With recent advances in business technology, there has come an increase in flexible work arrangements as well. As more and more workers take advantage of remote work capabilities, advantages and challenges have become apparent; one huge advantage for companies is the ability to hire top talent anywhere in the world. On the other hand, an obvious challenge is making these (often international) remote workers feel like they are a part of the company’s culture. Consider these tips to help humanize the remote work experience and fully integrate employees into the organization’s core community.
1. Foster an Open Environment Between Your In-house and Remote Workforces (Workflow)
When working with remote employees, it often takes more energy and effort to stay on the same page than it does with employees in close physical proximity. To help mitigate confusion that could arise from distance, work together to determine goals and deadlines from the get-go. Once these goals are collectively agreed upon, discuss expectations to stay on the same page moving forward. Provide and encourage remote employees to utilize calendar tools to dictate their working hours as a way to inform others what hours they are available to answer questions and—just as importantly— when they are “offline.” Be sure to engage regularly with remote employees by setting weekly or daily check-ins to not only stay on the same page, but to also encourage personal chit-chat as well.
2. Create Face-to-Face Interactions (Communication)
Communicating over the internet with remote employees often takes a lot of effort because the majority of communication is nonverbal. Humans rely heavily on nonverbal cues to understand a message completely, and not being able to see one another can cause confusion. To avoid confusion and misunderstandings, utilize unified communication tools that integrate video conferencing. Not only will this minimize the amount of back-and-forth it can take to reach an understanding, but it will also build trust and foster more personal relationships. Utilize these tools to include remote employees on larger meetings as well by streaming training sessions, workshops, and company-wide meetings offered to those in-office. Basically, the goal is to treat remote employees the same as in-office employees, but by using technology to bridge the gaps that physical distance creates.
3. Encourage Collaboration (Community)
Because remote workers are physically separated from the rest of their coworkers, they miss out on a lot of celebrations and milestones. To include remote workers, consider moving announcements to go out online rather than announced in person. Multiple tools can be used for this, such as an employee newsletter or intranet space where colleagues can leave comments to one another. Use these technologies to announce anniversaries, promotions, awards, shoutouts, and company news that affects everyone. To further encourage a sense of community, integrate remote workers and in-house workers into collective teams rather than separating the two. Use these teams to dictate a chain of communication or “buddy system” for relaying information quickly from the office to those working off-site.
Take Your Business Global—Make Your Remote Employees Feel like Locals
As more and more remote capabilities become available each year, having these tools in the back pocket will be a huge benefit. Not only will they allow an organization to manage its remote workforce more efficiently than the rest of the market, but may also draw top talent in as well.
No matter where you expand, Velocity Global’s International PEO (Professional Employer Organization) solution offers a single point of contact for your global employees—live, 24/7—virtually anywhere. International PEO enables you to compliantly hire employees in more than 185 countries, and takes care of all risk mitigation so you can remain focused on keeping your business running smoothly, no matter where you are in your global expansion. Ready to grow your global workforce? Let’s get started.