The trend toward remote work has been growing for years, but the COVID-19 pandemic has accelerated the shift. For many companies, the change has become permanent. Remote work benefits employees by offering convenience and eliminating the daily commute. Employers can enjoy cost savings by reducing office space and can drastically expand the talent pool beyond traditional geographic boundaries.
Even so, remote work presents challenges when it comes to keeping employees engaged and motivated. If this is a struggle for your company, try implementing these 11 employee engagement ideas.
1. Promote health and wellness: Working remotely can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, negatively impacting your employees’ physical and mental health. Employers can promote health and wellness by encouraging employees to take breaks and exercise during the workday, offering wellness programs, paying for fitness app subscriptions, or organizing virtual fitness challenges.
2. Stay connected virtually: Never coming into the office can become isolating, so it’s important to stay connected. Regular check-ins and virtual meetings allow employees to engage with their coworkers and company leaders. Instant messaging and chat platforms also facilitate quick and informal communication between team members. Take this concept to the next level with an employee engagement platform that has a social wall, built-in reward and recognition modules, and years of service awards.
3. Send gifts and offer recognition: Remote workers don’t get the same level of in-person appreciation as their office-based counterparts. Consider recognizing your remote employees by sending them gifts, such as company swag, gift cards, or care packages. Publicly acknowledging their accomplishments in virtualmeetings or company-wide emails is also an effective engagement tactic.
4. Host non-work get-togethers: Remote employees miss out on the watercooler chat and other social interactions that happen in an office environment. You can make up for this by hosting virtual get-togethers, such as happy hours, game nights, or book clubs, to help employees connect on a personal level. When feasible, in-person outings can also be incredibly bonding.
5. Make yourself available for one-on-one meetings: It’s easy to feel isolated or overlooked as a remote employee, so managers should keep lines of communication open. One-on-one meetings can be used to discuss work-related concerns, provide feedback, or simply check in on an employee’s well-being.
6. Gamify the work day: “Gamification” can be a powerful tool for increasing engagement and motivation while making remote work more fun. To gamify the workday, try setting up a friendly competition between employees. You can even use gamification apps to track progress and reward achievements.
7. Set healthy work-life boundaries: Working from home blurs the line between work and personal life, leading to burnout and decreased motivation. Help your employees maintain a healthy work-life balance by encouraging them to take breaks and set boundaries around when they’re available to work.
8. Cater to requests for flexible schedules: One of the benefits of remote work is the ability to work flexible hours. While not possible for all industries, employers can often cater to their employees’ desire for a flexible schedule by allowing them to work during their most productive hours. This might include early mornings, evenings, or weekends, which should be acceptable as long as the employee completes their work.
9. Ask for feedback: Seeking and heeding feedback is crucial for making your team feel valued and heard. Conduct surveys, hold meetings, or arrange focus groups to find out what’s on your workers’ minds. Whether or not you choose to act on the feedback you receive, follow up with your employees so they know what changes or improvements to expect.
10. Give employees the tools to succeed: To do their job effectively, remote employees need access to the tools and amenities they would have in an office setting. Consider providing a work laptop, company cell phone, and sit-stand desk, along with access to virtual resources such as video conferencing apps, project management software, cloud-based file storage, and even digitally managed prepaid cards for expensing purposes.
11. Support a hybrid work environment: As the world begins to emerge from the pandemic, many employers are switching to a hybrid setup that combines in-office and remote work for the best of both worlds. If this is an option for your industry, consider giving your employees the flexibility to choose when and where they work. Then, ensure the office environment is conducive to collaboration and productivity.
With these useful remote work engagement ideas, it’s time to implement your favorites. If you decide to send gifts to your remote workforce, Marketing Innovators offers the products you’re looking for. Save on bulk gift cards, corporate gift boxes, branded merchandise, and other products intended to help you engage your employees and create a positive work culture from afar.
For over 40 years, our family-owned, employee-driven company has been working to build and strengthen the connection between businesses and their employees, customers, and partners. We believe fostering this people-to-people connection is the key to making a good company great. To learn more about engaging your remote employees, please call 800-453-7373 or contact us online.