When Yahoo! CEO Marissa Mayer announced in 2013
that all remote Yahoo! employees would have to return to the office, the move was widely criticized. 65 percent of employees believe they are more productive
when they work remotely and 64 percent say they would take a pay cut to not have to go into the office.
This belief is supported by a Stanford University study that found remote workers are 13 percent more productive than their office dwelling counterparts and quit half as often. Even more, the US Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that telecommuting grew by 73 percent since 2005 as more forward thinking businesses are buying in to remote workers.
So while it’s clear that the future lies in a distributed workforce, cutting your employees lose from the office isn’t always entirely easy. A remote workforce offers its own set of unique challenges like burnout, loneliness, and lack of communication. That’s why we compiled for you three tips on how your company can keep your remote workers motivated and engaged, as if you were working right next to them.
Beware of remote worker burnout
While remote workers are generally more productive than their office-bound counterparts, the Stanford study also found that they work 9.5 percent longer. Jason Fried, founder of 37 Signals
and the author of the New York Times bestseller Remote
, says, “managers need to establish a culture of reasonably expectations. At 37signals, that means that we expect people to work no more than 40 hours a week, on average.” If you have a distributed workforce, make sure your employees understand it’s about putting in a good days work, not spending their whole day in front of their computer.
Make sure your remote workers aren’t lonely
Even though we have plenty of modes of communication, working from home or even a coffee shop can get lonely for remote workers. Plan monthly check-ins with remote workers or provide a stipend for a desk at a co-working space. Even better, organize a company retreat a couple time a year to bond with your employees and see each other face to face!
Keep remote workers in the loop and acknowledge their accomplishments
Email and video conferences are effective ways to communicate with employees on a day-to-day basis. But remote workers often miss out on the “big picture” goals of your company without being in an office environment. Enterprise messaging platforms like Beekeeper
allow your remote workers to send instant messages, share their own ideas on the direction of your company and give management the opportunity to recognize employee accomplishments so that the entire team can see them.
Advancements in technology have created a wonderful opportunity for companies to thrive with distributed workforces, getting the best out of their employees no matter where they live. Already over 20 percent
of the US and 15 percent
of EU workers are remote employees, bringing a different set of challenges for companies looking to keep their staff engaged. With proactive communication and the proper tools, however, companies will thrive and create better results than in the old era of desktop computers and cubicles.
Get in touch with us to request a free product demo, and we’ll be more than happy to show you how you can reach and engage your remote employees in a simple and fun way.