A recent study found that 96% of executives see remote working as a disadvantage, particularly for engagement.
In an era where more workers are working from home, a lack of engagement amongst remote employees presents a major challenge. However, if it weren't for this one caveat, employers and employees alike might be better able to enjoy all of the benefits that come along with remote working.
So how can employers bridge the digital divide to build a community of trust and engagement amongst deeply valued team members?
How Does Remote Working Impact Company Culture?
The same study noted above found that 94% of executives see that remote workers are less connected and have fewer opportunities in the workplace. At the same time, workers are burning out from an abundance of virtual meetings and are less likely to participate.
Another challenge is that management doesn't always trust remote workers and vice versa. The reason for this is a lack of connection on both sides. It is hard to trust what we don't know, so the solution has to come from more opportunities to get to know one another.
What Can Companies Do to Foster Trust and Engagement with Remote Workers?
Here are three great ways to get started:
- Set Clear Expectations: Remote working, and particularly virtual communication, is still a new frontier for many. In the absence of policies and guidelines, people tend to mimic the attitudes and behaviors of their colleagues toward the path of least resistance. This means that if team members start attending virtual meetings with video off or don't have avenues or opportunities to work collaboratively, others will follow suit. This is when it can be beneficial to set expectations through policy that clearly expresses company values around things like having video on, muting and unmuting, and how and when to work collaboratively.
- Supportive Tools and Technology: When working from home, employees need access to all of the technology and tools that they would have in an office setting. This includes support systems for navigating trouble with the technology itself. For many workers, all of this technology is quite new, and the learning curve as well as the disruptions that come from malfunctions can lead to burnout and fatigue. Support can come as a huge relief!
- Communication Strategies: On top of having the right technologies, it is also important for employees to know who to turn to and when. By creating a flow of work chart or an organizational chart that is easily accessible, workers will be better able to understand who to turn to for help or for collaboration.
Ideas for Building Collaboration and Connection
Video conferencing and chatting platforms are workable alternatives to in-person communication. However, they can leave something to be desired in the interest of building relationships.
One of the most common ways that people build a connection is through shared experiences. Once the channels of communication between colleagues are opened, then collaboration will flow more freely.
Here are some ideas to improve engagement and foster connection across the digital divide:
- Organize team-building volunteer opportunities offsite
- Host Lunch & Learns
- Provide employees with a platform to engage them with fun and exciting deals
- Provide employee benefits and rewards programs
- Virtual watercooler time once per week
- Team check-ins
Passport provides you with an opportunity to engage your employees with a platform that brings them value through a selection of meaningful deals and discounts. With the right combination of work and play, team activities can be fun, promote connection and encourage well-being.
If you are looking for a reliable company that can provide you with the right employee engagement program for your employees, contact Passport Unlimited today. We provide personalized programs that can help you significantly enhance employee engagement in your company.