Remote work isn't a new concept. Nearly 13% of full-time employees work from home, which is expected to climb in the future. Working from home has advantages: it offers increased flexibility, reduces commute stress, and provides a better work-life balance. However, challenges like feelings of isolation, communication issues, and difficulties in team building can lead to decreased engagement.   

Balancing these factors requires organizations to find innovative ways to boost employee engagement in remote work settings. Keep reading to learn what steps you can take to foster a sense of connection among remote employees to maintain and enhance overall engagement levels within the workplace.  

What is employee engagement? 

Before we dive into what it takes to engage remote employees, it's essential to understand what employee engagement entails. 

Employee engagement refers to employees' emotional commitment and connection toward their work, organization, and goals. It goes beyond fulfilling basic job responsibilities; it involves a sense of purpose, motivation, and feeling valued in the workplace. 

How to enhance employee engagement in remote work environments 

Without the physical presence of employees and the traditional office environment, remote workers may experience feelings of isolation and disconnection. Understanding and addressing these challenges are essential for sustaining a positive, engaged remote workforce. Here are some tips on how to engage remote employees: 

  • Maintain clear communication 
  • Set expectations 
  • Provide professional development opportunities 
  • Promote a healthy work-life balance 
  • Recognize your employees’ hard work 
  • Encourage connection and social interaction 
  • Schedule regular feedback sessions and check ins 

Maintain clear communication and expectations 

Communication is the cornerstone of successful remote employee engagement. Without the hallway and water cooler discussions, employees can feel isolated from company topics and news and lose their sense of belonging within the organization. Establishing clear and transparent communication channels helps remote workers feel connected. Regularly communicate expectations, provide updates on company news, and encourage open dialogue.   

In addition to important updates and housekeeping items, take the opportunity to include lighter topics with employee spotlights, at-home physical challenges and other fun information. Utilize collaboration tools and video conferencing to foster a sense of community among remote employees. Doing so will strengthen company culture and engagement.  

Provide professional development opportunities 

Investing in learning and development opportunities demonstrates a commitment to employee growth and success. Offer virtual training sessions, workshops, and opportunities for skill development. This enhances their capabilities and fosters a sense of investment in their careers, contributing to increased engagement.  

Promote a healthy work-life balance 

Remote employees often struggle with maintaining a healthy work-life balance. As an employer, setting realistic expectations regarding working hours and breaks is vital to encourage this balance. Emphasize the importance of taking breaks to recharge and prevent burnout. Offering non-traditional and personalized employee benefits, such as health and wellness perks, can help boost employee morale. Promoting a well-rounded lifestyle can contribute to higher levels of job satisfaction and employee engagement.  

Recognition and appreciation 

Remote employees may not receive the same level of recognition that comes with the traditional office environment. It's important to acknowledge and appreciate their efforts regularly. One way to do this is by implementing a recognition program through virtual shout-outs, employee spotlights, or virtual team-building activities. These initiatives can help remote workers feel valued and motivated. 

Encourage connection and social interaction 

Building a sense of camaraderie among remote employees is vital for keeping remote employees engaged. You can foster social interaction by organizing virtual team-building activities, online coffee breaks, or informal virtual gatherings. Creating a space for non-work-related conversations can help remote workers feel more connected to their colleagues on a personal level.  

Schedule regular feedback and check-ins 

It's important to keep in touch with your remote employees to ensure they feel supported and are working towards the same goals as the organization. Regular one-on-one check-ins should be scheduled to discuss their progress, deadlines, challenges, and goals. Providing constructive feedback will help employees understand how they are contributing and what areas they can improve, ultimately leading to their continuous growth. 

As more organizations offer remote work opportunities, adapting and refining strategies to engage remote employees becomes necessary. By investing in the well-being and satisfaction of remote workers, your business can cultivate a motivated and committed workforce. It is worth considering building and improving your employee benefits program to help engage remote employees.   

Learn how to keep your employees engaged and help them live well with the ClassPass Corporate Wellness Program today.   

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