Technological advances make it easier for companies to provide their employees with more flexible work schedules. Gone are the days where employees need to be physically present in the office to complete their work and find success in their jobs. This provides businesses with the opportunity to hire talent that is not limited by their geographic location. Younger generation employees in particular are taking advantage of the pliable scheduling that most businesses are offering by working remotely. Now more than ever, managers have to be intentional about effectively communicating with their employees, especially those who are not in the office to speak in person. Communication is a key element to the success of a team, and it is the supervisor’s responsibility to make sure that all employees, regardless of their location, are receiving the news and feedback that they require to succeed.
Share company news
In a company with any number of departments working on various tasks throughout the year, it is helpful to be transparent about what is going on inside of the company. Each employee is busy completing their own tasks and working on their own goals that it can be hard to stay up to date on how the company is doing overall. This will also help for remote employees to feel inclusive in the company’s progression. Utilizing social platforms for communication, weekly update emails, or even company wide virtual meetings, if feasible, can ensure that all employees are kept in the loop with every aspect of the business.
Individual check-in meetings
While company wide meeting are important to help spread transparency throughout the business, each individual employee is also working on their own tasks, towards their own goals. Working remotely does offer invaluable benefits like scheduling flexibility and savings on commuting expenses, it also has disadvantages. Remote employees have a harder time building relationships with other employees as communication is mostly done via email. There is also a certain factor of loneliness that comes from working each day by yourself. An effective manager will be intentional about checking in with employees on more than just their work. Employees will benefit psychologically from being asked how they are feeling or their managers making personal connections with them while also checking in on their work tasks.
Make a habit of scheduling
When everyone is in one common area, it is easier to schedule a last-minute or spontaneous meeting to discuss news or feedback. Communication over email can often be misconstrued or missing information. However, with remote employees, it may not be as easy to translate last minute information to them. Managers should be deliberate about scheduling all communication with remote employees. Frequent and recurring meetings or phone calls can be used to set a time every day, week, or month to check in about an agenda. Scheduled meeting that are well organized and planned can help alleviate the need to have multiple, spur of the moment meetings, which can lead to improved productivity.
The most effective managers know the importance of offering their employees with a reasonable work-life balance in terms of satisfaction and decreasing employee turnover. While working remotely can offer this balance to employees, it does pose a challenge for managers to overcome to retain communication with these individuals.