Harvard Business Review recently polled 1,153 employees and found that 52% of respondents worked from a home office at least some of the time. This shouldn’t shock anyone who’s been paying even a little attention to the changing shape and culture of the modern workplace.
But Harvard Business Review did unearth some surprising facts about remote work. Many of the employees surveyed reported feeling left out while working away from the office. Some even reported that they feel mistreated, or like colleagues are actively working against their best interests.
For those who are cynical about the rise of remote workers, Harvard Business Review’s survey will serve as confirmation of long-held biases against work arrangements that deviate from the old fashioned model. However, it is not the fact of remote work that is causing employees to feel alienated and neglected. With strategic and thoughtful use of video conferencing and collaboration solutions, there is no reason remote workers shouldn’t feel valued and respected.
If you’re afraid your remote employees aren’t feeling embraced by the home office, consider the following strategies for keeping your distant employees in the loop.
Just about half of the employees surveyed by Harvard Business Review said that successful and effective managers are the ones that perform frequent check-ins with remote employees. With a robust mobile solution like Prime Call Cloud UC, managers can use the scheduling feature to plan these check-ins well ahead of time, giving employees the comfort of knowing an informal one-on-one meeting is around the corner.
Foster One-on-One Connections
One of the advantages of working in an office is the organic way friendships and working relationships develop over time. Those little moments at the proverbial water cooler eventually cohere into a kind of intimacy that is difficult to replicate over distance. Difficult, but not impossible. An effective manager will diligently pursue personal connections with their remote employees to establish the kind of camaraderie that exists in an office environment.
A far flung employee can very quickly feel anchorless and adrift in the absence of clear guidelines and expectations. There is a special kind of anxiety-provoking confusion experienced by the remote worker who doesn’t quite know where their vision fits into a particular project. These employees, who do thrive on self-managed workflows, still require guidance. Without a clear goal and absent any easy access to the ambient energy of a cohesive office environment, a remote worker can start to feel very lost and alone in the middle of a big project. So help them out and fire up the lighthouse so they know where the shore lies.
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