Team Performance

Tips on keeping remote employees engaged and running effective online check-ins.

Mar 16, 2020 | Written by Cristian Tountzis

Remote work is a great option for employees who want better work-life balance, flexibility in work hours and more. And it's become more popular, both for individuals and businesses, with 52% of employees saying they work from home at least once per week worldwide.

It does present some new challenges though, especially for managers in charge of remote teams. We want to give you some simple tips for managing remote employees and running effective online check-ins, helping you maintain your relationships online while ensuring employees still feel like they are part of the bigger picture.

Set a check-in schedule

On-going check-ins are a great way to keep your people engaged while keeping yourself up-to-date on their work and wellbeing. Set-up recurring check-ins with your each of your employees, 10 - 15 minutes once a week is plenty of time. 

Ensure they are doing well, and offer any help to keep their remote work effective. If they feel disjointed or distant from the rest of the team, schedule in an online team update once a week to keep everyone engaged and aligned.

Keep systems updated

With remote work, having up-to-date, centralised repositories of information is key to keeping the machine running smoothly. Whatever systems you use, ensure both in-office and remote workers stick to the same rules around work/project updates. This will take a load off your shoulders as a manager, ensuring your remote and on-site people are in sync.

Set a "remote-work pact"

We recently adopted a remote work pact at Everperform. With recent global events, we decided that working remotely would be an effective way to look after our employees' wellbeing and health. Like most businesses, an entirely remote workforce was new to us, so we adopted a set of agreed rules to keep up our team's momentum and productivity:

  1. Be online, on time.
  2. Show your face (if bandwidth allows).
  3. Over-communicate.
  4. Talk to a team-mate on the phone, at least once a day.
  5. Stick to our planned operating cycle (daily catchups, standups, etc).
  6. Keep our core systems updated daily.
  7. Do what you need to do to look after yourself and your family.
  8. Wash your hands a lot, clean your phone and your keyboard, get fresh air throughout the day!

Come up with your own "remote-work pact", or feel free to copy our own. We've turned this pact into a daily pulse that each of our team members respond to. This helps keep management up-to-date on employee wellbeing and engagement while working remote, and gives remote employees a chance to give feedback daily. We are looking to release this into its own playbook in the next few days.

These are some simple, easy to implement tips to keep your remote employees engaged (and your in-office people too). Remote-work will become even more popular over time, so managers and leaders should look to adapt their style to fit these new practices.

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