It’s becoming more and more common for companies to have a group of workers who do their jobs remotely. These workers may spend little to no time in the actual office, which makes it hard for them to cultivate meaningful connections with the rest of the team. While it’s great that changing company cultures allow workers to make their own schedules that work best for their lives, it can affect other parts of their jobs. When an employee doesn’t spend much time in the office, it leads to them feeling left out or missing important developments or events. However, there are various ways you can make long-distance employees feel included in the office culture, which creates a stronger company.
Use various ways to communicate
Making sure your remote employees are in the loop involves constant communication. Create some type of general communication line the entire office can use to talk to one another. When there are announcements made or something exciting happens, post in this communication channel so the remote employees are up-to-date on events. If you celebrate birthdays or holidays in the office, post pictures in your general channel. Also encourage employees to include remote employees in conversations about projects or assignments they’re a part of.
In order to let your remote employees know you remember that they’re a part of the company, treat them as you would any other employee. If they go on vacation, email to ask how it was once they return. If you know they’re sick or it’s their birthdays, consider sending a card or flowers. Including remote employees in normal office culture helps them feel like they’re part of the team.
Schedule regular meetings
By scheduling regular meetings, whether it’s a call or video chat, remote employees know that those in the office care and are interested in what they’re doing. When you have a company wide meeting or a weekly discussion session, set up a video call with the remote employees so they can offer their input. Make regular calls between the remote employees and their supervisors, HR employees, and other co-workers.
Make plans that include them
Depending how near or far the remote employee works, this step could be easy or incredibly difficult. If the company ever plans a retreat, encourage your remote employees to attend as well. When holiday parties occur, make sure to extend an invitation to remote employees, even if they live in a different state. They may still be able to attend. Also attempt to find a time that they can come into the office to check in with everyone else.
Reinforce their value
Let remote employees know how the company is changing and evolving and offer them opportunities to enhance their skill set. Make sure they know that they’re a vital aspect to company culture and show them the ways they’re helping make a difference in the company. When remote employees do a phenomenal job, recognize them just as you would an employee who is in the office every day.