5 Ways to Engage with Remote Employees

It’s no secret that more companies are facilitating remote work. Whether it’s a few days a week from home or entirely remote, businesses are still trying to crack the code on how to get the most out of their remote employees.

A study by SmallBizGenius reveals some key remote work statistics:

  • 40% of people feel the greatest benefit of remote work is the flexible schedule.
  • 16% of companies exclusively hire remote workers.
  • Companies allowing remote work have 25% lower employee turnover those that don’t.
  • 76% of workers would be more willing to stay with their current employer if they could work flexible hours.
  • People who work remotely at least once a month are 24% more likely to be happy and productive.
  • The number of people who work from home has increased by 140% since 2005.
  • 4.3 million people in the USA work from home at least half the time.

The case for remote work is strong, but as employers, how do you engage with people you rarely see? We’ve come up with a list of 5 ways to engage your remote employees.

  1. Use a chat app: Use a chat program like Slack or Hangouts. Not only can chat apps be used for faster communication, but they also create a casual, more conversational outlet to connect. Don’t be afraid to drop in the occasional meme to lighten the mood.
  2. Schedule video meetings: At least once a week, connect with your team through video chat. Video chat forces employees to engage and encourages collaboration.
  3. Get creative: While you may not be able to bring in doughnuts on a Friday, you can get creative to show remote employees you appreciate them. Ideas: Send them a gift card to their favorite coffee shop. Use a delivery service like Instacart or Shipt to send them something special.
  4. Set clear expectations: It’s easy to feel like you’re on an island as a remote employee. Make sure your employees don’t feel stranded. Set up your remote employees for success by having a solid onboarding program in place. Include things like: Who they should reach out to? What are their working hours? What are their daily, weekly, monthly goals? Etc.
  5. Company retreats: If the budget allows, consider an annual company retreat. Retreats allow employees to connect in a different way through shared experiences. In turn, they build trust with each other.