In the age of technology and startups, companies can hire anyone from anywhere. A company based in Phoenix can employ people living in Singapore. A startup in Toronto can hire workers living in St. Petersburg. As long as there is a reliable internet connection, there is a medium for communication and employment. But remote workers require a little extra effort when it comes to maintaining morale.
Undoubtedly, one issue for companies with out-of-office employees, especially among fledgling startups, is the notion of team building and morale. It is easy for an employee to feel a sense of loneliness, a lack of team identity, and a loss of morale. Maintaining morale and happiness among a workforce of people without an office is tricky. You can lose efficiency, dedication, and ultimately loyalty without a way of connecting with employees.
Be sure to check out these tips that will help you keep remote workers happy in your company.
Company Fun Days
Buffer is well known for hosting multiple international company retreats each year, in which they fly in employees from all over the world. Knowing that you are going to see and interact with your teammates, your boss, and upper management is certainly a motivator both toward happiness and efficiency.
Okay, maybe the use of the word ‘retreat’ here is a bit rich, because if it isn’t a physical retreat, then it certainly isn’t real. However, the notion of video hangouts on a regular basis is crucial toward maintaining a sense of team identity and cohesion, which can then affect morale. Seeing your coworkers face-to-face on an ongoing basis is eons ahead of rote emails or Skype calls. The simplest option, and most popular, is Google Hangouts, used by many companies, both large and small.
Webinars are important to the morale of remote workers because by having employees give presentations via live webinars to their coworkers keeps them sharp and prepared. And although not as collaborative as a video hangout, it is always good to have a visual aspect. WebEx seems to be the most popular webinar software, though there are many cheaper options out there.
Encourage Group Participation
Instead of having everyone work in a silo, remote workers should be interacting and collaborating in an ecosystem. There are some great pieces of software out there, like Trello and Asana, which allow coworkers to share and collaborate in a drag and drop wysiwyg environment. Check out an awesome comparison breakdown
Remember Personal Events
Employees have ongoing personal lives with events and milestones important to them. Whether it’s a birthday, newborn baby, or losing a family member – it’s important to show that as an employer, you care. Maybe send a relevant eCard on behalf of the office, where all employees can sign. Or better yet, send an office gift to an employee – they will certainly appreciate the thought.
Whether employees realize it or not, they become more productive when elements at work are gamified. Games have become a crucial tenet for companies’ strategies, as over 70% of companies are using gamification in some form in order to increase employee achievement.
Maintain Social Media
Though social media is often cited as a flawed and problematic communication tool, it does have benefits. And for a workforce that telecommutes, the benefits are clear: being active on social media allows for employees to feel “more personal meaningful connections, and feel more involved and collaborate.”