Remote workers care about employee engagement too

Simple ways to stay connected and boost team performance across time zones

작성자: Slack Team2018년 11월 21일Josh Cochran의 일러스트

The term “remote” was once reserved for colleagues in distant offices and employees who had little connection to the heart of an organization. But thanks to technological advances and the rise of new collaboration tools, remote work has become a convenient, productive option for both individual workers and the wider business. According to an often-cited Gallup poll, 43% of Americans spend time working remotely, and the number of workers who telecommute four or five days a week increased from 24% to 31% between 2012 and 2016. All of which proves that, regardless of their location, remote workers can be a central part of any team.

It makes sense: The ability to work remotely means greater freedom for local employees who can benefit from a few extra days at home, freelancers who balance projects for multiple businesses, and full-time staff and teams who work in other countries and time zones. It also enables companies to connect with talent across the globe, making it a win for both employers and employees.

Along with its many advantages, however, remote work has the potential to isolate staff, which can have a significant negative impact on team performance and employee retention. Here are some tips for effectively engaging remote colleagues and teams.

The challenges of working remotely

By its very nature, a remote workforce is physically less connected to a company’s central hub of activity, which means people may miss out on communal gatherings like team lunches, celebrating colleagues’ birthdays, water-cooler conversations, and other informal moments that make a group of individuals feels like a team. It’s an absence that’s felt across the organization. In a recent study, we found that 85% of workers want to feel closer to their remote colleagues. But the effects of detachment aren’t limited to interoffice relationships—employee engagement takes a hit too.

Gallup describes engaged employees as those who feel “involved in, enthusiastic about, and committed to their work and workplace,” part of which comes from their belief in the transparency of their company and colleagues. Unfortunately, many organizations’ leaders aren’t doing enough to make employees feel informed: 55% of business owners believe they’re “very transparent,” but only 18% of their employees agree.

When employees lack clarity and context, they feel out of the loop, which ultimately leads to disengagement, so much so that they might not even voice their opinions. In a study, Joseph Grenny and David Maxfield, co-authors of Crucial Conversations: Tools for Talking When Stakes Are High, discovered that 84% of remote workers hide workplace concerns for a few days before informing higher-ups, and 47% admitted that they didn’t address issues for more than a week.

These communication gaps can hurt productivity and morale in the long run. Without proper feedback from managers, employees are twice as likely to say they’ll quit because they feel like they’ve been taken for granted. Failure to work inclusively with a remote team can also hurt a business’s bottom line. Every year, disengaged workers cost the U.S. economy up to $605 billion in lost productivity—they frequently arrive late to work, or miss shifts entirely, and disrupt others with their negativity.

How to create an inclusive work environment for remote workers 

To make remote employees feel as valued as in-office staff, you need to implement processes that allow for more collaboration across the organization. Providing access to information and easy methods of communication is necessary for boosting engagement. And it’s not as hard as you might expect.

Prioritize open communication

Using a communication channel that lets employees receive quick responses from managers and colleagues is one of the simplest ways to improve engagement for remote teams. But regular check-ins shouldn’t just be the responsibility of employees—46% of remote workers believe the best managers are the ones who check in frequently. Err on the side of communicating too much, and use collaborative tools to ensure an open flow of conversation.

Frequent group updates and anonymous feedback surveys can also help a remote workforce feel included and give them the opportunity to voice their needs without the added concern of reaching out at an inopportune moment.

Find time for small talk

It might be tempting to reserve conference calls only for formal meetings, but phone or video conversations present a unique opportunity to chat with remote team members about work- and non-work-related topics. Discuss their hobbies and interests, and ask for their thoughts on company processes in a less formal setting—it all helps to cultivate a sense of community within the digital workplace. Asking in-office employees to call in for video conferences can also help eliminate the feeling that remote workers are on the outside looking in.

Celebrate successes

Daily greetings and regular check-ins over shared communication channels are effective ways to acknowledge remote employees, but the biggest impact comes from celebrating contributions and achievements with specific, purposeful feedback and recognition.

Acknowledge personal milestones, like birthdays and work anniversaries—a simple, thoughtful note or signed card from the in-office team goes a long way. You might also want to share lighthearted news alongside quirky office rituals (like GitHub’s internal #toasts forum). Extending company culture to your digital workforce is necessary for inclusion and engagement. Plus, it’s a fun infusion to your workplace culture that makes everyone feel good.

Teach teammates how to work with each other

It can be difficult to communicate with team members across continents and time zones, especially if you’re working on a deadline-driven project. But there are efficient ways to collaborate with remote teams, and it all starts with setting digital workplace expectations. Create guidelines and schedules for team members’ availability—some collaboration tools even let you create custom profiles and statuses to inform everyone of your location—and remind in-office teams that remote workers aren’t always able to answer questions right away. And of course, you can always use dedicated channels to share meeting notes, videos, and other communal docs for employees to catch up on their own time.

A team is a team regardless of everyone’s location

Companies are defined by the culture they create—and when remote workers feel alienated from that culture, it can take a serious toll on employee engagement and productivity. Connecting with distant employees can sometimes feel daunting, but there are lots of workplace collaboration tools and engagement techniques to help your team feel like, well, a team.

이 포스트가 유용했나요?



피드백을 주셔서 감사합니다.


피드백을 주셔서 감사합니다.

죄송합니다. 문제가 발생했습니다. 나중에 다시 시도해주세요.

계속 읽기


[Slack People 2탄] Slack의 가치를 알리는 Slack 미드마켓 한국 영업 팀

스타트업부터 유니콘 기업, 중소기업, 중견기업에 이르기까지 크고 작은 규모의 국내 기업에 Slack의 가치를 알리고 있는 미드마켓(Mid-market) 한국 영업 팀은 오늘도 Slack의 가치를 알리기 위해 길을 나섭니다.


일하면서 여름휴가도 즐기는 현명한 방법, 워케이션

팬데믹 동안 여행을 떠나 제대로 된 휴식을 취하지도 못했기에 새로운 공간과 환경에 대한 니즈가 그 어느 때보다 많고, 이는 워케이션이 트렌드로 떠오른 이유입니다. Slack은 워케이션을 가장 잘 보낼 수 있도록 도와주는 핵심적인 도구가 될 수 있습니다.


업무 효율 높이는 마케팅 5년 차 대리의 Slack 활용 팁

Slack을 도입한 대부분 조직의 마케팅 팀원들은 다양한 부서 혹은 외부 조직들과의 커뮤니케이션, 여러 마케팅 툴 활용 등 동시다발적인 업무들을 Slack으로 통합하여 생산성을 최대치로 끌어올리며 업무를 해내고 있습니다.


영업 담당자를 손쉽게 온보딩하기 위한 7가지 팁

새 담당자를 빠르게 합류시켜 성공할 수 있도록 준비시키는 일은 대단히 중요합니다. Slack에서 이를 수행하는 방법은 다음과 같습니다.