Remote working comes with a number of benefits, but it also comes with some negatives. It’s important to realise that if you have remote workers as part of your workforce, then they probably put many more extra hours into their work than most of your office-based employees. This is something that often comes with the territory and is generally a result of the “work from home guilt“.
It’s therefore vital that your remote workers feel as valued as your in-house staff, so they don’t feel isolated, pressured to over-work, or like a faceless avatar on a screen. There are many ways you can make your remote team feel more valued and appreciated – but let’s start with the basics first:
Why is it important to make your remote workers feel valued?
First things first: never underestimate the importance of employee recognition. All employees need to feel valued in their role, otherwise you can expect high turnover and low productivity.
For remote workers especially, feelings of isolation can be a real problem, so you should take this into account when instilling a sense of value in your staff. For some companies, remote workers can be the backbone of their operations, but they can often feel like they’re not part of the company.
Here are four simple ways to turn that around and make sure your remote staff feel engaged, part of the team, and valued:
1. Communicate regularly
Although you may think that your remote workers like to be left alone to work independently, this isn’t always the case. Of course, the last thing that they want is someone breathing down their necks via email or telephone (the same for any worker!) but you still need to keep them in the loop of company news. Sending regular updates via your digital workplace with the latest news, motivational emails praising your workers’ latest achievements, or even a birthday or work anniversary message can be a nice touch and show that you value them as an employee.
Show your remote staff you value them by recognising their birthday and work anniversary
2. Invite your remote workers to events
Remote workers can often miss out on the social side of working. However, simply inviting your remote workers to social events can be a great way to show that you care about them. You may have never met some of the people that you work with remotely, so inviting them to a work social event can be a great way to put a face to the person. Even if your remote colleague can’t make it, including them in your invite list will make them feel valued and part of your organisation.
Inviting your remote staff to company events will help them feel part of the team
3. Be respectful and kind
Anyone would hate to admit to it, but some people can get into the habit of talking to remote workers with less respect than they would if they were face to face. Be kind when communicating with your remote workers and remember that there’s a real person behind that monitor.
Being respectful isn’t just about the way in which you communicate either – you should also be respectful of their time. Before you send a remote worker a request for them to change a tiny error in their work, or give them additional work to do, ask yourself two questions: “Could I make these changes myself?” and “Is what I am asking for reasonable?” This will save your remote colleague – and probably you – from wasting valuable time.
4. Praise more, criticise less
Thanks to the “work from home stigma“, the overbearing parent of the “work from home guilt”, remote workers can often be subjected to more criticism than praise over their work. This can be very demotivating and can result in unsatisfied – and unhappy – workers.
If you find yourself sending more negatively worded emails to your remote workers than positive ones, you might want to step back and rethink your approach. Although constructive criticism in the workplace can be an important part of employee growth, it must be balanced with praise. Praise and recognition are proven to motivate employees, so make sure you don’t forget to appreciate those who work remotely.