How to Use Technology to Keep Remote Employees Engaged

Remote work arrangements benefit your business and employees. Every year companies can save thousands of dollars per worker while benefitting from increased productivity and above average employee retention.

Meanwhile, remote workers benefit from a healthy work-life balance, reduced commuting time and expenses, and high levels of job satisfaction. However, despite the advantages or remote work, engagement challenges can arise.

Fortunately, as a business owner or manager, you can keep your remote workforce productive, profitable, and happy, using these tips.

1. Improve Communications

Remote workers often miss the social component of office work and can easily begin feeling isolated as they work. These feelings can intensify if they feel as though you’ve either forgotten about them or treat them with a low priority.

If you leave your remote workers out of important discussions and decisions, or just forget about them for long periods, you jeopardize their success and yours. Avoid this by taking the initiative to create a culture of open communications.

Use all the tools available to you, including video conferencing, email, voice conferencing, and live chat to speak often with your remote team members. Additionally, schedule communications such as a weekly conference call that can inform your remote workers and allow them to ask questions.

Simply by promoting communications, you can make your remote workers feel like part of the team. As a result, you can expect them to become more productive and engaged.

2. Promote Happiness

Happy workers produce more and tend to be more engaged than their peers. Ao, proactively ask questions of your remote team members to learn how they feel about their job and the work that they do.

Always accept what your employees say at face value. Show them that you care by promptly responding to their questions and concerns.

You can also increase employee satisfaction by making self-service options available. Choose an online HR management tool that gives your workers round-the-clock access to frequently used scheduling tools, vacation requests, and other documents.

Technology can also help you monitor employee sentiment through the use of online surveys and suggestion boxes.

When your remote workers want concessions such as flexible hours, company-subsidized equipment or similar perks, try to accommodate their requests. Your investment can easily result in a substantial ROI that also makes you happy.

Don’t worry about what your remote workers might ask for. In many cases, they might surprise you. Sometimes all they want is more training and better tools for doing their job.

3. Embrace Technology

Ultimately, technology can help you organize your business, streamline your work processes, and optimize the use of your human resources.

Try the various tech tools that are currently available and choose to buy the ones that best fit your budget. Also, pay attention to the needs of your firm, so primarily invest in apps that enhance collaboration and communication.

For instance, project management software can unify your remote and on-premises teams with centralized communications, scheduling, load balancing, forecasting, and other features.

Similarly, you can improve communications by subscribing to virtual whiteboards, video conferencing and instant messaging. You can also find tools that can improve your time and financial accounting.

4. Offer Recognition

Always acknowledge your remote workers, especially in the presence of your in-house staff. To begin with, consistently acknowledge their existence. Let them and the rest of your team know that your remote workers exist and are important team members.

Furthermore, recognize the performance and contributions of your remote workers. If you don’t recognize their achievements, they may start feeling ignored, unappreciated, and taken for granted.

Rather than commending your remote workers in private, make sure that you provide recognition in public, for all to see. To maximize the effect of the praise that you offer, present all accolades and awards during live video conferences with your entire company in attendance.

5. Employ Gamification

Around the world, companies have boosted employee engagement by making work seem more like a game. Of course, no one wants to diminish the serious mission of your business.

Instead, gamification aims to make work more competitive, interesting and fulfilling. Just as game players strive to reach their next level of play, workers in gamified environments want to achieve specific goals.

You can extend gamification to include your remote employees. Regardless of whether they compete against themselves to reach higher qualification levels or compete with each other based on productivity.

In addition to making work more interesting and accountable on the individual’s behalf, gamification can build teamwork by making it fun to work together to achieve mutually beneficial goals.

6. Articulate Goals

When people don’t understand the purpose of their work, they can easily lose their focus and enthusiasm. For this reason, you should make sure that your entire team, including remote workers, know what you intend to achieve via their efforts.

In addition to knowing the goals of their organization, remote workers should also know what you want them to do. Clear, concise job descriptions and well-defined scopes of work can get you and your team started on the right path.

When you establish goals at every level of your organization, you infuse your remote workers with a sense of purpose. Afterward, you can watch them rise to surpass your expectations.

In the end, when you use technology to equip and support your remote workers, you can unify your workforce. Consequently, you can boost productivity and efficiency while minimizing your expenses.

Joe Peters is a Baltimore-based freelance writer and an ultimate tech enthusiast. When he is not working his magic as a marketing consultant, this incurable tech junkie enjoys reading about latest apps and gadgets and binge-watching his favorite TV shows. You can reach him @bmorepeters