Remote Workers: Your secret weapon
Nearly half of the American workforce spends at least some time working remotely. In other words, something that used to be uncommon, is now the norm. And this trend is on the up-and-up.
And companies may not be using remote workers as the key tool to success that they are.
So what makes work-from-home types so special? Studies show one, they’re happier. Two, they deepen the talent pool. And three, get this – they actually get more done, and take fewer sick days!
So how can businesses optimize the full potential of energized remote workforce?
Putting in extra effort to communicate with remote workers
It’s a two-way street. Managers need to be in touch with the remote workforce – not just to keep tabs on employee activity, but to boost morale as well. Employees who aren’t physically in the office need to feel important. Direct communication from managers greatly helps with that.
On the end of the remote worker, they need to make communication a priority.
Video conferencing helps on both fronts, giving everyone the “you are there” feeling, where participants can pick up visual cues they wouldn’t get otherwise.
Another tip! Quick check-ins are KEY. There needs to be a proactive effort by both managers and remote workers to send brief messages or make brief phone calls throughout the day. That takes the place of the essentially subconscious check-ins in-house workers may get.
While uniformity is necessary to an extent, often – the most effective teams are made up of people with *different* strengths. And remote workers usually bring a slightly different perspective from the outside.
So with remote workers, managers should place more emphasis on their output than their process. Set goals for your remote employees, and let them set out the plan of attack when it comes to how they achieve those goals.
Remote workers also often have an inherent understanding of both when and where they work best, so they’re the most productive when given the freedom to work under those terms (as long as they’re still making deadline, of course). Within reason, giving remote workers flexibility optimizes their contribution.
When remote workers do succeed, they often don’t get the same recognition as in-house employees. So extra effort in positive affirmation can go a long way.
Implement the right tech to make remote workers the most productive
This is where the Microsoft ecosystem comes in. It can be a great tool to ensure the success of the previous two points.
Microsoft 365 as a whole allows the remote worker to physically work on the same system and access the same files in the same manner as all other employees.
Teams, a part of 365, is there to make sure that one-on-one communication is crisp.
Yammer, another part of 365, helps remote workers engage through a social-media type of platform.