Remote work has become a necessity, but many executives still struggle on how best to engage their remote teams. Explore ideas here.
The world-wide pandemic has made working in a remote environment a necessity. The way we communicate and work has been altered completely and some would argue, permanently. Several studies have proven that many organizations including Amazon, Microsoft and Google have advised their employees to stop coming into the office.
PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) surveyed 133 executives and 1200 office workers in December of 2020 and according to their survey, less than one in five executives said they wanted to return to the office; meanwhile, 87% of employees said the office is an important place for collaborating with team members and for building relationships.
Even though working in a remote environment brings more advantages than downsides, it is also important for managers and leaders to ensure the health of employees doesn’t compromise their productivity levels due to fatigue.
How can we keep teams engaged in a remote environment? Here are a few ideas.
The first and foremost responsibility for any company is to ensure the health and well-being of their employees. The covid-19 pandemic has affected everyone’s mental and physical health. Introducing an effective wellness program for employees will increase engagement. Periodic wellness challenges like a 5k run can help employees become physically motivated. At Qumu, we have “Focus Fridays.” As a team we leverage the power of async or on-demand video. This allows the viewer to decide when they would like to view the content—giving the power back to the viewer.
Typically, remote teams feel disconnected over time. It’s important to host virtual video meetings frequently. This includes entertaining employees from time to time by hosting informal online sessions. Happy hours, talent shows, and freaky Thursday shirt attire, for example help keep work fun. This serves as a great stress buster and it helps to build connections between employees. We also encourage guest speakers to host online sessions regarding stress relief practices, like music, and games that help workers to relax and to be ultimately more productive. Before the adoption of video as a communication tool, we would walk by our colleagues desks and say, “Good Morning.” Try doing that via slack or via teams. It’s important to remind your teams that they are on your mind, first thing.
REWARD YOUR EMPLOYEES
This seems obvious, but it often overlooked. Appreciate and reward employees for their hard work. It is one of the best ways to motivate people regardless of where they are located. The fact that employees are getting the recognition they deserve will encourage them to be more productive and most importantly feel valued. This simple change will yield tremendous positive impact throughout the company.
ASK FOR FEEDBACK
Your employees should feel free to interact and share the opinions with you and senior leadership. Seek employees’ feedback regularly and act upon it accordingly. Make sure you acknowledge their ideas and opinions so they know they are being heard and valued. Feedback is a great way to engage with employees in a remote environment and to ensure that everything is going well, and that they are a valued member of the team.
Remote work is here to stay and as leaders we need to behave differently. Since remote work is the new reality, it’s important to get a better understanding of how to manage and engage with your employees and shape the future of work as we know it.
Qumu has been making video smarter with its video engagement platform serving the Fortune 500 and Tech 1000. Qumu has committed to a 100% remote workforce that works from wherever, whenever, forever. Qumu recently refreshed its brand to better reflect its commitment to bringing value to video content.
Rose Bentley is Chief Operating Officer at Qumu Corporation