Research has indicated that those who work remotely tend to be more productive compared to their in-office counterparts. However, remote work can also lead to distractions, which can be mitigated through face-to-face interaction of a team operating in a shared physical space.
When employees are working remotely, how can you ensure that they remain connected and productive without the convenience of a quick face-to-face interaction or bonding over coffee breaks as they would when working in a physical office?
In conclusion, it is crucial to ensure that remote employees receive the same level of engagement and opportunities to contribute as their in-office colleagues. This can be achieved by establishing clear, reliable communication channels that are consistently implemented. Many strategies for enhancing the productivity of remote workers revolve around improving knowledge and idea-sharing.
Efficient communication is critical for any workplace’s success, and email has traditionally been relied upon for this purpose. However, it may not always suffice when it comes to remote workers. One effective solution that has gained significant popularity is the use of Slack. Slack is a messaging platform that facilitates efficient and real-time communication, allowing team members to stay connected seamlessly, regardless of their geographical location.
While some employees may feel compelled to maintain a formal tone in their email communication, Slack offers a valuable means to keep the team informed and connected in a more relaxed and engaging manner. It also provides a perfect platform for sharing entertaining GIFs and fostering playful interactions with colleagues.
Maintaining consistent communication with your remote developers is vital to prevent them from feeling neglected or unaware of significant updates. To keep your developers informed and up to date in real-time, make use of your company’s messaging app or other internal communication platforms.
Although many companies are embracing digital communication platforms such as instant messaging, even within their small office environments, this trend has generally been helpful for remote workers. However, it has had a slightly adverse effect on those who value a more social, face-to-face atmosphere in their workplace.
To foster stronger professional relationships and ensure all workers, regardless of their location, remain informed and engaged with their job duties, it is crucial to implement an effective business communication system. Such a system should facilitate seamless communication between both remote and local staff, enabling them to stay up-to-date with their responsibilities while also establishing a more congenial atmosphere that encourages the formation of strong interpersonal connections.
Happy Birthday to all our traveling workers!
Do you typically celebrate colleagues’ birthdays or work anniversaries by bringing in a celebratory cake or acknowledging the milestone in some other way? If so, don’t forget to include your remote employees in the celebrations.
While organising cake deliveries for remote employees may not be practical, there are plenty of other ways to ensure they feel included as part of the team. For instance, why not schedule regular virtual meetings or even plan a virtual team building activity? You could also encourage team members to remain connected by creating a dedicated chat channel or messaging group.
One effective way to make remote workers feel included in the workplace is by sending a birthday card signed by the entire team. Although not as enjoyable as a cake, it is a thoughtful gesture that helps to bridge the distance and make remote workers feel connected to their colleagues.
Taking the time to show consideration towards remote employees in this way will be greatly appreciated, helping them to feel more connected with the team and reassured that they can still participate in work-related activities despite working remotely.
Keep in touch regularly.
As previously mentioned, effective communication is fundamental to resolving many of life’s challenges. This is especially applicable to your local workforce, where it is easier to monitor the behaviour of individuals with whom you interact regularly.
Although collaborative tools like Slack and HipChat offer tremendous convenience, it is crucial that team leaders maintain regular communication with each team member, preferably through face-to-face interactions. This enables leaders to gain valuable insight into the team’s progress and morale, and ensure that everyone is aligned with the same goals.
Regular communication with remote workers based in a different city is highly beneficial. We recommend scheduling a brief video conversation (no longer than five to ten minutes) every other week. The idea is to ensure that the remote developer does not feel overwhelmed, and the conversations are kept concise and to the point.
It is essential to do more than simply inquire if there is anything to be shared during these conversations. It is worth asking about how things are going, whether everyone is communicating effectively, and if there are any outstanding issues that need to be discussed. You may be surprised at how significant a brief conversation can be.
It is crucial to include remote team members in any relevant meetings, and to achieve this, it is advisable to conduct meetings via video chat. To ensure meeting success, it is best to schedule regular meetings on a day and time that is convenient for all attendees. In the current digital era, there is no significant difference between in-person meetings and virtual meetings conducted via tools like Skype.
Instead of relying on impromptu meetings, it is essential to inform everyone of any unscheduled meetings via email or a messaging tool to ensure everyone is kept in the loop. By doing so, it will help remote workers feel welcome and included, should they be able to join the group. It is crucial to inform remote workers that they are not required to attend any meeting unless it has been previously agreed that they are on-call at a specific time.
Determining a standard time zone to be used for day-to-day operations is of utmost importance. It can be challenging to keep track of the various time zones of a dispersed workforce, so it is recommended that all staff members agree to use the same time zone as the main office (e.g. Pacific Standard Time).
Establishing clear limits on the sending and responding to messages and emails between staff members can help reduce the risk of missed deadlines, cancelled appointments, or untimely responses. It is essential to discuss expectations around timely communication so that everyone is well-informed and capable of meeting the agreed deadlines.
It is imperative that remote employees understand the importance of meeting designated deadlines. However, it is also necessary for them to remain available to their team members between 1pm and 3pm (Eastern Time) Monday to Friday in case of any queries or questions.
Informing potential participants at the outset that they need not be available during normal business hours until the week prior to application submission is crucial. While a quick response may not always be necessary, it is advisable to plan accordingly if there is a considerable time difference between participants that makes it impossible to meet during the designated times.
Clear and timely communication of expectations for remote workers is paramount. This ensures there are no misunderstandings or disputes between colleagues, as any issues have been addressed from the beginning.
Locate the telecommuter.
It is evident that enabling successful communication between remote and in-house staff is not a challenging task. It is crucial to emphasize that effective communication is a fundamental requirement to ensure the cohesion of a team. To achieve this, some effort must be made, and planning is necessary to integrate both remote and in-house staff efficiently.
Complying with these guidelines ensures the smooth running of operations. Telecommuting workers are not only more satisfied and productive, but it also results in cost savings.
While these suggestions may seem simple, they are certainly not insignificant. For a more in-depth understanding of the importance of creating a welcoming work environment for remote engineers, please refer to our booklet.