In today’s evolving business market it seems that many companies are moving to a remote employee model. This allows employees to be able to manage their own time effectively and can help companies retain individuals who need a more flexible work solution. There is also a real cost savings that comes from the reduced need for physical office space, infrastructure, and office supplies. Businesses are now challenged to ensure that these employees feel like they are part of the organization even if they are not on site every day. Here are a few ideas to make sure your remote employees still feel engaged with the day to day business.
- Use online tools for meetings and conference calls. Don’t just settle for a conference call over the phone. Use online tools such as Google+ Hangouts, Facetime, Skype or JoinMe for online meetings. This will bring everyone on the team face to face on a regular basis fostering a real sense of team work.
- Keep remote workers engaged in daily activities. There are always inside jokes and fun events that happen within an office environment. You might have a sports pool for The Big Game or March Madness brackets every year. Include the virtual employees in this process. Include them in intra-office emails. Provide positive feedback about them to the whole company when they have earned it. If your company has a pizza party or happy hour make sure they have a way to participate in-person or virtually as well.
- Take time to meet face to face. Your employees may be scattered throughout the country but you should make an effort to meet with them on occasion. Take some time to travel to them or allow for them to come to the office maybe even once or twice a year to meet with the in-house team and get to know everyone they are working with.
- Send gifts. This might sound trivial, but sending your remote team small items with a short note now and again is a great way to make them feel cared about. Send something that will remind that while they are often working very independently, they remain an important part of the team. You can send something small like a $5 Starbucks card, a gift card for a movie theatre or even a pack of jelly beans. Any small gift that makes them feel included and appreciated is a valuable tool to ensuring happy and successful remote employees.
If your office has a contingent of remote employees it is imperative to keep them up to date, engaged, and active with the team in the office. If you use these ideas you will find yourself ahead of the curve in making your remote employees feel like part of your organization. Looking for more information on employee relations? Contact CompliStaff today.