Allowing your employees to work remotely is advantageous for not only them, but for you too.
Having this kind of flexibility as an employer means your employees will be more loyal, more open and more likely to work harder for you and your business.
For example, those who have other responsibilities, such as children, can hugely benefit from even the slightest amount of flexibility from an employer.
Advertising for remote employees is also an advantage as an employer, as you can cast your net as wide as you like and find talent from far corners.
However, sometimes it can seem difficult to make your remote employees feel like part of the team – especially if the majority of your staff work in house.
Luckily, we have a few helpful tips we’ve picked up from working with remote employees ourselves, which you can take on board and use.
We found that it’s incredibly important to hold meetings with all of your staff. If your remote employee isn’t able to come into the office this can be done over video calls (such as Skype) or via a conference call.
Regular meetings not only help keep your in house employees in the loop, but allow your remote employees to gain an insight into what’s going on in the company.
These will also be useful for collaborations between in house and remote employees, which will cement their place as a member of the team even more.
Involve them in the social side
While your remote employees may not be in the office every day, that doesn’t mean you should cut them off from every other aspect of working life.
Often for those who work at home, isolation and loneliness are big factors in losing morale and feeling more like an island than part of the team.
This is why you should make an extra effort when planning your work nights out. They aren’t able to come and easily grab an after work drink, so make sure you organise planned events that they can take part in.
Meet as much as possible
While this won’t be possible for the employees that work very far away, for those who work flexibly or live close, it makes sense to make a bit of extra effort and meet up with your remote employees when you can.
If you can’t get out of the office to meet them, cover their expenses to come into the office so you can have a catch up and ensure everything is going okay.
While meetings are important to discuss workloads and new ideas, it’s also important to show that you’re willing to make time for them – and that you haven’t forgotten about them!
Use messaging apps
When you’re not meeting up, stay up to date with all you’re employees through messaging app.
We found that using the Slack messaging app everyone was able to stay up to date with the latest changes. The use of multiple channels for different discussions plus direct messaging means there aren’t thousands of irrelevant messages to catch up on – instead you can simply notify everyone who needs to know.
This platform also encourages discussion on ideas, which is great when you need to reach out for opinions – without the added hassle of an email chain!
Keep it light
Humour is the perfect way for your employees to bond, so encourage them to keep things light-hearted when messaging.
For example, a Slack channel dedicated to random chat – whether about the latest news or the most recent Netflix binge – could keep those bonds formed and remote employees feeling like a real part of the team despite the distance.
However, you will want to make sure that it’s not just random chitchat going on in the group – you’re all there to work towards the same goal, after all!