workers tend to appreciate recognition more, especially if they are informed that their contributions are valuable to the company. Giving them a reward or making a simple but sincere announcement to the team can do wonders not only for their morale but also for their productivity.
Showing appreciation can also be as simple as saying “thank you” sincerely. Genuine gratitude goes a long way, so make sure your remote workers know that their value to the company has not gone unnoticed.
Set your remote workers up for success by keeping them motivated and engaged — and by providing them with all the technology they need to contribute to your company’s success. Contact us today for any technology, cybersecurity, and productivity tools your business may need for your remote workforce.