The 2020 Coronavirus pandemic has had a significant impact on how people think about remote work, with 48% of tech talent in North America responding with an increased interest in remote work and 46% responding that they remained equally as interested. Restrictions resulting from the pandemic have only seemed to encourage the existing curiosities about working from home. In fact, a survey by GetApp revealed that 36% of employees work remotely at least once a week, an increase of nearly 400% from what the U.S Census Bureau reported in 2010.
Though the reasons for remote work vary, one major factor involved in going remote is cost. Global Workplace Analytics estimates that a typical employer could save $11,000 on average per year for every half-time-remote worker, while employees can save between $2,500 and $4,000 per year. The savings result from increases in productivity, reduced travel costs and turnover rates, and more.
Although many companies have experience with part-time remote work, very few know how to lead a team of remote people. Since working from home is rapidly becoming commonplace, companies must begin enacting policies and behaviors that make remote work as effective as it can be.
Two of the biggest struggles facing remote workers are loneliness and collaboration, according to a recent survey by Buffer. It’s easy to forget to check-in with other team members when you don’t see them in the office, but it’s crucial for maintaining a collaborative team. Ask employees what they think would improve remote work and take their feedback seriously to help ensure your company culture is meeting their expectations. Don’t give problems a chance to grow beneath the surface; instead, hold regular open conversations to keep your team connected and cohesive.
Ensure employees are engaged
According to a study done by Gallup, employees who work remotely 60% to 80% of the time, are the most engaged group of employees. While remote work is likely to aid in engagement, it’s important to implement practices that keep engagement as high as possible.
Here are a few ways to keep employees engaged remotely...
Hold team-building activities
Team-building activities are essential to maintaining a connected, collaborative company. You can encourage team-building by holding a light-hearted competition within the team, like a trivia, fitness, or reading challenge, holding a Zoom happy-hour event during the week, running a virtual book club, or more. Make an effort to get creative and ask your team what they’d like to see.
Remote work isn’t a trend that will be dying down anytime soon - in fact, it’s likely to become much more common and flexible. Hired’s 2020 State of Remote Work Report found that 57% of employers believe future remote work policies will continue their newfound flexibility even after restrictions from COVID-19 subside.
While remote work can bring a unique set of stressors for those who aren’t prepared for the transition, the benefits can outweigh the negative impact with a little intentional effort in developing a robust remote culture upfront. Learn how Crystal can help you create an empathetic remote culture and keep your team connected.