Many businesses are transitioning to a remote-only workforce or at least offering employees the opportunity to work remotely. While this can have numerous benefits for a business and its employees, businesses need to take steps to support the remote employee experience. The task of nurturing remote employees presents a different set of challenges than nurturing traditional employees. Many businesses are finding it difficult to attract and retain quality remote workers. However, it is certainly possible if you give remote employees all the support they need. Read on to learn more about how to support remote employees.
The Best Ways to Support Remote Employees
Hold regular virtual meetings
One of the best ways to support remote employees is to hold regular virtual meetings. These plans can allow management to tell their employees about areas they are doing well in and which areas they need to improve. The remote employees should also have the opportunity to express any comments or concerns they may have about their work during these meetings. Many companies that have a large number of remote employees hold such meetings once per month. However, some companies have seen success with holding these virtual meetings as often as once per week. Businesses should experiment with different schedules to see what works for both their remote employees and their managers.
Enable remote employees to chat with other employees
Nowadays, it is common for businesses to have a chat system set up for all the employees in their office. Many companies use Slack or similar apps for this service. However, it is common for remote employees not to have access to the company’s instant messaging app. Not only can this make remote employees feel alienated from the rest of the company, but it can also make it more difficult for remote employees to communicate with co-workers and managers about time-sensitive business issues. Remote employees must have access to the same chat app that in-office employees have access to.
Hold fun virtual events
Many businesses have fun events for their employees every month or so. These events allow employees to kick back, relax and play games during the business day. These events are often a great way to improve employee morale and create a strong sense of camaraderie amongst all the employees in the office. However, many businesses do not hold similar virtual events that remote employees can participate in. It’s a good idea to have fun virtual events. This could include playing video games or something similar. This would be an excellent way for remote employees to connect with other remote workers along with the company’s office workers.
Have remote employees take a trip to the office once or twice a year
Getting remote employees to engage with a company can be challenging if they have never met their co-workers or bosses in person. Even if you go to great lengths to help remote employees feel connected to the company through digital means, there’s no replacement for employees being able to meet each other and their managers in person. This is why many companies with a sizeable remote workforce have remote workers come to the office at least once per year. Some companies do this as often as twice per year. Of course, this will not be cheap for the company, as it will have to pay for travel and accommodation for the remote employees. However, this will create a much stronger connection between remote employees and the company.
Create a direct line of communication from remote employees to HR
Remote employees must be able to communicate with HR as easily as office employees. Just as in-office employees can speak to HR representatives directly by going to their offices, remote employees should be able to talk to HR directly. They should have an email or phone number they can contact that puts them through directly to the HR representative. This way, they can raise any HR concerns they may have regarding their work without needing to involve management.
The Benefits of Supporting Remote Employees
Businesses can see quite a few different benefits from supporting remote employees. These remote workers will be more engaged with the company, which will increase the retention rate for remote employees. Employees will also be happier with a company, as they will feel that the company cares about them as much as the in-office employees. Also, remote employees who are constantly supported with communication from managers will be able to get the feedback they need to do their jobs better.