Improving Virtual Workplaces for Remote Employees
The workplace is constantly changing. Incorporating new HR and workplace trends will allow businesses remain competitive in their respective industries. With voluntary benefits, healthcare, and paid time off options becoming the norm, it should come as no surprise that the demand for remote opportunities is also rising. As more remote employees enter the workforce and virtual offices are becoming norm, it is imperative to still treat remote employees with the same respect and expectations as that of in-office employees.
Building a relationship with such employees is imperative to the success of remote dynamics. From building trust to investing in collaborative processes, tools, and systems to establishing a virtual workspace, remote work can be incredibly successful.
Build trust. Sometimes all an employee needs are the right tools to succeed. However, in a remote setting, sometimes it is the employer that requires more. The first step in building a successful remote position is developing trust with the employee. When first starting out, part of the workflow process may be a daily or weekly report indicating progress on assigned tasks to evaluate levels of productivity and the quality of service delivered. As time progresses, the supervising individual may remove the daily or weekly reports once that trust is established. Most times managers eventually formulate a system of conveying what needs to be done and the employee is tasked with figuring out the process for which the task will be completed.
Collaboration tools. Collaboration is key to ensuring a successful and dynamic work relationship can exist. It is important for employers to invest in the appropriate tools to guarantee readily accessible, versatile communication systems and tools. For example, video and/or phone conferencing systems allow regular, consistent communication to support the workflow processes. While communication is vital to successful workplace operation, it is equally vital to invest in proper training of such systems to ensure all employees – remote, especially – understand how to operate them. Otherwise, all this time and money into a system an employee doesn’t know how to properly use can be catastrophic to the workflow process.
Establish virtual workplace. Remote work opportunities oftentimes limit the feeling of belonging due to missed in-house activities, conversations, and general atmosphere. Creating virtual meetings where the team can discuss goals or even a simple team-building activity can assist remote employees feel included. If there is an internal announcement, make sure to include remote employees on the announcement. Whether it is a personal phone call, an email announcement, or posting on a collaborative communication platform, including remote employees will boost their feeling of inclusivity and integration with the team.
Another great idea is that if you have many remote employees located throughout a region, encouraging them to meet up or find a shared workspace could be beneficial. For example, if you have a few people scattered throughout the Detroit region, encouraging them to find a coffee shop or shared commercial space could allow them to form a working relationship and strengthen a sense of belonging.
Remote work is becoming a trending benefit that most applicants are now seeking in their next career moves. It is critical that business owners and hiring managers are able to remain competitive with the remote or flexible work arrangements. To ensure you’re within compliance with remote work options, please contact Human Capital. We value your relationship with your employees and can provide risk management analysis to ensure compliance with employment and labor laws.