What Remote Employee Engagement Really Means: An In-Depth Look

What Remote Employee Engagement Really Means: An In-Depth Look

Mar 27th 2023

Remote employees are a growing trend.

In fact, according to Zippia, the career center and employment platform, 26% of U.S. employees did work remotely in 2022, and that's just in the United States alone. On top of that, there are expected to be 36.2 million employees in America working solely remotely by 2025. That sounds like a boon for the home office furnishings business for sure!

But what does it really mean for a corporation to have a remote team?

According to popular job search platform, Indeed, the benefits of a remote workforce are numerous, including lower overhead costs, increased retention rates, improved performance, and increased productivity. But the question is: How can you ensure that your team is engaged and motivated when they're not all in the same room? (Hint: It's not just about the furniture!)

Empowering some or your employees to work from home can be a win-win, offering more positives to your company and to all your team members than negatives, as many are led to believe through misconceptions. Here are three common mistaken beliefs, according to business magazine, Fast Company, about remote working, along with the truths behind them.

Misconception #1: You can't build company culture in a distributed team.

It can take some work and serious effort, but ensuring your company values include deliberate company-wide cooperation with projects and overall goals, and some good old-fashioned celebrations when together (or even virtually) goes a long way in building relationships and true connections. Celebrating the achievement of those goals through awards and visible recognition – both individual achievement and group – takes that team building a step further.

Misconception #2: People are not taking work seriously when they're not in the office.

It's understandable, coming from the workplaces of old (before an epidemic changed the way we work and play), that managers and co-workers are still a little skeptical about workers who aren't in the building with the rest of the team. However, in today's work world of hi-speed connectivity, VPNs (Virtual Private Networks), and instant communication applications, being in the same physical location with work teammates, does not guarantee 1) perfect relationships between co-workers, 2) best use of on-the-clock hours, or 3) that goals and deadlines will be met. Speaking of workplace goals, how can an employer be sure that remote employees are doing their part?

How are they to manage expectations and ensure productivity? You might think remote workers should be treated and managed differently than your in-house team, however, the principles you apply to your in-house staff and your remote workers should be the same. According to staffing experts at Boldly, there are six pillar to focus on for effective remote employee management:

  1. Start by choosing the right metrics and goals for remote workers.
  2. Set clear and specific performance metrics for all remote employees.
  3. Keep track of how engaged your remote team is.
  4. Lay out expectations for remote communications.
  5. Don't forget to measure ROI.
  6. Trust is key to success for remote managers and employees.

Don't forget to recognize remote workers for accomplishments and milestones.

Just like your in-person employees, remote workers want to feel appreciated for hard work and for meeting goals. There can't be a separate group of rules for work measurement, or double standards when it comes to corporate recognition. In order to maintain a remote worker's motivation, they need to be treated just like those teammates you see at the proverbial water cooler each day – they need recognition by both leadership and their peers for all workplace achievements. The metrics for recognizing remote achievement can include these same in-house measures, among others:

  1. Top Sales Award
  2. Years of Service Award
  3. Leadership Award
  4. Customer Service Award
  5. Appreciation Award

In a nutshell, whatever workplace metrics you are using to award your in-house employees, do the same for your remote workers. This will go a long way in maintaining loyalty, productivity, and motivation while they navigate your work culture from afar. Have questions about virtual award presentations, or what type of recognition awards work best for your team, both in-house and out? Contact us today, and we'll help direct you to the perfect choice.