Previously, only a small number of companies offered remote work opportunities to enhance their employees' flexible lifestyles. Recently, remote work has become a common practice because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Working from home protects the vulnerable and helps in flattening the curve. But despite it being quite convenient, time-saving, and allowing a better work-life balance, its home has its challenges. Have you noticed signs of poor performance and less productivity from your workforce?

It could signify that they feel less connected and less engaged because of the change in their work environment. On a personal level, working from home can bring loneliness and feelings of isolation, resulting in unhappiness and feeling unappreciated. If you want everyone to remain focused on the company's goals and vision, consider implementing the following tips on keeping your remote workforce engaged and motivated in your company.

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The 9 Best Ways To Keep Remote Employees Engaged

#1 Be Proactive In Checking-In On Your Employees Frequently 

There are various ways to approach this. First, as a manager or team leader, try being available so that any of your employees can easily reach you via different communication channels when they have an issue. Tell them you're available for one-on-one meetings and ensure you take action when an employee confides in you.

Second, you can proactively reach out to each person and ask questions about various aspects of their work and personal life while avoiding overreaching. Most employees rarely raise issues themselves. If you are waiting for them to point out their problems, it may never happen.

With both approaches, they will feel appreciated, heard, and given a chance to express themselves, all of which work wonders in boosting their commitment to the company's goals.

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#2 Provide Them With Equipment Support, Helpful Resources & Training

Remote workers usually have unique challenges associated with their environment as their homes are not well-equipped as company offices. The lack of vital tools or lack of technical know-how of doing specific tasks independently or personal work management (time management) can bring down the morale of your workforce. 

Help them with resources and training to ease such overheads. Also, provide required work tools to save them time and make connecting with their colleagues easier. Such support boosts collaborations and fosters connections, making those working remotely feel appreciated, which keeps impacts long-term productivity.

#3 Promote And Encourage Health & Wellness

A healthy employee – one with their physical and mental wellbeing in check - performs at his/her highest level. Create work policies that encourage your employees to practice a healthy work lifestyle even when working from their homes. It shows them that their health matters even to you as their employer.

Good examples include creating wellness programs each month, e.g., 30 days of 1-hour exercise, indoor team-building activities, and more. You can also extend some of their breaks to allow them to practice healthy habits and engage in different physical activities like working out or walking outside.

#4 Conduct Periodic Surveys

Want to know what your employees think will boost their work-from-home productivity? What aren't they happy about working from home? How do they feel about the organization and its goals? What changes they want and more? Try a short survey!

Surveys are another way you can get to know what your employees think and feel at any time and understand them. Through surveys, even those not comfortable speaking up in meetings will feel valued and heard if their contributions get acted on.

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#5 Communicate Effectively & On Time

Bad communication, especially with those working remotely, creates more work. If you want your remote workforce to remain productive, empowered, and engaged, you have to make sure managers, team leaders, and members communicate effectively by taking them through communication training. They should provide clear instructions and guidelines to ensure expectations and priorities are well understood.

From there, your organization should choose good and effective communication channels. The channels should allow the creation of a shared space that boosts collaboration, easy brainstorming, and support the provision of meaningful and timely feedback. Also, It should be easily accessible and effortless for all employees to use. 

#6 Support Community Building

To keep your remote worker's morale high, you should allow the creation of your organization's online community. Online communities have been growing exponentially, and one of the reasons for this is that they are more supportive and meaningful environments for employees working remotely.

Since anyone can share personal as well as professional updates, everyone feels heard and appreciated, and the interaction fosters connections that many are craving while not in their physical offices.

#7 Allow Casual Video Chats, Virtual Meetings & Hangouts

Instant messaging and emails are great for effective and fast communication, but they lack a personal touch. Encourage interactive communication and collaboration tools like Cafecito for team meetings and 1-on-1 video chats between employees.

When it comes to virtual meetings, not all should be work-related; allow casual virtual get-togethers where your remote workers can discuss issues affecting them, share jokes and fun virtual moments. These things keep employees engaged and excited to be part of their team or the whole organization and help prevent potential burnout and isolation.

An excellent example of an organization that has done this is Gitlab who allows for virtual coffee breaks where employees connect via video calls to socialize and have casual conversations.

Why not try out our Cafecito For Teams free service for such coffee breaks? Read more on how Cafecito works.

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#8 Recognize Great Work Promptly

Remote workers are likely to be more productive than those working in an office because they dedicate more hours. However, they rarely receive on-the-go recognition and praise as most employers wait for organized physical ceremonies to do so. Instead, go with some of these remote employee recognition ideas.

Make it a habit to timely recognize your remote employees for their all contributions to your company or organization and make it highly visible to everyone. 

#9 Keep Your Employees Happy

Happy employees are more likely to be engaged in their work and feel more motivated. To keep your remote workers, you can offer them exclusive perks and discounts like gift cards, free subscription plans, cashback offers, and more, which they can efficiently utilize in their homes. Another way is by allowing them to change their work schedule into hours that work well for them. Such changes can go a long way in enabling them to perform better.

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