The days of spending long hours in the office may soon become a thing of the past. The trend of employees working remotely continues to rise, and in fact, more and more employees are opting to work remotely during business hours when given the chance.
For organizations who started with a totally remote workforce or a mostly remote one, understanding how to create a productive work environment for remote employees may not be an issue. They simply don’t know any other way and have built remote work into their business model.
But for organizations who want to start allowing more employees to work remotely, the adjustment might be difficult and even painful in the beginning. Managers may be unsure at first of how to measure remote employees’ progress and employees may be unsure of what will now be expected of them.
Some time will be needed to fully transition from in-office work to remote. Organizations who are used to having employees come into an office will need to learn how to translate their work environment and their company culture to the remote experience.
Here are 3 ways organizations can create a productive and satisfying work environment for employees who work remotely:
- Make it Pleasant
Working in an office is not so bad. There are often a lot of benefits to it. Besides the social interaction, offices usually offer little perks like free coffee and snacks. Smart organizations go out of their way to make sure their office environments are pleasant places to work. This not only attracts top talent, but it can stimulate more productivity as well. So, make sure you translate all of the benefits and perks of your office to your remote employees. Get creative with it. Providing free coffee and snacks for employees working remotely might actually be a great place to start. Delighting employees and putting effort into making their work environments pleasant will go a long way toward boosting their productivity and retaining their loyalty.
- Invest in Tech
A cheap webcam and a laptop is not going to cut it. Organizations who are serious about having employees work remotely will need to invest more money and resources into technology, such as HD, high quality floor cameras that can video stream what is going on in the office, collaborative apps, chat tools, and learning management software. Having sufficiently advanced technology in place ensures that work with remote employees will go as smoothly as possible. Being cheap will cost organizations more in the long-run. Think about how much time is wasted when people are continually disconnected in conference calls! Organizations who think having employees work remotely will spare them the need to spend money on their employees are setting themselves up for losses.
- Bring them Together
Don’t keep your remote employees hidden away. Bring them into headquarters periodically or schedule a retreat so they can all meet in person. While technology allows for seamless communication between remote employees, there’s truly no substitute for good, old-fashioned face-to-face interaction. Bringing your employees together for an in-person meeting can help them feel more part of the company and forge stronger relationships between them. Employees who meet in person can then assign faces to names and then feel more comfortable corresponding with one another via email, messenger, and video chat.