The modern workplace is changing. More and more employees are working remotely, and this brings many different challenges (and benefits!) to the future of work. As remote work increases, keeping your employees engaged can sometimes be difficult. However, amidst those challenges lies an opportunity to increase engagement and make your organization even more effective no matter if they’re remote or in-office.
The Problems of Remote Work
Remote work is a fantastic and necessary thing for many industries. Technology allows us to bridge borders, unite disparate teams, and create something amazing despite the physical space between us. That’s great news, especially in situations like what we’ve experienced with the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. While remote work has a great deal of positive attributes, there are some negatives that are worth addressing so we can understand the best way to deal with them.
Lack of Engagement
Important things such as families, pets, and timeouts for physical fitness can sometimes make it harder to focus for long periods of time. Working remotely also means less face-to-face interaction, which can often lead to employees feeling like they aren’t part of a greater whole.
No Cohesive Culture
Interacting with coworkers face-to-face provides many things virtual communication can’t. The small course corrections that naturally happen through in-person communication, including encouragement and support, can often be missing in a remote workplace. In addition, team lunches, company get-togethers, and department meetings often exclude those that work remotely, further alienating them from the company culture.
Limited Task Visibility
Working remotely requires employees to be motivated and on-task. While the vast majority of employees stay on task and have a strong desire to contribute, there may be some that need more encouragement. Remote workplaces may require more consistent follow-up and short daily meetings to keep things moving along, and consistent recognition when things are completed with efficiency and accuracy.
Minimal Support and Recognition
Remote employees can feel disconnected from their teams and companies as a whole. Support from managers and coworkers can often be limited, and recognition is an afterthought due to a lack of visibility into their workloads. Seeking support for projects when you’re remote isn’t as easy as it is in the office, where you can go talk to the individual.
Why Recognition is the Key
While there are myriad concerns with remote work, there are also incredible benefits. Remote work is a valid, necessary, excellent feature of work, especially as technology continues to enable greater communication. The great things about remote work far outweigh the negatives, and with an excellent recognition and rewards program, your company can avoid almost ALL the negatives.
Recognition has a powerful impact on engagement. Studies show that companies with an effective recognition program in place (and therefore higher engagement) see a 21% profitability increase. Think about that for a minute—you can improve your profitability even when a large portion of your organization is remote! How do you do this? With recognition. While many remote workers might feel disengaged, re-engage them with timely, appropriate, rewarding recognition. Sometimes all it will take is to be seen, even if that means a simple shout out on the company social feed!
Build a Great Culture
An amazing culture begins with recognizing and celebrating the efforts and achievements of others. While this can be difficult in a remote setting, making a culture of rewarding recognition a priority pays enormous dividends. Such a culture can be built through recognizing and rewarding others for their efforts and making sure other people know how grateful you are for their contributions. As recognitions flow through your platform others will be inspired to share their own, and your culture will continue to strengthen whether your employees are remote or in-office!
Gain Visibility into Projects
Even in an office setting it can be challenging to grasp what other individuals or teams are working on. By recognizing others frequently in your company platform you can provide this visibility into many different projects and help your employees feel like they are part of a larger whole. Seeing what others are working on—and being recognized for—can make for a more supportive, encouraging atmosphere.
It’s not breaking news that people feel more supported when they are recognized often for the good work they do. If efforts go unnoticed a remote employee or team might begin to feel like what they do doesn’t matter. However, regular, timely recognition can aid in supporting your teams by helping them feel like they’re part of something greater, and that they matter. Recognition doesn’t have to cost anything, but it’s benefits definitely make a huge difference.
Empower Your Remote Workforce
As times continue to change you may need to adapt quickly to keep your organization running smoothly. Remote work will continue to be a growing feature of modern work, and recognition in such an environment is key to keeping your workforce engaged, supported, and included in the overall company culture.