Remote work is not only a convenient option but also an effective choice given the present situation. Modern-day technology has thrown open to us a plethora of remote employees engagement ideas. Today, we all have the opportunities to work from any part of the world. And that’s something that we all can (and are) appreciating today. 

The Internet is omnipresent and work@home is now a part of most work cultures. In fact, 4.3 million people in the USA, which is around 3.2% of the entire workforce, work remotely at least half the time. Research also indicates that working remotely or telecommuting makes employees more productive with their work. The magic trick is to find the right set of remote employee engagement ideas. 

As a manager of a remote or distributed team, you often find it challenging to make employees feel like they’re working together toward the same goals. That’s why organizations are now putting more effort into creating a conducive environment for remote work employees so they don’t feel left out. They are also investing in remote employee engagement activities that can bring out the best in their remote working teams.

How Do You Engage With Remote Employees?

Below, I have put together some of the best remote employees engagement ideas for helping your remote employees connected, motivated, and engaged. If you are looking for ways to engage and empower your remote workforce, I suggest you try out these simple ideas. 

Use The Best Communication Tools 

You know your team the best. So, if they prefer video conferencing, try to schedule one every week. Skype, Slack, Zoom, Hangouts- take your pick! If your work is more on the field, or, you could opt for a simple and much affordable team collaboration suite by Telebu

Wondering what you get with the team collaboration suite? Well, the suite offers you a complete communication and collaboration solution that comes in pretty handy in terms of both onsite/remote work. The suite includes tools like grptalk, TelebuJoin, and TelebuPing that help you stay connected even if the rest of your team is in a remote place with poor to no Internet. Each of these tools allows for everyone on your team to stay on the same page, all the time. In addition to collaboration, make sure that you have access to the right time management and work management tools as they are equally important in ke4eping remote work productive.     

How Do You Engage With Remote Employees?

Be A Care Bear 

Remote workers often have it hard. They start pretty early in the day, take smaller breaks, work through them sometimes and work throughout the day. But you can change a lot of that as an employer. Help them establish a schedule that allows for ample time to do other things. Take the initiative to guide them. This is where you could also focus on remote employee engagement activities regularly. A dinner meeting or just fun-filled activities like bowling or laser tag can help build a strong team connection. 

An online forum to recognize all their hard work and commitment is going to give their morale a boost. Get your entire team to contribute to it every week. Remote workers with the most number of mentions could be recognized. Put in more effort to connect with your remote workers and in getting to know them. Asking them questions about their lifestyle, hobbies, the books they read or the shows they watch will help you to build a great rapport with them. Call them every now and then get chatty. Make sure to not overdo it though. 

Keep Them In The Loop 

How many times have you discussed updates or work-related plans over coffee or near the water cooler? Honestly, too many times to remember. During this time, make it a habit to remember your telecommuting team. It’s crucial that you keep your remote workers abreast of such information lest they miss it. One simple way of doing this is to assign a buddy to either a remote employee or a team who can be made responsible for passing on important updates. 

You can also rotate these buddies and this can also help create a bond with the whole team instead of just a few people. A fun activity for your in-office employees would be to create a board on Asana which has highlights of all the off-the-table discussions that happened in the office. Ensure that they enter all the relevant ones down for your remote team to read through. At the end of the day, everyone is updated and happy.  

Give Them Opportunities To Interact 

Get your remote team to interact with other remote workers by encouraging them to work from various co-working spaces. These spaces are fantastic to meet more people like them and get the camaraderie going. Working from co-working spaces will ensure that they don’t feel left out and are able to have social interaction with others. 

Apart from co-working spaces, arrange for luncheon meetings. This is where your entire team will get to spend time with each other ‘off work’ and get to know each other better. In fact, to make things interesting, you can make someone from your remote team responsible for arranging this. 

Avoid Micromanaging At All Costs 

While it’s a great step to take an active interest in the work of your remote employees, it can also backfire. In your attempt to be involved, you might accidentally end up compromising with their feeling of autonomy, a much sought-after perk of telecommuting. 

So, ensure that you are in tight communication with them but don’t push them for daily updates or breathe down their necks. Learning how to go about this might take you a while, especially if you’re not used to working with remote teams. Try to focus on the output they produce instead of their daily activities and how they get the work done. 

How Do You Make Remote Employees Feel Appreciated? 

If you are able to manage a remote workforce successfully—kudos to you for getting the job done. However, many remote employees state a lack of recognition and appreciation as a chronic remote work problem. For that reason and more, it is important for managers as well as organizations considering WFH/remote work lately to implement ideas on how to make remote employees feel appreciated for their efforts. 

remote employee engagement ideas

Here are a few ideas that might help you make appreciation a common practice in your remote working culture. 

  • Praise your remote workforce and their efforts through the virtual community (office chat groups, audio conferences, email chains, social media groups, etc)
  • Try to be specific with your praise. Make sure every individual and every individual’s effort is counted. 
  • If giving rewards and gifts fall under your budget, go for it. And consider rewards/gifts that are practical. 
  • Most importantly, do the above-mentioned more often—not just on the employee appreciation day. 

Conclusion

If you have never managed a remote team before, you are probably already familiar with the challenges that you are up to these days. However, with the right tools and the best remote employees engagement ideas in place, you can surely handle the diversity that comes with working remotely and achieve wonders. 

Did you find these remote work ideas helpful? If so, then spread these ideas among your fellow colleagues and team members. 

Happy remote working!