By Paul Keursten, CEO of Workshop 17
For co-workspace solutions provider, Workshop17, the office of the future is no longer a specific space in one building, but a combination of physical spaces for remote working and virtual office resources for meetings, planning and collaboration. Whether you are working in the office or remotely, communication and employee engagement are very important aspects for any business that is focused on productivity and success.
To tap into the full potential of remote working, here are a few guidelines on how to go about it:
- Utilise the same communication tools
Through technology, we have multiple tools available, all of which have made communication much easier and more effective. However, using various video conferencing or instant messaging platforms for different remote workers can get confusing. To ensure that everyone remains on the same page, choose the same platforms to communicate.
2. Make access to data possible and easy
Giving remote workers access to data is always challenging especially due to the rise of cybercrime and data theft. Without important data to perform their tasks, employees can encounter problems in productivity. Always work closely with your IT department to ensure that the necessary security measures are in place.
3. Avoid miscommunication
Even with the most effective communication tools, miscommunication can still crop up which in turn can lead to costly mistakes. One can easily end up working on a wrong project, causing delays and missed deadlines for other urgent projects just because of incorrect phrasing in a message. Always double-check your messages for spelling, grammar, phrases and content. If you feel that the message might cause confusion, rather clarify through a phone call.
4. Foster a personal touch
Personal connections can often get lost in a remote worker environment. Remote working can make employees feel like work machines, with no value to the organisation. To foster a sense of belonging, create sceneries where the whole team can share in non-work matters such as a ‘happy hour’ before or after a video meeting. Recognise employees’ pivotal moments and celebrate together.
5. Recognise and reward
Recognising stellar performance goes a long way in making employees feel appreciated and valued. They are more motivated to keep working towards the company’s goals when what they are doing is acknowledged. If there are rewards in the organisation, include remote workers. Have a system in place for honest feedback and offer guidelines to remote employees on the projects they work on.
In a nutshell, effective communication is key in bringing remote workers together. Keeping them engaged is crucial in making them feel a part of the greater good. Be intentional and creative in ensuring that these two are constantly pursued.