Following on from our last blog about the many benefits of using Remote Workers, today we will give you some tips and tools on keeping your Remote Workers engaged. One of the biggest challenges to using Remote Workers is making sure that they are engaged, managed well and being productive. How can you ensure that being out of sight doesn’t equal being out of mind?
There are many tools and technologies available to engage with Remote Workers as its becoming such a normal and common place practice in modern workplaces.
The old-school way….
Have clear expectations
How do you want your Remote Workers to engage with your workforce, clients and stakeholders? Ensure that they have been inducted well and understand the nature and requirements of the work they do. Also make it clear that they need to be contactable and how much face time/office time you expect them to commit to. We recommend having a work from home policy, which outlines the expectations around working from home and protects your business from ambiguous precedents.
Ensure your Remote Workers know what they need to do
Ensuring your remote workers have clear goals, KPI’s and objectives will ensure that they can fill their days with work and smash their goals, instead of watching episodes of Judge Judy or Ellen. This can be achieved through regular catch ups and consistent communication.
Touch base regularly
Just because they are not in the office, does not mean they are not at work. Call and email your Remote Workers as often as you need to, to discuss any relevant issues that need to be addressed. Let your team know they can contact any workers that are working from home too to encourage collaboration and communication.
The new-school techno way…
Set up face to face technology
There are so many options here but some that we like are Skype, WebX and Go to Meeting. This will ensure you can have eyeball time with your team, so that everybody feels like they are collaborating and on the same page. Many companies have daily stand up meeting, where teams can share their goals and challenges for the day.
Make sure your Remote Workers have the tools they need
This may seem obvious but make sure they have a laptop, phone, good internet connection and a webcam. You can have all of the latest programs and software ready to go, but it means nothing if you can’t contact them.
These tools enable your teams to be able to collaborate on the same projects and be instantly in touch with each other. They take the remote out of remote working. There are wonderful project management tools such as Trello and Evernote which allow teams to work on the same projects concurrently. There are also message boards such as Slack and Teams from Microsoft which allow for instant message sharing on a team basis.
Document Sharing tools
When you have a workforce that are spread out in multiple locations, you will need them to be able to share and access documents. There are many sharing tools available but some that we like are Sharepoint, Dropbox and Google drive –all enabling easy access for your whole team to access and work on documents, wherever they end up working.
There are so many more tools available to assist you in engaging your remote workforce, these are just a few of our tried and tested ones. It’s quickly becoming the way forward for so many workplaces, that more tools are being developed to facilitate effective collaboration and engagement. It doesn’t have to be like a sci-fi movie, or a case of your team feeling out of sight out of mind anymore. To make the most of an evolving workforce, try out some of our suggestions and let us know what your favourite tools for remote workforce engagement are too.
Written by Resident Guru, Jessy Warn.