Work looks different nowadays.
Here’s what that means for the future of employee engagement.
What Does Remote Work Look Like?
Buffer’s 2021 State of Remote Work Survey found that 97.6% of respondents would like to work remotely, at least some of the time, for the rest of their lives. 46% of respondents said that their company is planning on permanently allowing remote work.
Remote work does not harm engagement as one might expect. Gallup found in its State of the American Workplace report that employees are most engaged when they spend three to four days working remotely per week. Additionally, “all employees who spend at least some (but not all) of their time working remotely have higher engagement than those who don’t ever work remotely.”
But engagement dips when companies are fully remote. How can we keep our employees engaged and enthusiastic when we never see them face to face? Here are our top suggestions.
- Maximize your remote work tools. That’s what they’re for! Communication platforms like Zoom and Slack and project management tools like Asana and Airtable can help keep everything in one place. Encourage your team to keep their cameras on, even during informal conversations or company-wide meetings.
- Implement ways to reduce fatigue. Sitting on Zoom all day can be exhausting. Build in breaks from meetings, encourage your employees to avoid multitasking during video calls, and reduce on-screen distractions. Video calling isn’t always the answer — some exchanges are better suited for messaging or email.
- Implement opportunities for socialization. Social connections enhance employee wellness and comfort with peers, and they’re more important than ever in the disconnected remote space. Whether through Friday social time or team-building events, make sure to build in chances for your employees to get to know each other outside of work. Some fun activities include virtual escape rooms or game nights, icebreaker questions, or happy hours.
- Keep people in the loop. Include your employees by inviting them to sit in on meetings, provide feedback, and participate in one-on-ones. The consistency and clarity provided by regular check-ins allow employees to feel more comfortable in their roles and motivated to achieve. Goal-setting and culture management systems like Instill can clarify your goals and values, ensuring that everyone is on the same page.
- Keep things flexible. Buffer’s survey found that people think the biggest benefit of working remotely is the ability to have a flexible schedule, followed by the flexibility to work from anywhere. Respondents also reported that the biggest downside to remote work is an inability to unplug. The key to flexibility is trust — by putting your faith in your employees, you can give them the autonomy they need to accomplish tasks while maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
- Show you care. Make sure your employees feel appreciated by being deliberate and specific with your praise. Simple gestures can go a long way. Larger gestures don’t hurt either — care packages give your employees something tangible to associate with their company, making everything feel a bit more real.
Worried about remote engagement? Instill’s Continuous Assessment™ system monitors variables like engagement and burnout risk, with actionable insights to help your employees stay on task and excited about their work. Schedule a demo today: https://bit.ly/36SjGyQ