Businesses around the world have faced a tumultuous few years, thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic and increasing political instability. This has led to the introduction of remote working environments for millions of workers worldwide. If you’re a business owner or team manager, how to take care of your remote employees is likely top of your mind and a key priority for you.
In this article, we’ll be discussing our top tips for supporting your remote employee’s wellbeing, to keep them engaged and performing at their best.
Develop Communication Strategies
In the office, it’s usually easy to tell when employees are feeling low or uninspired – they’ll often hold back from participation in meetings and refrain from after-work social events. If those employees start to work remotely, though, understanding when they need a little extra support isn’t always so straightforward.
However, communicating well with remote employees is a two-way street. If you don’t take the time to reach out to them, then it’s likely that they’ll be unwilling to cooperate with you directly. It’s therefore important to develop extensive communication strategies to work with remote employees. Remember that not all employees will respond positively to the same strategies – personalize the way you communicate with them to see the best results.
Provide Quality Health Insurance For Employees In Multiple States
If an employee is struggling at home, this could be for any number of reasons, such as mental or physical health concerns. With US healthcare costs rising at a rate that is outpacing inflation, employees are understandably turning to employers who can support them during this time.
What workers want to see from their health insurance policies can vary, but generally, they benefit best from health insurance policies that are:
Health insurance plans can cover a huge range of different healthcare areas, including short or long-term disability, critical illness, vision and dentistry care. Having a comprehensive plan matters to employees, so ensure that your partner company can provide this. It’s important that if you have remote employees, their doctors shouldn’t be considered out-of-network to them. You’ll want to make sure your plan provides health insurance for employees in multiple states.
Employees have been shown to prioritize cost effectiveness when seeking out medical care privately, and the same goes for when they utilize a benefit of their health insurance. There are a range of plans available that you can offer your workers by partnering with an insurance provider, so make sure whichever one you choose allows your workers to save money where they can.
Depending on which healthcare provider you choose, some might ask your employees to attain a specialist referral to access their services. This can lead to worry and frustration among workers, and make it difficult for them to receive the support they need. Therefore, when selecting a healthcare partner, check that they are accessible and easy to use.
Of course it’s always important for your health plan to be accessible, but you’ll need to be far more deliberate about this when you’re providing health insurance for employees in multiple states.
Encourage Social Interaction
Social interaction is a key element of any engaged working team, but when remote, employees can struggle to feel included in workplace events. As a manager, a key consideration should be the way you encourage interaction between both in-person and remote workers.
Remember to include them in any business awards nights, and give them the opportunity to tune in live from home if you’re holding a social meeting. You should also promote face-to-face contact on occasion too. This will allow them to visit their workplace and catch up with friends and colleagues.
Even if your remote employees are unable to come into the office for face-to-face team building opportunities, there are still some fantastic online team building exercises that you can encourage team members to take part in.
Another way to take care of your remote employees is to include them when your main office has any sort of event. For example, if you celebrate hitting sales targets with a company lunch, you may want to provide lunch for your remote employees as well.
Keep Them Informed
Nobody likes to feel isolated or pushed aside, but unfortunately, studies have shown that up to 70% of remote employees feel left out of the workplace. A big contributor to this is the way some managers forget to send out important updates or messages to those who work from home. There are a number of tactics that you can use to keep them informed, including:
- Briefing Emails
Sending daily and weekly briefing emails is a great way to keep remote workers informed – it allows for a wide understanding of the range of company projects that are in progress, as well as updates surrounding the acquisition of new team members.
- Weekly Meetings
You might hold regular weekly meetings for your employees, but are these accessible to those who work remotely? Holding these meetings online, or providing a link to an online meeting room that you log into whilst in the office, increases the engagement of remote employees and encourages them to be involved in the decisions made by teams around the workplace.
- Prioritizing Remote Projects
Job performance is the driving force behind promotions within the workplace, and it’s easy for in-office workers to highlight what they’re currently working on. This can be demotivating to those employees who work online, so by prioritizing remote project updates in meetings, you can keep these workers motivated and support their general development.
If you want to truly take care of your remote employees, take the time to keep them informed.
Flexibility is a key consideration for managers of remote workers – ask yourself, why are your employees working remotely? Are they balancing working and childcare commitments? Or, are they supporting an elderly family member? Their personal circumstances might be a driving force behind lapses in overall productivity and wellbeing, so offering flexible working hours might make a big difference to how well they can apply themselves to a role.
Another strategy that you can use to increase the flexibility you offer to your remote employees is to provide paid time off (PTO) packages. This way, if they seem to be struggling, or they go through a difficult period, you can gently encourage them to take the time off that they’ve accrued without impacting their paycheck.
Running a business is hard, and the challenges of recent times have made this even more difficult. However, by following the advice we’ve laid out in this article, you can ensure that you’re taking the best possible care of your remote employees as they navigate the world of online working. By blending a beneficial policy for health insurance for employees in multiple states with strong communication, social interaction and increased flexibility, you’ll see increased productivity and happiness both in and out of the workplace.