As more and more companies are moving to a flexible work environment that allows employees to work remotely from home, it’s become imperative for us to begin to think about how to best engage our remote workforce. Here at Kinetix, we’ve experienced this as we’ve brought on more remote employees as we’ve grown. We have to admit at times we’ve struggled in this area but are always looking for new and effective ways to keep our remote folks feeling loved and part of the team. And since we’re givers here at Kinetix, we’d like to pass on some of that knowledge to you. #You’reWelcome. Keep reading and we’ll hit you with tips, tricks, and best practices we’ve found to be beneficial when rolling with an ever-increasing remote workforce.
- Put Pen to Paper. A great remote work culture starts with a well-thought-out remote worker policy. Before allowing an employee to work from home, be sure and sit down with them and run through the expected policies and procedures. Having an established standard in place, detailing topics such as communication expectations, core hours, home office set-up, and more, will help enable your employees to be successful as they work remotely. Clearly defined expectations benefit both the manager and employee should any issues arise.
- Invest in Tech. Another big issue to consider with allowing remote work is the technology component. How will managers stay in touch with their employees throughout the day? Sure, email is still king in the business world but there are more effective ways to make employees feel engaged. At Kinetix, we recently implemented an instant messaging platform, Slack. Slack has allowed us to stay in touch with our employee base in real-time with messages and updates sent to both company-wide and private channels. If face-to-face communication is important, consider using a video conferencing tool that allows us to see the faces of your remote employees. We stumbled upon a great free tool that integrates with Slack call Appear.In. Appear.In is a browser based video conferencing system that allows up to either 8 or 12 participants to join a video chat. It’s easy to use because it requires no downloads or codes and can have you up and running on a video call in less than 2 minutes. Communication should be a main focus when engaging remote workers and providing them with the right technology to stay connected is one of the most important things you can do as a leader.
- Keep a Schedule. If you’re having trouble tracking down your employee or teammate even with the technology referenced above, consider putting pre-determined check-in and meeting times into place. Keeping a set schedule can help alleviate those instances when your emails, phone calls, and messages go unanswered. Learning the cadence of when to check in will take time as the goal is not to be intrusive or disruptive. But creating weekly or daily check-ins will go a long way in keeping your team engaged and employed.
By following a few of the tips above, you can work towards creating a strong culture that sets up your remote workforce to be productive, engaged, and appreciated in your company. If you focus on this, we can guarantee they will be a big part of your success in 2017 and beyond.