Over the years, more companies are switching to a remote work setup for several reasons. Letting the staff work from their homes allows the companies to cut down on their costs from office rental and equipment. Likewise, some businesses opt for this setup as this will enable them to hire talents from around the world. As a result, work-from-home (WFH) employees achieve a healthier work-life balance because they can work closer to their families.
However, one challenge that has presented itself for remote working is how to keep your remote workers engaged with the company. Because everyone is practically working in their own home offices, it has created a communication gap. Gone are the days when employees would meet for coffee or lunch breaks. Managers and supervisors also have less chance to oversee their subordinates and personally check in on their performances.
Unfortunately, unfixed communication gaps can lead to the disengagement of your remote workers, which can significantly affect their productivity and hurt your business in the long run. Thankfully, you can try out a few practices to help keep your employees engaged and connected with the company, despite working from home. Here are ways you can keep your remote workers engaged and motivated:
1. Organize Social Events
Organizing social events may be ideal as remote workers can’t connect with their coworkers outside of work or after working hours. Hosting virtual social events will allow them to reconnect with each other without talking about anything related to work. Some corporate virtual happy hour events to consider are virtual concerts, cocktail-making classes, virtual escape games, weekly trivia, and more.
Additionally, ensure you create a structure whenever you host virtual social events. This way, you can see to it that everyone has participated. For instance, if you’re hosting a cocktail-making class, provide a kit for everyone to encourage participation.
2. Send Some Fun And Thoughtful Care Packages
Although a WFH setup has perks, it’s no secret that it can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. Because everyone is left on their own to complete their tasks, it reduces social interaction, minimizing the chance to seek help or advice from others in case some things become complicated. Besides, workers who have to juggle their work tasks and household responsibilities will also experience changes in their routine, further worsening their stress. Ultimately, this stress will disengage your employees from the company, affecting their morale and productivity.
One way to help them de-stress and re-engage themselves in your company is by sending some care packages. Care packages can be things like:
- Coffee kit
- Relaxation kit
- Workstation setup kit
- Home fitness kit
- Spa and mindfulness kit
Sending fun yet thoughtful care packages to your employees will make them feel valued and cared for despite the distance. These care gifts promote general wellness for your workers and beat work-at-home burnout.
To further boost engagement, schedule a time wherein everyone in the company can attend the virtual meeting or video call and try to use the kits concurrently. For example, if it’s a coffee kit, everyone can create their coffee during the virtual meetup.
3. Start A Watercooler Talk
Typically, companies with remote workers use different communication tools to stay connected. They may use emails, social media chats, video calls, or business text messages. Although these tools are effective for communication, they all involve talking about work. If you compare it to working in an office, employees and officemates don’t only talk about work-related stuff. They also allot time to check on each other, chit-chat, and talk about things outside of work (e.g., their recently binge-watched TV series, fashion trends, politics, recent vacation trips, etc.).
So, aside from using those tools for work-related communication, why not start a watercooler talk? A virtual watercooler chat will serve as a platform for them to engage with the rest of the team 24/7 and talk about anything unrelated to work.
Allowing this kind of freedom and social interaction will help your employees feel like they’re in a regular office environment, reducing the feelings of isolation. Ultimately, starting a watercooler chat will show them that your company doesn’t only focus on business sales and achieving key performance indicators but also keeps everyone engaged and involved.
4. Celebrate Employee Accomplishments And Contributions
Just because you’re all working from home doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your company’s achievements. As much as possible, devote time to celebrating your employees’ accomplishments and recognize them for their contributions, regardless of how minor they may be. After all, remote workers may spend more hours at work than their in-office counterparts. Thus, put in the extra effort to organize employee recognition programs.
Here are some ideas to celebrate your employees’ hard work and recognize them for a job well done:
- Send virtual thank you cards and gift cards to the best-performing employees.
- Throw them a shoutout during your company meeting.
- Host a monthly virtual employee reward ceremony and prepare the corresponding awards.
- Conduct employee-of-the-month programs.
These activities will help keep your employees engaged by making them feel valued and appreciated.
Overall, every company should aim to keep its remote workers engaged so they’ll feel seen and included. Hopefully, the strategies discussed here will give you an idea of how to stay connected with your employees and ensure the engagement levels are at a high and steady rate.