Remote work has been on the rise for years—and it will only continue to grow. As companies and employees settle into this new remote normal with a remote team, many are realizing the advantages of virtual work. And it’s no surprise why.
Remote workers tend to be more productive, engaged, and happier. Plus, companies that offer remote and flexible work options are more attractive to top talent, helping businesses land and retain a competitive workforce.
But managing a remote workforce isn’t always easy. So how do you ensure your remote employees are successful? Keep your employees engaged, no matter where they’re working. There are many ways to keep remote employees engaged. In this article, we’ll cover how remote work impacts employee engagement.
Different Types of Remote Teams and Their Needs
Wherever your team works, it’s important to support everyone’s unique working situation. It’s best to determine how your equipment helps bring teams together to allow for productivity every day. First, let’s define the different types of remote work, so you can decide what your organization looks like and how to best enable it.
The co-located worker works only from the office and interacts with people face-to-face, with calls and video conferencing with distributed colleagues. This person may be a part of a hybrid team, where some employees are co-located and others are remote.
Remote employees work outside of a traditional office environment. They may be location-independent, or they may work full-time from a single location. They interact with others through email, video conferencing, and messaging apps.
The last group is becoming more common and requires a bit more support: the hybrid worker. They are a mix between the two other groups, meaning they spend part of their time working in the office and part of their time working elsewhere. Hybrid employees can choose to work however and wherever they’re most productive. They’ll use a combination of face-to-face meetings and video conferencing and messaging tools to communicate with their colleagues.
Equipping Your Workplace for Your Remote Team
Ensuring your employees feel confident and empowered to do their best work no matter where they are is key to improving engagement and performance. Whether a new hire or a veteran employee, make sure your remote team has the tools and training to get the job done. And that resources and amenities aren’t limited to hardware or equipment needs like laptops or company cell phones.
Do your employees have a place they can work effectively at home? Do they have access to development opportunities? Don’t be afraid to get creative. You can offer stipends for co-working spaces for employees who don’t have a home office or cover costs to send employees to business conferences and professional development courses.
1. Collaborative spaces are productive & necessary
There are a few office layout changes that best support the remote worker. Designated huddle spaces or call booths make it easy for co-located employees to speak to their remote counterparts. These spaces are soundproof and provide productive spaces for one-on-one meetings or even group meetings.
2. Video conferencing tools are important features
Providing support for video conferencing for remote workers is necessary for any remote team. It’s the most efficient and natural way for remote workers to connect with others, so companies need to invest in a simple and effective video conferencing system in-office workers can use to communicate with them.
3. Utilizing room booking systems
Meeting rooms should also come equipped with a room booking system. The benefit of using a room booking system for remote workers is that co-located workers can quickly and easily start meetings so remote workers don’t have to waste valuable time waiting around for a meeting setup. Most video conferencing users wait for more than 10 minutes on meeting setup, and remote employees don’t want to waste their time waiting while someone on the other end finds a room to call in from.
4. Utilize different types of workspaces for your remote team
Co-located workers can use differing workspaces for their different tasks. They can take a one-on-one meeting in a huddle room, move to a desk for heads-down work, and use a conference room for a team meeting all in one afternoon. Having multiple types of workspaces for different activities allows team members to find the best setup for what they need to get done including connecting with other remote coworkers.
Flexibility Is Key
One of the best things about remote work is the flexibility it offers to employees. While you may need to have set times around team meetings and collaborative sessions, give your employees autonomy around when and how they work the rest of the time.
Trust them to get the job done. Building trust between employees and managers is crucial for employee engagement and satisfaction. Plus, flexibility means employees can develop a working cycle that works best for them, creating a healthier work-life balance. Remote work increases employee engagement, especially when employees spend a mix of time working at home and in the office.
It’s clear that remote work will only continue to grow in the coming years, which means understanding how to manage and engage your remote employees is more important than ever. Fortunately, there are many ways to engage remote employees—use these tips to take advantage of all the benefits of a remote workforce and keep your team happy, healthy, and productive all year long. And if you’re on the hunt for flexible workspace solutions, such as coworking spaces, private offices, and meeting rooms, get in touch with us today.
Leslie is a passionate writer who creates highly engaging content to help promote businesses. When she isn’t working, you will find her playing the guitar or watching great films with her family.