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How to build trust and engage with your team in the new ‘work from home’ world

Have you decided to keep some or all of your team working from home?

When it comes to engaging a remote workforce, success stems from good communication, trust and feeling connected. Real time engagement, transparency with co-workers and regular meaningful interaction is imperative to helping remote workers feel like they are trusted and very much a valued part of the larger team. In response to the uncertainties presented by Covid-19, many local business, schools and universities have asked their employees to work remotely. While ONS data shows that 13.4% of UK workforce already work from home, the new policies leave many more employees and employers working out of the office and separated for the first time.

Although it is always preferable to establish clear remote-work policies and training in advance, in times of rapidly changing circumstances, this level of preparation may not be feasible for many companies responding to an ever changing landscape. Fortunately, there are specific, proven steps Riada would like to share with our NI Business Community to ensure the effective engagement and productivity of remote employees.

  1. Give remote employees a sense of belonging. Communicate often, check in regularly and be proactive. A sense of belonging at the office will be increasingly sought after by employees, and a crucial condition for fostering innovation.

  2. Define goals for remote workers. According to research, 39% of people working from home complete their tasks faster than those in fixed workplaces.However, in order to set them up for success, employers have to set clear and measurable goals for their remote employees. With remote teams it’s important to be crystal clear about their duties and responsibilities.

  3. Technology. Emails shouldn’t be the primary way of internal communications as there are now tools available that offer instant communication so information does not get buried. Real-time streaming calls, video chats, messaging boards and more, facilitate opportunities for open lines of communication that lead to more collaboration and encouragement across a team or company.

  4. Encourage peer-to-peer feedback. Consistent peer-to-peer feedback is a great way to connect remote employees. This is just another way to encourage their collaboration and communication and to learn from each other. In fact, according to a recent survey conducted by PWC, nearly 60% of survey respondents reported that they would like feedback on a daily or weekly basis—a number that increased to 72% for employees under age 30.

By following these simple, yet effective, steps you will discover that:

  1. Remote workers adapt well: Remote employees aren’t working in an office with their teammates and managers; hence they strengthen important skills to keep themselves on track. Remote workers are more self-aware, responsible, mindful, trusted by others, and in turn, trusting in others.

  2. Successful remote employees are very in tune with their surroundings: They are more thoughtful about creating and maintaining a conducive workspace.

  3. Remote employees communicate explicitly and want the same in return: These workers are more likely to set expectations about availability and boundaries, preferred methods of communication, and the way they want to be managed and recognised.

If you would like advice on remote working or company recruitment at this time give us a call on 028 7032 6600 or email General Manager Arlene McConaghie

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