Did you know that 94% of the employers have experienced the same or more productivity after their shift to remote work post-pandemic?

By all accounts, working from home feels almost normal since the pandemic. But it’s easy to forget how it tested our mental well-being when everyone was suddenly shifting to our new world.

From a management perspective, companies were concerned about keeping their remote teams engaged and staying connected without hampering productivity. It required a whole new approach! But most quickly figured out that an emphasis on communication and team-building exercises could keep teams mentally healthy while going through a world of unknowns.

It’s more apparent than ever that communication is key to building stronger professional relationships. And in a remote work setting, effective communication is the most important tool for building long-lasting working relationships at all organizational levels.

Remote

Important Stats on Remote Work

Before we dig in, let’s take a look at these stats for better insights:

  • 57% of the employees are more satisfied working remotely than those who work in the office.
  • 77% of the remote employees are relatively more productive compared to traditional workers.
  • 91.5% of remote workers are more likely to engage in wellness activities.

Better work-life balance is one of the prime reasons for preferring a remote job to an on-site job. However, even among the remote workers, 19% have the FOMO and 17% find collaborating or communicating to be challenging.

That being said, virtual team-building exercises in a remote work setting are important to foster a healthy work environment, reduce isolation, and achieve goals while working as a team. 

So, what can you do to drive engagement among the employees and make remote working more productive? In this article, we’ll be focusing on ways to make remote work more effective and productive.

7 Ways to Keep Employees Engaged While Working Remotely

Remote work and mental health are directly proportional. How?

It’s simple!

The more open your work environment in a remote setting is, the greater the chances are for a better work-life balance. In an ideal world, you don’t need to work in the office from nine to five or compromise your personal life. 

What can you do to keep remote employees engaged, productive as well as mentally healthy? Read through this section to find the answer to these questions.

1. Communication is Key - Be Accountable

Accountability refers to taking responsibility for an action. Practicing accountability at work is essential. But it does not only mean accepting your mistakes and paying for their consequences. It also means not letting such a scenario occur in ideal situations.

Maintain a feasible routine so that the employer and the employees are in sync. In a remote setting, it is important to keep your team informed about your productive hours so that the entire team can work at their own pace without disturbing one another’s schedules.

Communicate with your colleagues. While working remotely, it might so happen that you need to attend to other engagements which means being unavailable for some time. The accountable ‘you’ would inform your colleagues about it to not disrupt the workflow.

2. Set Fun Challenges

Friendly challenges are great for team building! In fact, it can bring you closer to your colleagues. Challenge each other on small tasks casually. This can elevate motivation and enhance productivity through encouraging the best in everyone.

For example, different remote companies use different communication platforms, such as Slack, Teams, etc. Create a channel where everyone can post easy or hard challenges. This can create a fun environment and a competitive spirit among your workmates.

One great idea for this is a fitness challenge. It offers some fun rivalry as well as promotes employees’ well-being. It’s a win-win scenario!
At Specbee, we have a Motivational Vibes channel on Slack, our communication medium. It’s a channel we use to motivate our colleagues and share positive vibes.

3. Appreciate, Virtual Rewards and Recognition

It’s human nature to feel good when your efforts in work are acknowledged and appreciated. Every employee in a company is skilled and expert in different nuances. Each of them is talented in their own way. Expecting employees to be productive but not appreciating their output would eventually drain their spirits, positivity, and productivity.

The best way to appreciate them is to incentivize their efforts. For example, at Specbee, we use an Appreciations channel (Slack) where any of us in the team can give Karma points to our colleagues for their extra efforts in a particular project or simply because somebody helped a colleague. What’s better, the one with the highest Karma points wins fun rewards every month!

4. Share Your Daily Life

What’s the most common reason for a remote worker to feel lonely compared to those who work on-site? It’s the ability to see your colleagues every day and chat with them during and outside of work.

But you won’t be surprised to know that in this digital age, social media and technology provide you with the platform and medium to stay connected with the world. You can do the same at your job. 

At Specbee, we have a Just-for-Fun Slack channel for the team to drive engagement and connect with each other through casual conversations besides work.

5. Learn Together, Grow Together!

Virtual team-building exercises aren’t just about having fun and playing games to know your colleagues better. But they are also about embracing equal opportunities together such as learning something new with your remote-working colleagues.

For example, there can be Learning & Development Initiatives in the form of online learning or ‘show and learn’ approaches with enhanced visual experiences. There are various online educational courses available that the team can sign up for such as coding, writing, researching, copywriting, digital marketing, etc. Specbee offers higher education assistance open to all its employees to ensure continuous learning and growth.

We also have knowledge-sharing sessions called TechX sessions every week where two employees demonstrate and present a topic of interest to the rest of the team. This way, the entire team gets a chance to share their knowledge as well as gain confidence in presentations and public speaking.

6. Implement Health and Wellness Initiatives

Employees’ health should be one of the employer’s top priorities. You can host health camps or wellness programs that could go for 30 days or weekly, offer them weekend getaways or incentivize them for fitness checks.

At Specbee, we express our care for our employees through a well-covered health insurance policy and by organizing wellness programs such as regular Yoga sessions, Diet and Nutrition sessions, Stress Reduction sessions, Eye Care sessions and more. All this is food for your overall health and wellness - as the classic saying goes, “Health is Wealth.”

7. Host Virtual Casual Meet-up Sessions

Who said you can only have casual meet-ups with colleagues when working onsite? There are unique ways to catch up virtually. 

At Specbee, we have Fun Friday sessions every month where the whole team keeps its cameras on and plays virtual team-building games. The organizing team uses various visual elements to keep our remote employees hooked to these meetings and drive better engagement.

Visual aids are an incredible way to grab your employees’ attention for a longer span of time. With a majority of meetings just talk, great visual aids will feel fresh. 

Most video conferencing tools provide various interactive functions that can make your presentations or meetings fun.

For example, Teams allows you to demonstrate presentations prepared using Canva which is an extraordinary tool for creating eye-catchy presentations. Also, Zoom is another platform that enables you to set a customized virtual background when you attend your meetings.

Source for Stats:

Wrapping Up - Is Remote Work Effective?

Before answering this question, you should know that everything comes with its own set of pros and cons. So, is remote work effective? Well, the answer to this question is quite subjective. We believe remote work can be effective IF you make it effective. This means that you need to travel the extra mile to make remote work a fun experience for your employees. 

The primary factor distinguishing remote work from onsite jobs is the basic connection to the colleagues on a human level. But technology has come far along to make it possible even for remote jobs. 

The key is to use these technologies strategically and in an organized manner while also practicing empathy at work. 

Remote work does not need to be as deliberately fun as playing games. But creating opportunities for employees to connect on a human level is what you should be aiming for. 

Consequently, as an employer or a business organization, you will be creating endless opportunities to build trust and accountability amongst your employees.

If done the right way, remote work will increase flexibility and productivity, positive employee morale, promote better work-life balance, and financial, physical and mental well-being in your organization.

Priyanka PhukanJun 23, 2022