Have you ever sent a text or email, then later realized it did not convey the emotion you intended it to? This is common with digital communication, but when it’s your primary mode of talking to a remote workforce, it’s important to keep that personal touch.
The best way to avoid communication mishaps is to create a communication strategy. By stipulating the appropriate medium for different types of messages, you can maintain clarity and friendliness.
Some best practices for communicating with remote workers include:
Your best bet is to create a communication matrix with these mediums so everyone is on the same page.
Some companies take measures to maintain better person-to-person communication by establishing a ‘no email Thursday,’ for instance. Or make use of an internal color code system to indicate the urgency of items that are communicated.
There’s nothing worse than stirring awake in the middle of the night and seeing an email on your phone with the subject line “URGENT.”
The reality of a remote workforce is that you’re more likely to have geographically dispersed employees. Unless you’re mindful of your employees’ time zones, your communication guidelines are pretty much useless.
The advantages of using Office 365's tools such as Outlook and Microsoft Teams, is that it indicates the time zone of your respective colleagues. Employees will also appreciate it if you are aware of their cultural holidays and ensure they are not disturbed on those days.
Remote employment eliminates many unnecessary meetings and corporate procedures by nature of the arrangement. You can support these measures of efficiency by taking advantage of certain collaborative features on digital communication tools.
Microsoft Teams allow you to record videos, send voice notes and keep track of the work of your fellow colleagues. For projects that need a bit more creative thinking, use Teams with SharePoint, Whiteboard, and Planner.
Keeping the employee relationship at the forefront is critical to effective management, especially when you can be face-to-face.
Being completely self-driven will definitely work in the favor of remote workers, but not everyone is. Employee motivation in the office setting has been studied for thousands of years and has been refined and refreshed. But since remote work is a newer concept, there is still a lot to be discovered in this area.
The biggest fear for remote workers is that they won’t have access to as many opportunities compared to their in-office colleagues. To alleviate this fear, make sure you provide them regular learning and development opportunities.
You can also spontaneously give your employees the opportunity to attend a conference that will broaden their horizons. This will give them that extra push to keep motivation high.
Part of maintaining motivation is feeling connected; give your remote workers the chance to teach the team a new skill or present a project they have been working on. This will not only make them feel more involved but will drive them to strive and invest in their work.
Higher motivation among your remote workforce can lead to greater productivity and employee performance. However, productivity often has more to do with process efficiency. To maximize productivity, you must understand the obstacles that stand in the way and see how you can actively overcome them.
Having regular check-ins can give you insight into where your employees are stuck. Ask them to tell you the processes and procedures that eat up too much of their time, and see if you can find ways to decrease or even eliminate them.
The success of remote work lies in establishing a strong foundation. Onboarding a remote employee is just as integral as onboarding someone sitting beside you in your office. It may seem intimidating to start with, it’s not that complicated if you use the right tools:
Remember, just because an employee is in another state, country or in an adjacent coffee shop, their employee experience should not be negatively affected. They should experience the same level of engagement as an employee in the office.