Losing touch with your remote/hybrid employees?

Much has been written about the stress created by the pandemic – specifically about the stress of work/life balance. It's harder to connect to people, and to unplug from technology when work is home life and home life is work. According to the CDC, those reporting symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorders increased from 11% in January 2019 to 41.5% in January 2021. There can be a sense of loneliness for those who enjoyed office interactions as a means of social communication. There can be a sense of obligation to be "on call" 24/7 and not take vacation time.

For some, working from home was business as usual pre-pandemic. For others, this was the first time they telecommuted – and for many it might be permanent. Making real connections is difficult when part of the team is always remote, or when a manager is in the office on different days than their team.

Are your employees feeling engaged? Is their productivity and motivation suffering? Over the past year, many people have become disconnected with coworkers, management, and their projects. Burnout due to work life and home life becoming blended together, a loss of creativity from a stagnant and lonely work environment, or frustration because coworkers are harder to reach can all have a serious effect. These impediments are as detrimental as they are difficult to identify when everyone is on their own.

What can be done? It is important to foster a sense of belonging. Don't let remote employees go unnoticed and unfulfilled. Engaging employees helps reinforce their sense of involvement. Make it easy for your employees to ask questions and feel comfortable communicating with you by scheduling regular check-ins, one-on-one's and team meetings. Mitigate the loss of desk stop-ins and common area conversations by planning staff bonding events and fostering a sense of togetherness.

It is often said that the fastest way to grow your company internally is to make sure your employees love their jobs. Transform all of your employees into brand ambassadors by making them feel like the valued members of the team that they should be.

Here are a few tips & strategies to help you keep your remote employees connected as you shift from temporary work from home to hybrid or permanent:
Tips and Strategies:
Embrace flexibility
Start a Mentor program
Provide and request regularly scheduled feedback
Equip your team with branded technology or WFH/RTW kits
Schedule a company virtual event with a hands-on activity

Hands-on Activity Example:
Looking to spice up a virtual or blended team meeting and have some fun? Let Allied help by sending your team members a custom puzzle or DIY building set with no instructions. At the event, ask everyone to build the same simple item. The competition will be engaging and all of the different resulting designs will be fun and memorable for the whole team.

Need more ideas on how to improve employee engagement, promote inclusivity and foster culture for permanent remote or hybrid teams? Yes, we do that...

About Author
Will Lawler
Will Lawler

Will is the Corporate Kitting Product Manager for The Allied Group. His blogs focus on the importance of employee engagement and employee retention as well as tips on working remotely and in hybrid work environments.


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