Keep remote workers happy

As the workplace continues to change into remote and hybrid models, defining ways to keep remote workers happy and engaged is of utmost importance. Remote working isn’t new to the world of work, but for many industries and people, it’s a new endeavor.

According to WFH Research, here’s a breakdown of the workforce according to work arrangements: In-person: 61%; Remote: 12%; and Hybrid: 26%.  While the majority of workers still work primarily from a physical office, a significant portion now benefit from some level of remote work flexibility.

As passionate champions of happy, productive workplaces, we’ve gathered some suggestions for embracing remote workers to keep the engine running on all cylinders.

How to Keep Remote Workers Happy & Engaged

Solution #1: Allow Creativity to Infuse Decision-Making

Some workplaces are a hotbed for creative thinking (think advertising agencies), and some industries aren’t exactly wired for out-of-the-box thinking. This is an opportunity to enjoy the freedom that creativity can bring to a group of employees. Instead of “We’ve always done it this way,” NOW is the time to say, “How can we do this differently?” This relates to every organization that has shifted its daily operations.

Engage employees to weigh in on how processes and procedures can be expedited, improved or even scrapped. Look at how innovative companies tackle certain parts of business and push yourself (and your executives and teams) to look at new ways of “getting things done.”

Remember, this isn’t change just for change’s sake, which can be a buzzkill for employees. Instead, view this as a way to dream up new models that make everyone’s lives (and the business) better!

Solution #2: Embrace New Opportunities for Employee-Up CommunicationMan on laptop looks like he is working remotely.

Most of us have “chat” functions, cell phones, and other technology for basic communication. However, some organizations are taking this a step further to open up employee dialogue – maybe even between people who never had the ability to communicate before!

There are many 24/7 technology tools that allow employees to share ideas, feedback and even complaints (anonymity is optional). Now is an excellent time to implement such systems. Technology platforms can improve engagement, measure the success of current companywide communication, and learn from the “front lines.”

These kinds of platforms allow leaders to gather excellent information that would be impossible in many other formats (typical town halls or staff meetings). It offers flexibility and a methodology where the information can be filtered to managers or departments who can respond with agility.

Solution #3: Rethink Meetings to Keep Remote Workers Happy

Chances are that these technologies aren’t going anywhere – especially as remote working continues to be the norm. However, now is a great time to think about how to take the funny yet painful examples of why these can be a complete waste of time and use knowledge about your company culture to make them … dare we say it – enjoyable?

What would keep your remote workers happy? Keeping check-ins to 15 minutes? Allow for everyone to weigh in on something important? Do a swift but fun icebreaker at the beginning of the meeting to avoid the “Just hangin’ in there” and “What’s the weather like over there?” warm-up conversations?

This is another opportunity to turn the work-as-usual model and turn it on its head. Ask your people – and use some common sense, too!

Solution #4: Consistently Show Employee AppreciationgThankYou 2024 Employee Celebration Calendar

We are clearly advocates of employee appreciation. In fact, we believe that it should be touched upon every day. There are big gestures and there are also the smallest, nuanced acts that can keep remote workers happy.

To get started, check out our Day-to-Day Employee Appreciation Calendar. There is always room for a note of gratitude or a “Thank you for all you’re doing” statement to express thanks. This resource offers insights into the importance of employee appreciation and also delivers excellent examples based on company culture, seasonality (do you remember which holidays may be fun to honor with teams? We do!), budget and other considerations.

Solution #5: Ask the Right Questions

When looking for solutions, be sure to pinpoint the issues. What can go wrong with a remote or hybrid workforce? Isolation? Overworking? Lack of trust? Shifting group and team dynamics?

Take the time to define what is most likely happening in the organization – which can vary drastically even among departments. Utilize surveys, ask questions, challenge leaders to ignore the tendency to say, “Everything is fine!” and ask, “What isn’t going right and how can we fix it?”

With the right tools and a sincere listening ear, team members will feel valued – which goes a long way.

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Laptop Photo by Daniel Mitev on Unsplash

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