What is remote work?

Remote work is a work-style that takes place outside of the customary office setting, usually from a home office or coworking space, and is based upon constant communication with coworkers, managers, and clients, by phone, email, and videoconferencing.

Remote work implies that employees either reside too far from the office to work on-site, travel while they work, or work for a virtual business. Usually, remote employees work from home or from coworking facilities, which provide a work-friendly atmosphere and the perks of an office.  

Why should HR leaders care about remote work?

By improving the work experience of remote employees, HR leaders can increase:

Remote work offers employees major benefits: the opportunity to work from their ideal workspace, the freedom to visit their kitchen whenever they please, and relative time flexibility. It does however challenge employees to find ways to overcome loneliness and loss of motivation, issues which most remote employees struggle with at some point.

What can HR leaders do to ensure success among remote employees?

Frequent communication, collaboration, and positive reinforcement from managers can immensely improve the overall work experience of remote employees. HR leaders can incorporate the following practices to ensure remote employee success:

  • Integrate a remote onboarding program. Incorporate new remote employees with a remote onboarding process, which will allow them to ease into their new position as they get to know their new team. 
  • Videoconference. Without regularly seeing employees in an office setting, it’s challenging to maintain a solid work relationship. Frequent video chats between team members and managers helps everyone stay connected. Encourage occasional non-work video conferencing, to allow team members to build friendly relationships.
  • Update employees regularly. Though physically distant, remote employees are equal members of the team. Involve remote workers in decisions and update them on important changes within the company.
  • Be available.Be ready to answer questions for employees or guide them when necessary. Schedule regular video chats with employees to check overall employee happiness and satisfaction.
  • Adopt a results-oriented approach. Ensure that managers are helping employees set goals, and that they are working towards these goals in a timely fashion. 
  • Establish clear expectations and policies. Check that employees understand company policies. What are their work hours? When will they need to be available for texting or video chatting?

How can success among remote employees improve company culture?

Whether a company is fully virtual, with all its employees scattered throughout different time zones, or its employees are mostly in-house, frequent online interaction and communication allows each remote employee to be recognized as a valuable asset to their team, and the company at large. Intentionally building these long-distance relationships demands dedication, yet it’s well worth it, as these relationships boost employee engagement, and enrich the company culture.