24 May Culture Challenges | Engaging the Remote Workforce
Since 2005, the non-self-employed remote workforce has grown by 103 percent. In fact, according to Forbes, 1 in every 5 employees works from home at least one day every week. The benefits of a remote or partially-remote workforce are obvious: employees can reduce or eliminate long commutes, return to work faster after illness or pregnancy, and attend to common errands (dentist appointments, teacher conferences, termite inspection, etc.) without missing an entire workday. In addition to lower attrition, many managers and employees report higher rates of productivity from remote workers. Many business owners would agree that their remote employee policies are more about letting their employees work where they are most productive and less about squeezing in non-work activities.
Remote work is not without its caveats, and views on the policy vary widely from company to company. Some of the greatest concerns reported by business owners is the challenge of fostering good communication and driving engagement among remote employees. Collaboration can be difficult to promote when employees are not physically present, and many companies have turned to platforms like Google Hangouts, Skype, and Yammer for virtual meetings. Many business owners have found a partially remote policy to be effective in preserving in-person office culture. In fact, Gallup reports that partially-remote employees have higher rates of engagement than their office bound counterpart:
“While most assume telecommuting is beneficial to employees, the question remains whether it is beneficial to employers. In one respect, employers might use their telecommuting policy as a way to retain talented workers who may otherwise need to change jobs or stop working altogether. Gallup’s workplace research shows that employees who spend at least some time working remotely are a bit more likely to be engaged in their jobs than those who never work remotely.” (http://www.gallup.com/poll/184649/telecommuting-work-climbs.aspx)
Does your company have a work from home policy? How does your office drive engagement among its remote employees? Join the conversation. Tag your post with #AccuroTalks and let us know what you think!