Remote working constituted a small percentage of the overall operations of most companies until COVID-19 hit and turned it mainstream. Despite the initial scepticism around this, companies are now reassessing the use of work-from-home (WFH) and realigning themselves to the possibility of a completely remote working policy or at least a hybrid style of work even beyond the pandemic.
A study by Stanford University revealed that the rate of employee turnover in a group of work-from-home employees was nearly 50% less than that in a group of in-office employees. Similarly, there was a drop in absenteeism but an increase in productivity.
Unfortunately, working remotely comes with its own set of challenges such as the complete absence of office camaraderie or a lack of team belongingness that was once abundant in close-knit office spaces.
Add to that the trouble of finding a dedicated workspace in the house and the lack of privacy while attending Zoom meetings from the living room or bedroom. There is also a blurring of lines between work and personal life.
So, how does a company ensure that its remote team members remain engaged and do not feel disconnected from their work while maintaining a healthy work-from-home environment? Let’s look at some of the efficient ways here:
Key Perks, Benefits and Ways to Keep Your Remote Teams Engaged!
Nothing motivates and encourages humans to give their best than earning a gift or reward. These perks are also signs of recognition of their hard work and become something they can showcase proudly.
Here are some benefits, perks and other motivations to keep the momentum going and ensure that remote employees feel rewarded!
1. Office Equipment:
Employees may be working from home but it’s important to factor in the concerns such as health and posture. Agreed, most homes offer unparalleled comfort to their inhabitants but when it comes to doing office work in front of a screen, the generic table-chair, a recliner or one’s bed, hardly makes for a productive work-space.
Companies can provide ergonomic office equipment to their remote workers that will help them alleviate any physical discomforts. If this stretches the budget too much, companies can plan competitions where the items will be given out as winning prizes.
This will not only boost employee happiness but also cut down on future health costs for the company.
2. Holiday Vouchers:
Everybody craves for holidays to take some time off and unwind. After a prolonged period of lockdown, the more so.
In such a case, offering employees paid holiday trips during long weekends or even a surprise day off can be a meaningful way to show your appreciation. Holidays are often a talking point amongst co-workers too, so companies can, in fact, take advantage of this and build a good PR case for themselves.
3. Virtual Shout-Outs:
Public recognition is the best form of recognition. Even in a remote working environment, public recognition should not stop. Instead, it should be modified and recalibrated to take on the digital route.
One of the ways of recognising employee performance remotely is through group video calls. A virtual shout-out in front of the team goes a long way in boosting employee morale and encouraging them to do better.
Other ways of doing the same could be through a slideshow presentation, verbally or by displaying statistics on how the employee has been an asset through their performance. You can also use the company’s website or social platforms to give shout-outs.
4. Online Fun & Games:
All work and no fun cannot keep the employees satisfied for long.
But with the adoption of new work measures, the fun of coffee breaks and the camaraderie of lunchtime can get lost quickly. Monotony can take over and that can lead to turnover.
So, companies need to bring back the Friday fun sessions with games and other group activities. These sessions can be completely impromptu where the employees get to catch up on their day so far and other topics outside of work.
Plan an after-office, happy-hour session that will involve quizzes and other fun games. In fact, there are many online multiplayer games which can be played by many people at one go.
5. LinkedIn Recommendations:
A nicely written professional LinkedIn recommendation coming from the management can make a huge impact on an employee’s morale. A public endorsement of an employee’s management skills or other professional achievements is a great way to depict that managers care for their employees’ efforts.
As the employees will share such posts with their network, the brand will get much-needed exposure.
6. Virtual Wellness Programs:
A great way to help the employees feel better during the COVID-19 pandemic is to design virtual employee wellness programs. Come up with a wellness program that has specific rewards built in for every milestone achieved. The milestones should be easy to achieve to encourage participation, such as exercising every day for 15 minutes after waking up or meditating every night before bed.
Whenever any employee hits a certain milestone, they can receive award points which can be exchanged for gift items or wellness experiences such as massages and spa treatments. The goal of the program is to help employees maintain a healthy regime while working from home in exchange for tangible benefits and rewards which they can redeem.
7. Learning Courses:
What better way to spend the monotonous leisure hours than by upskilling yourself?
Learning and development courses are a great way to engage employees positively. Remote working does not mean the companies should not invest in their employees’ skill development. Long periods of isolation can drive employees to question the next steps in their career. Offering them various learning and development opportunities helps them stay on the path of professional growth and invest their precious time in a positive manner. Also, it will help them stay motivated about pursuing future growth opportunities within the company, thereby improving retention and employee satisfaction.
The top management and HR can engage employees and drive better performance and with the help of the above ideas and emerge stronger than before!
And now, it’s your turn! If you have any interesting thoughts or ideas regarding keeping the remote employee engaged, you could leave us a comment or get in touch with us; we would love to hear from you!