Believe it or not, 25-30% of the workforce is now remote! Are you ready for the change?

It’s no secret that remote working is a trend that’s here to stay. It will make your employees happier, healthier, and more productive. Yet staying connected with your remote employees can be a challenge.

Yet how can you build staff relationships when you never see your crew in person?

Let’s take a look.

1. Provide Clear Guidelines

Allowing your staff greater independence has its advantages. It shows that you trust them and value their input.

Yet your remote staff will require a very clear explanation of your expectations if they’re going to perform at their best.

Your staff should know what their productivity milestones should be for each day or week. Set timelines and let them know when you’ll be checking in. You’ll also want to communicate your confidence that you’ll see good results.

Put guidelines in a folder or email where your staff can easily reference them. This will help them work independently even when they have questions.

2. Communicate Often

While it’s critical for your staff to be effective independently, you’ll also want them to know that they’re a valued part of the team

Respond to emails as quickly as possible, and hold remote meetings often.  Let your staff know about any available resources or changes in deadlines right away. 

If an employee doesn’t understand something, it’s important that they know they can get in touch with you right away. You can invest in internal messaging tools to make sure no one is left confused and unproductive. If the question is important, recognize its importance.

3. Offer Rewards

One of the best ways to keep your staff working to its full potential is to offer them rewards for a job well done. 

These may be monetary, such as gift cards or company “swag” for making a certain number of sales. Or you may have them compete for categories such as “best client rapport” or “most creative solutions” and recognize them at monthly meetings.

Some clients simply require frequent praise in order to remain motivated. Starting feedback with “you’re doing a great job” or “we value your input” may be critical to keeping them on staff.

If your employees are working in the area, you can also reward them by taking them out to lunch or meeting up for a catered event.

4. Provide Opportunities To Socialize During Meetings

Remote employees sometimes admit that they miss the social aspect of working, even if they are introverted. You can provide opportunities to socialize through games like Zoom Pictionary or virtual happy hours.

Some employers also provide space for socializing at the beginning of meetings. Ask briefly about your staff’s family or health. This allows folks working from home to feel that they have real work partners.

5. Support Healthy Living

One of the main reasons why employees will choose to work from home is that they can maintain a work/life balance. It’s easier for them to keep up with their families and stay healthy if they aren’t worried about a grueling commute or office politics.

You can help your employees maintain balance in a number of ways. Offer discounts to local gyms or healthy eating programs. Have virtual yoga available regularly.

You can also provide things like free mental health resources, like this guide on breaking the stigma around mental health from Everyday Health or coaching. If your employees are stressed, especially during recent times, it may be important for them to have someone to talk to. 

You can also encourage your employees to take all of their personal days. There may be times when they need to take a day for a family getaway or breakfast with a friend. It can help them to de-stress and recharge.

Employees who are healthy will be in a positive mood and have better productivity. This is vital to how your company functions and to how your clients view your business.

6. Encourage Creative Energy

It’s important to keep your team on your side by encouraging them to brainstorm or be a part of company decision-making. Ask for ideas at meetings and give lots of support to those who are on the right track.

If your staff is shy about bringing up ideas at meetings, you can ask them to email you with suggestions later on.

To recognize innovation, send out weekly or monthly newsletters praising those whose ideas have contributed value to the company.

7. Provide The Right Equipment

An equipped employee is a productive one. Make sure you provide your staff with everything they need before they begin working.

You will obviously provide your staff with computers and chargers that have all of the programs they need to be installed. But you can also talk to them about anything else they may need, including standing desks or ergonomic chairs.

Investing in a little at-home office equipment is much more cost-effective than re-outfitting an entire office space. New employees may also view it as an added “perk” offered by your company.

A small work-from-home stipend can get used by your employees to purchase printers, writing utensils, or smaller office equipment. It can also be used to purchase coffee, food, or anything else your staff may be used to getting at work.

Getting The Most From Your Remote Employees

Remote employees are often working harder than anyone on your staff. With the right approach, you could have a healthy and productive remote crew in no time.

Don’t stop getting smart about your remote workers now. For more great resources, contact us today.