In today's technological world, working remotely has become a popular trend. Approximately 25 million Americans work from home at least one day a week, according to Global Workplace Analytics. While telecommuting might save a company money, it can also lead to a lack of bonding between coworkers. In order to help your remote employees feel like part of the team, here are a few tips:
1. Use social media
Most people have some type of social media account these days. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter or Google+, your account allows you to connect with other people. Use this to your advantage. Set up pages specifically for your employees to communicate, suggested MindTools. Facebook has messaging and groups, Twitter has direct messaging, and Google+ allows you to create circles. Social media will allow you and your employees to share thoughts and ideas instantly, and will give them the opportunity to get to know one another better.
2. Implement company video chats
It's hard to form a close relationship with someone when you can't see their face. While it's good to stay in contact regardless, being able to communicate face-to-face helps employees bond. Non-verbal cues, such as hand gestures and facial expressions, are important when it comes to comprehending a conversation, Entrepreneur explained. Remote working doesn't allow that on a regular basis, so implementing weekly video conferencing will give your employees a chance to connect with one another on a level that emails and phone calls can't provide.
3. Schedule in-person visits
While video chats are nice, in-person communications are even better. If you can fit it into your financial plan, offer to fly your remote employees to the office so you can meet with them. If not, try to arrange a face-to-face discussion if you travel for work, suggested Inc. By having your meeting coincide with your client visit, you'll take care of two important tasks. By meeting in person, you'll have a deeper conversation, as opposed to when you're worrying about the Internet or cell service cutting out.
4. Provide feedback
Sometimes it can be difficult to get motivated when working from home. Make sure you're providing them with feedback, whether it's through email, a phone call or a video conference, MindTools said. Offering positive comments to your remote employees will show them that their work is appreciated, even if they're not in the office.
When you have employees working from home, you have to make the effort to ensure they feel like part of the team. Provide tools to keep them connected to their coworkers, whether that's through webcam, social media or regular conversations. When all your employees – both on-site and remote – feel like their work is appreciated, you'll have a closer, more efficient business.