Working from home – keeping your remote employees engaged

How to avoid a ‘disconnect’ between you and your home workers 

There are many benefits for both employers and employees in allowing staff to work from home. But it is possible that remote employees may become disconnected from their office-based colleagues.
A strong company culture is something many businesses will strive for. But some companies wonder how it can be possible to avoid isolating remote workers from the buzz of the day-to-day running of the business.
Staying in touch
We are often presented with the saying ‘communication is key’. But communication is vital to allow remote workers to contribute efficiently to the progression of the business.
Getting contact right is important to ensure the employee is available for team events, training and one-to-one meetings with you. Although this is made more difficult if they are far away, some face-to-face contact does make a difference.
Setting clear expectations of the quality and quantity of work you require is essential – especially if the employee is new to the business. This person is an employee like all the others, so manage them the same way with regular performance reviews.
Keep things moving with tech
We recommend using the latest tech to keep things running smoothly. For example, skyping or dialling-in workers to team meetings, so they are aware of the agenda for the upcoming week and future business projects.
At first, some of these changes may take a while to set in place before they become a natural process of the business. However, they are key to engaging your employee and making them feel part of the workforce.
Health and safety
Before anyone works from home, a health and safety risk assessment needs to be undertaken – but other risks need evaluating too.
It is safer to provide IT equipment. This is to ensure that the virus protection software is reliable and that your data is protected from others in the household.
How The HR Dept can help
You may be a little anxious about having remote employees, due to their potential to push the boundaries of their freedom. But having a clear plan set in place, and keeping in touch regularly, allows you to identify if any changes are needed. It will also keep them feeling part of the team.
If you need advice on how to manage remote employees, or want to make sure they are 100% involved in the business, contact The HR Dept – we’re here to help.

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Ian heads up the HR Dept Edinburgh & the Lothians team. The HR Dept specialises in helping SMEs with everything to with employment, through a local and personal service delivering practical and pragmatic advice and support. With nearly 30 years HR experience, Ian has a wealth of experience in helping businesses to ensure success through their people, be legally compliant and handle tricky people issues. As a business owner himself, Ian understands the challenges that come with running and growing a business. He is known for his ability to explain complex concepts simply and to make learning fun and enjoyable.