Though the reasons for remote work vary, one major factor involved in going remote is cost. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that a typical employer could save $11,000 on average per year for every half-time-remote worker, while employees can save between $2,500 and $4,000 per year. The savings result from increases in productivity, reduced travel costs and turnover rates, and more.
How to improve remote culture
Although many companies have experience with part-time remote work, very few know how to lead a team of remote people. Since working from home is rapidly becoming commonplace, companies must begin enacting policies and behaviors that make remote work as effective as it can be.
Two of the biggest struggles facing remote workers are loneliness and collaboration, according to a recent survey by Buffer. It’s easy to forget to check-in with other team members when you don’t see them in the office, but it’s crucial for maintaining a collaborative team. Ask employees what they think would improve remote work and take their feedback seriously to help ensure your company culture is meeting their expectations. Don’t give problems a chance to grow beneath the surface; instead, hold regular open conversations to keep your team connected and cohesive.
Ensure employees are engaged
According to a study done by Gallup, employees who work remotely 60% to 80% of the time, are the most engaged group of employees. While remote work is likely to aid in engagement, it’s important to implement practices that keep engagement as high as possible.
Here are a few ways to keep employees engaged remotely...
Entertaining video-meetings with clear-cut purposes and room for employees to participate in the conversation: This gives everyone a chance to interact with one another and make their thoughts heard, just like they would be in an in-person meeting.
Casual team conversations through virtual lunches or coffee on a regular basis: One aspect of in-person working that is often lost with remote work is team-building through casual conversation. You can help encourage this virtually through video conferencing and chat rooms or channels for steady virtual chit-chat.
Regular collaboration on projects: Working together can help produce some of your team’s best work, while also keeping everyone connected and happy. Collaboration can be just as effective through remote working but may happen less casually. Intentionally creating projects meant for cross-departmental collaboration will resolve this issue.
Hold team-building activities
Team-building activities are essential to maintaining a connected, collaborative company. You can encourage team-building by holding a light-hearted competition within the team, like a trivia, fitness, or reading challenge, holding a Zoom happy-hour event during the week, running a virtual book club, or more. Make an effort to get creative and ask your team what they’d like to see.
Remote work isn’t a trend that will be dying down anytime soon - in fact, it’s likely to become much more common and flexible. Hired’s 2020 State of Remote Work Report found that 57% of employers believe future remote work policies will continue their newfound flexibility even after restrictions from COVID-19 subside.