6 Ways To Increase Employee Interest in Remote Work | Remote work has exploded in popularity in recent years. It’s a useful tool for people with busy schedules, unreliable access to transportation or work that requires them to travel extensively. However, some people may still be wary of it. Here are six ways to increase employee interest in remote work.
- Update and Strengthen Your Security Measures
Some employees may be wary of working remotely due to cybersecurity concerns. Someone may be worried he or she will be hacked or something will happen to his or her data or files while working from home or while traveling. To ease these concerns, you can review and update your security policies and infrastructure so as to better support remote work cybersecurity needs. Incorporate tools such as VPNs, cloud storage and zero trust architecture.
- Encourage Work/Life Balance
Another common worry when it comes to remote work is that it will interfere with work/life balance. You can take steps to assure employees this won’t be the case and explain how you’ll continue to support and encourage work/life balance. When you first implement a remote work program, develop policies regarding the creation of boundaries. Make sure employees are periodically reminded of the importance of creating and maintaining boundaries in order to avoid issues such as burnout.
- Implement Regular Check-ins
If your managers are hesitant to support remote work policies, it may be because they’re concerned about managing their teams remotely. There are ways to alleviate these concerns, too. One of the best methods is to implement a system of regular check-ins at all management levels. Managers can schedule daily check-ins or weekly one-on-one meetings with each team member. A regular project team meeting should reoccur each week. Departmental meetings should occur monthly. These will foster a culture of accountability and responsibility among team members at all levels of your organization.
- Incorporate Multiple Communication Options
When you’re working on-site, you have the advantage of being able to walk over to a coworker’s desk and hold an in-person conversation. As soon as one person begins working remotely, however, you’re no longer able to do that reliably. Instead, make sure employees have multiple methods of virtual communication at their disposal. Most organizations that support remote work incorporate traditional options such as email and message boards, as well as newer options such as instant messaging, videoconferencing, softphone programs and cell phones for calls and texting. This way, employees will be more reliably reachable during work hours.
- Cultivate Engagement and Socialization
If your workforce is entirely or majority remote, you need to make sure they still have opportunities for socialization and engagement like they would if they were still working on-site. You can do this in a variety of ways. You can establish options such as virtual coffee breaks and lunch and learn events, remote holiday parties and brief sections of meetings devoted to catching up. These activities help employees feel as though they’re still connected to each other and to your organization as a whole while also decreasing feelings of isolation.
- Be As Transparent As Possible
Remote work can cause some distance between employees, which can, in turn, cause certain events or pieces of information to be missed by some employees. It can also be difficult for people in certain roles to complete their jobs remotely or to be available reliably. Both of these issues can be mitigated by being as transparent as possible. Make sure employees have a way to confirm whether they’ve received important information or not. Be careful to establish clear policies for how remote work should be conducted and why certain positions cannot be performed remotely.
You want to strike a balance between showing employees how remote work can benefit them and providing adequate security and support so employees can feel safe working remotely and understand how to do so. This makes employees far more likely to feel interested in and comfortable with remote work.