According to a recent report, almost 20% of American workers work remotely on a regular basis. And that number is expected to go up pretty dramatically over the course of the next 10 years or so.
Companies that hire remote workers enjoy a long list of benefits. They’re able to cut their costs, and in many cases, they’re also able to make their employees happier. A lot of people like working remotely and do their best work from home.
There are some drawbacks to hiring remote workers versus people who work in an office, though. Managing remote employees can be challenging at times. And it can also be difficult to involve remote workers in company culture in many instances.
Is your company struggling to get your remote workers involved in your company culture? If so, there are some steps that you can take to change this.
Here are a handful of the best ways to make your remote workers feel involved in your company culture even though they’re not working in your office every day.
Give Remote Workers a Warm Welcome From the Start
In a perfect world, you should try to have remote workers come into your office when they first begin working for your company so that you can introduce them to your company culture. It’ll get their tenure with your company off to a strong start.
But if it’s not possible for you to do this, you can still make it your mission to provide new remote workers with a warm welcome. You can send them an introductory packet that contains everything from your company’s handbook to some company swag.
You can also make sure that your new remote workers get hooked up from a human resources perspective. They should be able to fill out all the necessary forms digitally. Remote I-9 will come in handy for this.
Make It a Point to Introduce Remote Workers on Camera
If you’re able to bring new remote workers into your office for a day or two, you can introduce them to all your current employees while they’re there. But if you’re not able to get them into your office, you should still find a way to properly introduce them to your existing employees.
You can do it by getting your new remote workers to jump on camera for a few moments on their first days so that they can introduce themselves. They’ll get the chance to tell all of your current employees who they are, and they’ll also get to hear from some of the employees that they’ll be working with.
This isn’t quite as effective as having your employees meet in person. But it’s the next best thing for all the remote workers out there.
Invite Remote Workers to Take Part in Daily, Weekly, and/or Monthly Video Calls
If you’re going to hire a lot of remote workers to work for your company, finding effective ways to stay in constant communication with them will be key. You’re going to be asking for trouble if you don’t have face-to-face conversations with them as often as you can.
A good way to work these conversations into your workdays is by inviting your remote workers to participate in daily, weekly, and monthly video calls with your in-office employees. These video calls will get your employees talking and ensure that they’re always on the same page.
You don’t necessarily want to overdo it and hold video call meetings for no reason. Each and every meeting that you call should have a clear purpose so that both your remote workers and in-office employees know what they’re all about.
But generally speaking, it’ll be good for your remote employees and in-office employees to get as much facetime as they can. It’ll enhance their relationships and help them to build more meaningful connections.
Set Up Chat Rooms to Connect Your Remote Workers With Your In-Office Employees
Your remote workers and in-office employees shouldn’t have to jump on a video call every time they need to tell one another something. They also shouldn’t have to write an email every time they want to express a thought to their coworkers.
To prevent them from having to do these things, you should set up chat rooms through services like Slack that will work to connect your remote workers and in-office employees at all times. They’ll be able to talk about whatever they want in these chat rooms throughout their workdays.
In some cases, your employees will be collaborating on projects in these chat rooms. In other instances, they’ll be sharing funny memes to make it a little easier to get through a long afternoon.
Either way, you’ll love knowing that all of your employees can connect without any issues whenever they want. You might even find that your in-office employees will communicate more through chat rooms than they do in-person over time.
Update Remote Workers on Things Going On in Your Office
No matter how much time your remote workers spend on video calls and in chat rooms with your in-office employees, they’re undoubtedly going to miss some of the things that go on in your office. It’s why you’re going to need to find simple ways to update them on the things that are taking place in your office each day.
You might want to do this by having someone in your office compile a daily or, at the very least, weekly newsletter detailing everything that’s going on in your office. Your remote workers will be able to read through it and catch up on what’s happening within your company culture.
This newsletter doesn’t have to be too in-depth at all. It just needs to break down the different things that your remote workers should know about when it comes to your office happenings.
Put Remote Workers in Charge of Projects and Give Them an Opportunity to Lead
When it’s time to put someone in charge of a project that your company is going to be working on, you might automatically look around your office and pick the best person for the job. There’s nothing wrong with doing this in some cases. But you should also be open to allowing some of your remote workers to serve as project managers.
As you’ve seen here, there are so many ways that your remote workers can communicate with those in your office. It should make it relatively easy for them to head up a project without there being any problems.
Your remote workers will really appreciate you having enough faith in them to allow them to lead from afar. It’ll work wonders for your company culture and will give you a chance to see what your remote workers can do.
Hold Virtual Happy Hours, Trivia Nights, Etc. With Your Remote Workers and In-Office Employees
One of the things that you’re going to find with regards to your remote workers is that they’re going to get stuck doing a lot of work without having much of an opportunity to play. They aren’t going to be around to participate in things like happy hours that you might hold in your office or at a local watering hole.
With this in mind, you should try to look for ways to include your remote workers when it’s time for your employees to kick back and relax. You can do it by holding virtual happy hours, trivia nights, and other digital team-building events.
It might take you a little bit of time to iron out the details when it comes to staging these types of events. A virtual happy hour isn’t always as relaxing as an in-person one. But you should be able to find your groove after working at it a few times.
Put Together Care Packages for Your Remote Workers
As we alluded to earlier, it would be nice for you to welcome new remote workers to your company by sending a package to their home when they first start working for you. But you shouldn’t stop there!
You should try to get into the habit of sending your remote workers care packages early and often, especially to recognize when they’ve done a great job on a project or something else. Even if you just send them a handwritten letter thanking them for all that they’ve done for your company lately, it’ll go a long way towards improving your company culture.
Care packages are going to make your remote workers feel like you truly care about them and make them realize how important they are to your company. They won’t cost you much money to send, but they’ll leave your remote workers feeling more satisfied and boost their productivity. They will be a worthwhile investment for your business.
Ask Your Remote Workers for Feedback on What Is and Isn’t Working
As long as you give at least a few of the things on this list a try, you should be able to keep your remote workers engaged while they’re working and make them feel like they’re a part of your company culture. But there are, of course, going to be some things that work and some that don’t.
As a result, you’re going to need to ask for your remote workers to provide you with feedback on how things are going. They’ll be the ones who are going through the remote work experience, so they’ll be the ones who can set you up with the best feedback on it.
You should email your remote workers every now and then to check in with them about how things are progressing. You should also invite them to send feedback in your direction at any time that they want.
You should then utilize this feedback as best you can and implement changes to your workflow that will work better for your remote workers. It shouldn’t be too long before things are humming along and working well for everyone involved in your company culture.
Bring Your Remote Workers to Your Office Every So Often
There might be some instances in which it’ll be almost impossible to bring your remote workers to your office. If, for example, they work on the other side of the world, flying them to your office just to say hello to everyone won’t be all that feasible.
But if you can swing it, you should try to bring your remote workers to your office every so often so that they can meet with your in-office employees in person and feel like they’re truly a part of your company culture.
Many companies like to set aside a week or so each year to have all their remote workers get together. It’s a fantastic opportunity to do some true team building so that you can make your employees feel closer than ever before.
You Can (and Should!) Get Your Remote Workers Involved in Your Company Culture
For a long time, many companies put little to no effort into making their remote workers feel involved in their company culture. But in this day and age, a lot of these companies are seeing the value in involving their remote workers more.
If you aren’t getting your remote workers as involved as you would like to in your company culture, you should make a strong push to change that. By taking everything that you’ve learned here today and putting it to good use, you can revamp your company culture as a whole and leave all of your employees feeling happier.
Get more tips on improving company culture by browsing through our other business-related blogs.