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Keeping people who work remotely engaged and motivated

STAR Remote Employee 01.16.20

In 2020 and beyond, having remote workers at your organization will likely become even more prevalent. Therefore, it’s of the utmost importance to have a powerful strategy in place to ensure that your employees are kept engaged and motivated. After all, physical distance between a manager and workers can lead to mishaps, including poor communication, feelings of isolation and a decrease in efficiency.

“An effective remote worker plan can mean happier workers who feel decreased pressure by not having to answer to office constraints,” says Mark Angott, President of Angott Search Group. “They are often able to achieve a level of work-life balance that is more difficult to manage in a traditional work setting.” He noted that a recent study reported by Inc. Magazine and Business Insider found that workers who can do their jobs remotely at least on a part-time basis tend to be more at ease.

“Video conferencing company Owl Labs surveyed 1,200 U.S. workers between the ages of 22 and 65 for its 2019 State of Remote Work report, and found that employees who regularly work remotely are happier and stay with their companies longer than on-site employees. Of the more than 1,200 people surveyed, 62% work remotely at least part of the time,” according to the publication.

To help make sure your company’s remote worker plan is implemented in the strongest possible ways, here are three tips to follow:

1. Foster connection among remote workers.

According to Forbes, “Isolation can really take a toll on remote workers. If you’re holed away in a home office with little human contact, that’s unhealthy. In addition to that, remote workers often miss out on casual friendships and interactions that go hand in hand with working in an office.” To aid in preventing feelings of isolation, Angott recommends holding weekly conference calls between employees in which everyone shares updates about their lives. “You might also consider having workers set up one-on-one check-ins with one another to help them become friends and feel connected,” he says.

2. Collect regular feedback from workers and clients.

Beyond creating opportunities for connection, it’s also crucial that you get thoughts and opinions from your workers and the clients they’re helping in their remote capacity. “Not all remote workers receive the benefit of performance reviews, or even knowing whether or not their client or boss is happy with their latest project. Worse, clients may not take the time to tell you if something is wrong. Instead, they simply won’t hire you again,” according to Forbes. “To combat this,” says Angott, “hold performance evaluations and garner feedback from clients so that you can better understand the needs and challenges from all parties. You’ll get valuable information that you can use to improve quality of life for all involved as a result.”

3. Promote independence for your workers.

This final tip centers on promoting a culture of freedom and flexibility. According to The Muse, “Because you don’t have colleagues just a few feet away or a tech team one floor down, you’ll find yourself developing the skill of looking for your own answers and becoming more proactive to find what you need on your own.” As a boss, therefore, it’s important that you don’t micromanage your workers. “Allow them to truly enjoy their remote work opportunities and have confidence in their ability to get the job done as opposed to nagging them for constant check-ins,” advises Angott. “Your people will be happier and more motivated for it.”

Remote work can encourage more effective workers in many different ways. By fostering connections among your staff, getting regular feedback and boosting an environment of independence, you’ll build a strong culture for remote work. This, in turn, will lead to greater efficiency and higher retention rates.

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