Management of a remote workplace offers many advantages. Your organization can save money that you would have had to spend on a physical space. Employees no longer have to endure a commute. And according to quite a few studies, remote organizations see a major boost in productivity.
However, the remote work experience can also be hard on employees. For some, the shift away from a physical office makes it harder for them to get motivated or stay on task. Others find working remotely a lonely and depressing experience.
Some may love working remotely—but suffer frustrations over the tech setup they’re condemned to use. If you can improve the remote employee experience, you will see greater productivity, higher morale, and a more efficient, streamlined organization.
So how can you do this?
Invest in Better Tools
One of the best moves you can make is to invest in better tools. When workers have access to the tools they need to work productively, collaborate with others, and raise efficiency, they will naturally grow more satisfied with their assignments.
- Devices. Make sure your people are equipped with the devices they need to perform their best. Leaving them to fend for themselves with laptops from a decade or more past is a surefire way to foster resentment. You don’t have to give all your employees the most costly and elaborate options, but they should at least be efficient and reliable.
- Software. You’ll also need to have an effective digital workplace solution. The appropriate software can make it much easier for employees to communicate with one another, collaborate on projects, share files, and both stay and feel connected to the organization. If the platform is sufficiently secure, intuitive, and reliable, it can make everyone’s job a breeze.
Hire the Right People
If you’re looking to expand your team, make sure you hire the right people. Not everyone is suited to remote work, and not all effective remote workers are going to be ideal for your team.
Look for candidates who appear to be self-motivated, as well as those who have thrived in remote work environments in the past. You’ll also want to look for workers who seem to fit with your company culture; it’s much easier to promote a company culture if your employees naturally follow its tenets.
Embrace Employee Autonomy
Various studies suggest that employee autonomy is one of the most essential factors in workplace satisfaction and fulfillment. In other words, employees who feel they can exercise control over the tasks they take on tend to display more productivity, higher morale, and greater overall happiness.
There are many ways you can assist your remote employees to feel more autonomous. For example, you can give them more flexibility in the hours they may work, or provide greater control over which assignments they take on (at least to a degree).
Experiment to find the right balance between autonomy and top-down direction. It’s going to be somewhere between absolute management control and total employee self-determination.
Prioritize Good Communication
Remote teams are far more effective and happy when their communication is on point. This can be a sore spot for remote teams, but you can substantially improve your communication strategy by doing the following:
- Use the right platform for the message. Not everything requires a meeting. Not every issue may be summed up in a simple email. Understand the strengths and weaknesses of each platform and weigh your options carefully before you send a message or initiate a conversation.
- Remain clear and concise. Written communication is ideal for exchanging concise messages, but it can easily be abused. Encourage your employees to keep their messages short and to the point whenever possible; it will save time and encourage accurate word choice and structure.
- Minimize interruptions. Notifications and other distractions can put a damper on productivity, so try to limit them. Encourage employees to turn off notifications when they tackle a crucial assignment.
Keep Morale High With Team Building
In the absence of camaraderie or togetherness, a remote team’s morale level can plummet fast. Try to keep it high with occasional team-building efforts. For example, you can take everyone out for lunch if you all live within a reasonable distance of one another, or host a fun online event, such as a game night over video chat.
Collect Feedback From Employees
Finally, collect regular feedback from your employees. How are they feeling? What do they think about their workloads? Are they satisfied with incoming and outgoing communications?
What do they think could be improved? You’ll gather valuable insights here, which you can apply to efforts moving forward.
Improving the remote employee experience isn’t a one-time improvement; it’s an ongoing process that demands long-term strategy and commitment. Only by gradually and consistently optimizing your remote workplace will you see the best results for your firm.