The Guide to What Remote Empoyees Need
In recent years, remote work has been a significant trend. Aside from being driven by advancements in technology, many workers have a changing attitude toward work-life balance.
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Whether we like it or not, remote working is here to stay and will continue to rise in the coming years. Even though many organizations today have remote workers, most of them prefer hybrid working set-ups to keep employees engaged.
With the ability to connect to their workplace from anywhere with an internet connection, many people have chosen to work remotely, either full-time or part-time.
This has been especially prominent in the tech industry, where it is common for employees to work from home or from co-working spaces. Remote work offers many benefits, such as increased flexibility and the ability to work from anywhere. Still, it also has its challenges, such as a lack of in-person collaboration and difficulty maintaining a work-life balance. That’s why it’s important to know what your remote employees need.
The Company's Challenge
The primary challenge of companies with remote or hybrid employees is keeping their company culture intact. It is not easy to maintain your company culture, especially if remote workers don’t have the right tools and support they need.
One of the most effective ways to keep your company culture is to build it on what your employees need. For example, if your workers value diversity, then you need to foster a diverse culture and environment.
Every organization has different approaches to employee experience and engagement. If you’re just transitioning to a fully remote working environment or hiring new remote workers, the best way to know what they need is to ask them for input. Also, don’t forget to regularly check in with your employees to ensure that you’re giving them all the support and tools they need.
Difficulties in Understanding What Remote Employees Need
Asking what remote employees need may look easy, but managers and supervisors often face difficulties in understanding what their remote employees need in order to be successful. This can be due to a lack of face-to-face communication, which can make it difficult to get a sense of an employee's work environment, challenges, and needs.
Lack of Reward and Action
Showing appreciation and taking action is important to all employees, especially remote employees. The thing is, remote employees, don’t have the same face-to-face interactions and feedback experience as their in-office colleagues.
Showing appreciation and taking action can help to address these challenges and create a positive work environment for remote employees. By expressing gratitude and recognizing the contributions of remote employees, organizations can demonstrate that they value and respect the work of their remote team members. This can help to build trust and foster a sense of belonging among remote employees.
Many remote employees feel disconnected from their colleagues, managers, and the company’s culture and values.
Remote workers may be hesitant to speak up about their needs or may not know how to articulate them effectively. This can lead to misunderstandings and miscommunications, which can negatively impact the employee's productivity and job satisfaction.
If employees don’t feel valued or connected to their company, chances are they won’t even bother to share their thoughts.
To address these challenges, leaders should make an effort to regularly communicate with their employees and create an open and supportive work environment. They should also provide employees with the tools and support they need to be successful, such as a reliable computer and internet connection, and should be open to feedback and suggestions from their employees.
Us vs Them
When remote employees feel that they are not part of the team, it can lead to feelings of loneliness and disconnection, which can negatively impact their mental health and well-being. Remote employees may feel isolated compared to in-office employees because of a lack of face-to-face interactions and social connections. Employees who are working in the office have the opportunity to interact with their coworkers on a daily basis, which can create a sense of community and support.
To make remote employees feel connected, managers need to foster a sense of connection and community by having regular virtual meetings and communication. It’s also important to give remote employees the opportunity to interact and built relationships with their coworkers which can be done by creating online communities or having a local co-working space.
Access to the Right Technology
Using the right technology is essential for remote employees to be able to effectively communicate with their colleagues and clients, as well as access the information and resources they need to complete their work. This includes things like a reliable internet connection, a computer or laptop with sufficient processing power and storage, and the necessary software and tools.
Without good technology, remote employees may experience delays or disruptions in their work, which can impact their productivity and effectiveness. Providing remote employees with the necessary technology can help to ensure that they have the tools they need to perform their job duties effectively and efficiently, and can help to create a positive and productive work environment for all team members.
Finding Out What Remote Employees Need
First of all, to know what your remote employees need, you need to ask them and listen to what they are trying to say. According to Oracle, the employers and managers who use “continual listening” to make decisions see an improvement in employee retention, engagement, productivity, and recruitment.
Here are helpful tips to know what exactly your remote employees need:
- Make it easy for them to communicate with you
Your employees know exactly what they need and want. It is important for organizations to need a more reliable method of receiving information from their remote employees no matter what timezone they are in.
Traditional methods such as email is an option, however, keeping track of responses is time-consuming and tedious. Nowadays, you need a more reliable and efficient platform where employees can submit their suggestions or feedback.
The best way to make communication easier is by implementing a user-friendly intranet or employee experience platform. This allows managers to easily review and implement employee feedback.
- Encourage open communication
To know what remote employees need, it’s essential to give them the best employee experience. The traditional top-down approach is a thing of the past, we should embrace and encourage open communication instead.
An open communication allows two-way communication between employees and managers for a more meaningful and honest conversation. This environment encourages employees to give honest feedback. If your employees feel that their voices can’t be heard, you can’t expect them to give suggestions or feedback.
- Go mobile
We use technology on a daily basis. From purchasing goods online, communicating with loved ones, working, and entertainment. Depending on which industry you are in, you may have employees who travel regularly. Going mobile streamlines the communication process and ensures that no message slips through the cracks.
The best way to improve employee communication and engagement is to make sure that your employee experience platform is mobile-friendly.
Remote employees find it easier to give feedback on their phones. Having a mobile-friendly platform shows that your organization is eager to hear feedback from every employee.
- Show appreciation for employee feedback
Taking action to address the needs and concerns of remote employees can also be important. This can include providing the necessary resources and support for remote work, such as providing access to technology and training, as well as addressing issues related to communication and collaboration. By taking action to support the success of remote employees, organizations can create a positive and productive work environment for all team members.
- Listen to employee feedback
It is important to have effective employee communication. The best way to achieve this is to introduce new ways for your remote employees to reach out to you.
To know what your remote employees need, establish asynchronous conversations for remote workers. Have an employee experience and internal communication platform that have all the features your employee needs.
Must-Have Features for an Employee Experience Platform (EXP)
We established that you need an internal communication and employee experience platform to effectively communicate the needs of your remote employees, however, if your platform is not powerful enough, there’s a slight chance that it would bring employees together.
There are different kinds of platforms out there that comes with unique features. When choosing the best platform for your employees, you should consider the specific needs of your organization.
Here are some must-have and non-negotiable features to consider when you’re looking for the right intranet solution:
- Familiar and Intuitive Interface
No one wants to encounter a complicated platform on a daily basis, right? Using a complicated system will greatly affect their productivity.
The best solution is to use well-known interfaces such as Google Workspace or Microsoft Sharepoint. Most employees already have a Google or Microsoft account, therefore it would be easier for them to navigate through the platform.
Steegle develops intranets using Google Sites. The benefits of a using Google Sites-based intranet are that it is easy to use, makes collaboration easier, is mobile-friendly, and seamlessly integrates with other Google Workspace apps such as Google Docs and Drive. On top of that, your information and data are secured.
- People Directory
When sending a message to your remote employees, you often worry whether they received it or not. Since remote employees are the most difficult to reach compared to office-based employees, you need to make sure that your intranet solution has a push notification feature.
The goal is to boost the engagement of remote employees, which also means you need to look for an intranet solution that is accessible on any device.
The good news is that Google Sites-based intranets are optimized for mobile devices, making it easier for remote employees to access the platform anywhere using their smartphones.
- Surveys and Virtual Suggestion Box
Conducting surveys is a great way to be aware of what is happening in your organization in terms of employee satisfaction, engagement, and productivity.
A virtual suggestion box is where employees can submit ideas, feedback, and suggestions anonymously. It also encourages open communication. Improves decision-making, and helps the management identify problems and opportunities.
Involving employees in decision-making can increase their ownership and commitment to the organization. When employees feel that their ideas are valued and considered, they may be more motivated and engaged in their work.
Article by Maria Gabrielle