Businesses are consistently trying to improve their productivity, customer satisfaction and return on investment. However, in order to do this, they have to ensure all of the cogs within their internal infrastructure are running smoothly.
When creating a sustainable and productive remote team, you’re often faced with a number of challenges from the get-go. From ensuring that operations run smoothly, deadlines are met and employees are satisfied, within their work environment.
In the modern workplace, what does it take to completely satisfy employees, gain their trust and loyalty? Offering remote work to your employees is the first step in gaining loyalty. According to a survey by the Global Workplace Association, between 80 to 90 percent of the US workforce would like to telecommute, for at least 2-3 days per week.
Not Those Millennials, Again?
Often stigmatized as being lazy, unprofessional and without social skills. Millennials often get the short end of the stick. According to Pew Research Center, 35 percent of the US workforce is comprised of Millennials. Despite the narrow-minded view of their demeanor, they still make up for a large amount of the workforce, in the United States.
A career insight survey by AfterCollege, concluded that 68 percent of Millennial job seekers stated that an option for remote work would vastly increase their interest in a specific employer. The survey also found that workplaces that integrate flexibility with a casual and fun environment have a positive impact on meeting the demand for younger workers.
Don’t Forget the Older Folk
Workplace flexibility isn’t all about the younger employees. Pew Research Center’s analysis shows that Americans over the age of 64 are working now, more than ever. Thirty-four percent of older American workers would like the option to work from home.
For many older workers, they suffer from inadequate savings, forcing them to delay their retirement. Working remotely in a collaborative, community-driven environment increases the loyalty of older telecommuters.
Culture Vs Community
What’s the difference? Cultures are imposed on employees. When a company has an established culture, they expect their employees to become a part of it, even if their style and personality aren’t suited to it.
Communities are guided by company values but are a manifestation of the people within them. As new remote workers join the fold, they add their individual perspectives, experience and insight into the community.
Remote work is solitary and it involves hours behind a screen. The authenticity of a community drives a sense of purpose within remote employees that increase their ability to hold themselves accountable for the company’s success. Furthermore, it helps remote employees to align themselves with the company’s mission.
A sense of purpose drives happiness within employees and happier employees lead to higher rates of productivity. According to a study by Social Market Foundation, happier employees are 20 percent more productive, than those that are unhappy.
There’s a number of ways to build a community within a remote team. One of the most important ways is to increase effective communication between employees. This entails video conferencing, collaborative training sessions and encouraging local employees to meet up with one another for social activities.
In addition, new hires are often overwhelmed by a team that’s already established. It pays to be mindful that a new hire could find integration daunting. To overcome this obstacle, it’s good practice to introduce the new remote hire to everyone in the team via a video call, as well as the other communication and collaboration tools, that your team uses.
As a leader, it’s part of your duty to increase employee engagement, without the need for forced conversation in the Slack channel or filling awkward silences. By making your employees feel like they’re part of a community, with a sense of belonging; you increase their loyalty to the company.