Remote Employees for the Win: Four Ways to Keep Off-Site Talent Engaged
Telecommuting Drives Significant Savings To U.S. Business Owners Across Every Industry
Agile employment can even directly impact a company’s bottom line. The same Global Workplace Analytics report shows that even allowing employees to work from home 50% of the time could save a typical business $11,000 per person per year, a potential national savings of over $700 billion a year across all industries in the U.S. Despite the potential financial upside, some business owners still aren’t entirely sold on telecommuting. One significant concern for companies with a more traditional hiring infrastructure is the presumption that telecommuting hinders productivity. They assume remote workers lack motivation, leveraging an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality while surfing social media pages in yoga pants.
Not true (except for maybe the yoga pants part).
The truth is, remote talent is just as driven as onsite resources – and, in many cases, more so. Studies show that workers who telecommute 4 or 5 days of the workweek are almost twice as focused on their tasks and initiatives than those with a traditional, in-office schedule. However, what executives quickly realize when implementing a telework program is that, while motivation is the same with off-site workers, successful engagement with remote resources may look a little different than it does with internal employees. Fortunately, different doesn’t mean hard in this instance. Here are four relatively straightforward ways to keep your remote employees engaged and positioned for success.
Set Clear Expectations
Every initiative, regardless of workforce design, requires clearly defined expectations. Go beyond letting them know their specific responsibilities and where to go to with questions. Take the time to give them insight into their role within the organization and how it aligns with the company’s overall strategic vision.
Provide Space for Them to Deliver
Make what you want abundantly clear while giving them the freedom needed to define how they will get there. Making room for outside ideas, suggestions, and input within your overall vision can keep everyone vested in the initiative as well as expedite results.
Reinforce a Sense of Team
Modern technology grants us infinite ways to build a sense of team and community with remote workers. Use innovation to your advantage by scheduling consistent group meetings and events with all relevant stakeholders. Zoom Basic, Skype, and Google Hangouts are just some of the many free video call resources available that enable your crew to visually connect with each other as well as establish trust and transparency throughout the project duration.
Everyone loves a proper shout-out for a job well done – including off-site workers. Offering individual or team praise and recognition can play an invaluable role in helping your staff feel valued, instantly boosting and encouraging their engagement in the initiative.
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