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Keep your remote workers happy

“Hey, everybody, it’s been a rough week and we’ve all put in a lot of hard work getting the job done. I’d like to take you all out for a beer after work on Friday.”

It’s so great to hear a manager say that, isn’t it?

Rewarding your employees is an important step in keeping them happy, engaged and productive.

That task becomes a lot tougher for a supervisor when she’s in charge of a remote team putting in its time by telecommuting. She can’t just drop by a desk and say ‘thanks.’

So how do you give that virtual pat on the shoulder?

It’s easier than you think.

Here are some ways to acknowledge your remote workers and make sure they feel like they’re part of the team:

✔ Ensure your remote workers have a voice. You gather your team together once a week for updates and news. Do you send updates to remote workers via email? Why not bring them fully into the fold by using a conference call during your standup time? They’ll feel like they have input into your team’s goals and objectives.

✔ Send them the same swag your local team gets. Outfit your remote team with the same coffee mugs and T-shirts everyone else gets occasionally. If you’re taking the local team out for lunch or drinks and your telecommuters are too far away to join, send them gift cards so they don’t feel left out of the fun. It makes them feel like more than a voice at the end of the line.

✔ Include your teleworkers in the reward system. If the company has employee-of-the-month, make sure your remote team is in the rotation. Help your remote workers feel recognized for any work that goes the extra mile. They’ll become champions for the team, not just for telecommuting.

✔ Build mini teams within your team. Keep your remote workers engaged with your local team by giving them shared projects. Have them collaborate on a report or presentation and encourage them to built relationships with each other.

✔ Create an online community for your team. Let them get to know each other with an internal, private-access social network in the style of Facebook. They don’t have to share what they had for dinner last night or pictures of their babies and kittens, but they can find ways to get to know each other, collaborate and share information.

✔ Keep the lines of communication open. You have an open-door policy with your local team. Offer your teleworkers the same access to your advice and expertise. Let them know you’re just an email or a phone call away. If they’re in the same area, invite them in for an occasional in-person meeting or schedule a coffee or lunch meeting to address any special concerns they have.

Technology is helping to make our work-life balance easier to achieve. But that doesn’t mean our remote workers need to feel ‘remote.’ They need to feel engaged and part of the team, encouraged to meet your company’s goals and objectives.

Have you found unique ways to keep your telecommuters happy? Share them with us!

Posted in Tips & Resources. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

3 Comments

  1. Angelique De Guzman
    Posted 2012/12/12 at 16:43 | Permalink

    Great article!
    One disadvantage when you’re not working on the same office is it lacks the sense of being part of the team. However, you can do something about it. Those tips above are huge help.
    And you’re right! You can really build a great relationship with your team by keeping your Skype open every time you’re working. With this, you can chat with your team with just about anything and everything. You can talk about work or love problems or try to come up with a virtual party after work. It can be at time distracting but it’s important so that people are in constant communication so that they’ll be able to feel like they are part of the team.

    • amacisaac
      Posted 2012/12/18 at 14:31 | Permalink

      Oooh … I don’t know if ‘love problems’ are a good idea. Haha. But you’re right … an open line of communication is very important.

      • Angelique De Guzman
        Posted 2012/12/19 at 18:16 | Permalink

        Hehe, well, we talk about it. ;) Thanks for taking the time to reply.

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