Remote working is extremely popular for businesses and employees alike. It offers flexibility for working patterns, as well as helping businesses to branch out on employee potential and even reduce outgoings if you can eliminate the need for official business premises.
While there are many benefits to having remote employees, it’s also important for business leaders to make sure that remote employees don’t feel too alone. Especially if you have remote employees working on the road or from home while there is a large in-office team, it’s important to make sure nobody feels excluded.
With this in mind, here are six methods for ensuring remote employees stay connected.
Method 1: Include Them in Meetings
It can be easy to have an impromptu meeting, or an internal team meeting, with those based in the office and forget about employees working on the road. However, if you take more care and planning with meetings, you can ensure remote workers can still get involved through a video call or even just a conference call.
Method 2: Check In With Them Regularly
Don’t wait for remote employees to reach out to you first; dropping them an email or message simply to check in, say hi, or ask if there’s anything they need can do wonders for their morale.
It’s a good idea to set up an official catch-up time, too, such as every Friday having a video call to discuss how the working week has gone and take a report.
Method 3: Keep Them in the Loop
Whether it’s a team phone call, an internal email chain, or other methods of communicating, make sure to include remote workers if it’s relevant to them. Cc them in emails or ask them if they’d like to take part in a relevant call, so they can feel included.
Method 4: Create Bonding Events
If you have a virtual team, you need to make sure they can still take part in any company events, despite them not being there in person. Virtual events are a great option for including all employees, whether office-based or remote. Investing time and care into virtual events, like virtual chocolate tasting, means employees can feel appreciated and still be able to take part from their own location.
Method 5: Schedule Regular Appraisals
Any employee should have a regular appraisal and review, so making sure these are scheduled for remote employees is important. This will help you to check in with them regularly, understand whether their needs are met and what they might need to improve. It could help you to see them in person regularly if you ask them to come in for the appraisal.
Method 6: Take Your Time with Written Correspondence
As a final key method: be mindful of what you write. When you’re busy during the working day, quickfire emails and blunt messages may be the easiest to type out. If you’re in an office with the relevant people you’ll see afterward, it’s easy to not misunderstand tone and throw them a smile.
However, with remote employees, if you’re quickly sending brief and blunt messages, this can come across the wrong way or have your tone misunderstand if you never see your remote employee face to face. Therefore, think more carefully about how you’re saying things, and also throw in an emoji if you need to!