Helping Your Remote Employees Feel Important
Growing a remote team alongside your in-house team is exciting as your company expands. Enlisting remote workers has so many benefits when implemented correctly and can really bring new talent from all over the world, help broaden your own team’s perspective, and can even help expand the company’s reach and goals. That being said, it can be hard for remote employees to feel like they are part of the team overall when they don’t come to the office and interact with the other employees on a daily basis.
On their end, working remote gives them flexibility to manage their own time and daily responsibilities but being physically removed from the team can make it difficult to keep up with company culture. Be aware of ways to incorporate your remote teammates in your company’s day-to-day.
Video conference in your remote employees to important meetings
If your remote employees have been working really hard on a project and there is a meeting that involves their work, try finding a time that works for them and include them in that meeting. This allows them to hear feedback in real time, gives them an idea of the office space, and introduces them to their teammates in the office. Having everyone available in real time allows everyone to provide input and really get into a discussion on changes or the project overall. It also helps everyone connect and gives room for getting to know each other on a more personal level.
Contact your remote employees on a regular basis
Maybe you messaged remote employees because of something that was going wrong. They took the feedback but now they are starting to get worried because it has been several weeks so they don’t know if the changes that were made are up to par with expectations.
To keep this from happening it’s important to reach out to your remote employees to check-in regularly, to see if they’re struggling with anything and to see if they have any questions. It’s better to open up a platform the possible discussion, rather than waiting for your employee to say anything. You want to be able to have this on a regular phone or video call, rather than an email or Slack message too, so you can have a natural flow of conversation.
If applicable, make sure your remote employees know that they can contact other employees or managers if it is an emergency or they have questions about a component of a project.
Give your remote employees the feedback you give your in house employees
If you give your in house employees regular feedback, you should consider giving your remote employees feedback on what they are doing well and also areas where they could improve. This is also a great time for you to improve how to give feedback to employees and see how you are doing as the person giving that feedback.
Let your remote employees have access to your office if they need it
If your remote employee works or even lives near your office, let them know that they can come in and use the office space and try to have an area where they can work. This is a great option if they want some human interaction or need to talk face-to-face with a teammate about questions or concerns that they may have. You can even set up a recurring time or ask they message ahead so you can anticipate when they come in so your team can work on similar projects or have a meeting with your remote employee that day.
Offering a physical space to work is a great benefit to a remote worker, who would work from home, at a coffee shop, or even a coworking space during the week. Getting out of the house and having a dedicated place to work for a bit will help them with their productivity too.
Create a group chat where your remote employees can talk to everyone in the office
There are some great chat rooms and apps that are available so employees can communicate to one another like Slack, Discord, Gchat. You can even set up a general or social channel for small talk or group announcements. It’s also a space where remote and in house employees can communicate without having to send a lot of emails back and forth everyday. It’s perfect for small reminders or when you need to just check in. This makes communication and turn around time quicker which allows everyone to get more work done.
Keep your remote employees up to date on any important changes that might be taking place
Be sure to keep your remote employees in the loop about important changes. If your building is moving offices or your logo and brand is changing, your remote employees need to know. If a manager is being replaced or someone is taking over someone else’s job is also important to communicate to your remote employees, especially if they are going to be impacted by this change. It keeps the remote employee involved in your company overall and helps them feel part of the team.
When your remote team feels appreciated and really part of the group, you will notice that they are more productive and responsive to feedback and changes. And that’s always great for your company.
Guest blogger Kevin Gardner graduated with a BS in Computer Science and an MBA from UCLA. He works as a business consultant for InnovateBTS where he helps companies integrate technology to improve performance. He shares his knowledge and expertise not only with his clients but with his fellow bloggers and readers.