Including remote workers in day-to-day conversation can be difficult, especially if you have a headquarters or office space. Today, we wanted to share some tips for communicating with your remote workers so that you can build a welcoming environment for your employees across the country and the world.
Take Extra Steps To Include Remote Workers Daily
Remote work is a new phenomenon that is often difficult to understand for many employers/employees. We are all navigating the world of remote work, and this requires extra care. It’s essential for employers to go above and beyond when it comes to including remote workers. How can you make your new remote employees feel more welcome in the conversation?
Regular in-office workers need to be appreciated too, but it’s much easier to keep the lines of communication open with people you see every day. We want to spend extra time boosting communication with remote workers because we don’t have those more impromptu opportunities to get to know them.
Utilize Video Communication When You Can
Since you can’t meet face-to-face as much with remote workers, spend time focusing on video communication. When you have one-on-one chats with remote workers, utilize video communication for some of those meetings. When you have company-wide meetings, ask your remote workers to join you on screen. If you have a ton of remote workers, rotate how many are with you on screen for each meeting.
Many laptops these days come with a web camera attached, but they aren’t always the best quality. Provide an HD web camera to all of your remote workers if they don’t currently have one or the one they use isn’t the best quality. Several web cameras can be hooked up to your computer and provide professional quality video in the process. External webcams aren’t super expensive to purchase, but they can make a massive difference during video meetings.
Be Careful With How You Word Emails Written To Remote Workers
Email is a fantastic and professional way to communicate with your remote employees, but they can be easily misconstrued. Since context is limited in text-heavy conversation, you have to be very careful as you are wording your emails to remote workers.
Take your time when crafting emails to remote workers or any employee who isn’t accustomed to your tone. You want to give yourself time to read over the email a few times and make sure the words in your email match the position you are trying to convey.
You don’t need to hold off sending a reply for hours, but make sure that you spend a few minutes going over each email before you hit send. Taking just a few extra minutes to look over your email can make all the difference when it comes to your relationship with remote workers.
Find Ways To Get More Water Cooler Conversation
Water cooler conversation doesn’t happen as much with remote work relationships. There are ways to add this back into your company. For example, you may want to create a channel in your company’s Slack chat for water cooler conversation.
Typical employees who go to work for you every day spend time chatting with each other. It’s a natural part of the work environment that doesn’t always translate to remote work.
That conversation plays a big part in how your regular employees bond with each other and create a healthier work environment. Having friends at work helps your employees create more connections to the company, increases the empathy your employees have for each other, and makes everyone happier.
Check out our post on team bonding for remote employees for more great advice on this subject.
Take Some Time To Meet Face To Face
If you can afford it, you should create a retreat that includes your remote workers at least once a year. Retreats can help all of your workers learn more about your industry, improve their skills, and help them bond with each other.
Creating bonds between your employees will help them work together more effectively. While a retreat costs money to plan, it can be a great investment in the future of your business if done correctly.
Another alternative to a retreat that everyone goes to is flying your remote workers to your company throughout the year. Let them work in office for a week at least once or so a year. During their time at your office, get to know them, let them meet with the people they usually email, and give them more education on your company and what you stand for. This immersive experience will get them excited about the work they do for you.
It’s All About Trial And Error
Remember, remote work is still a new phenomenon. It’s going to take a while before companies can understand remote work and communicate effectively.
You will need to work closely with your remote workers to figure out what communication practices work best for them. Try new email rules, communication apps, and retreat strategies until you find what works for your business. As long as you are making positive strides towards remote worker communication, your employees will thank you!
Do you need more tips for remote workers? Check out our guide to reducing burnout with remote workers.