In the United States, more than 3.9 million Americans work outside the office. These individuals may choose to work remotely because of a variety of perks — flexible hours, no commute, no unwanted distractions, etc. But unfortunately, just like any other job, working remotely can be discouraging and frustrating at times. Remote workers also face times of isolation and loneliness. To help your employees who may be struggling with some of the challenges of working remotely, here are a few tips:
For any remote team, communication is critical. Poor communication can delay projects and assignments, affect sales and growth, and decrease employee engagement. As a manager, you must possess strong communication skills and converse frequently with each of your employees. While you may personally have flexible hours, try to maintain a scheduled time slot during which your employees can always reach you. During these hours, be available for questions and respond quickly to emails. This will help prevent employees from feeling lost and discouraged with their assignments.
Provide Positive Feedback
Praise is a vital component of a healthy and successful direct report relationship. Employees working remotely in a company that also has a brick-and-mortar office environment can sometimes be overlooked. In addition to frequently communicating with your remote employees, be sure to make them feel appreciated and part of the team. Regularly express your thanks when they go the extra mile and let them know you are aware of their hard work. This could be something as simple as a quick email, a public shout-out, or a small bonus.
Give Your Team Members a Reason
Why do you suddenly change your employees’ assignments? Why do you ask them to complete certain tasks that were not previously on their radar? When employees understand the reasoning behind your requests, they will more likely fulfill them without complaint and frustration. In one study, a social psychologist tested this theory by asking people who were waiting in a line if she could cut in front of them. When she simply asked if she could cut in, only 60 percent said yes. However, when she provided a reason, more than 94 percent agreed to the request.
Offer Excellent Vacation Benefits and Make Your Team Use Them
It is no secret that a vacation offers many benefits for an individual’s physical and mental health. Unfortunately, many employees either have poor vacation benefits or have good benefits but do not use them. According to one survey, more than 49 percent of employees said they didn’t take their vacations because their workload was too large, and 42 percent said nobody would cover their workload if they took the time off.
As a manager, supervisor, or other leader, encourage your employees to take their vacations and completely disconnect in order to get away from job stress. Be sure to cover their workloads so they can come back rejuvenated, rested, and motivated.
Stimulating remote employees requires a conscious effort for any team leader. But by prioritizing the above tips, you’ll have a happier, more satisfied workforce.
Author: Alisiana Peters
Alisiana is a senior marketing coordinator at HiringThing, an award-winning online recruiting software provider dedicated to changing the way businesses hire talent. Questions? Contact HiringThing Marketing.