Remote work has many benefits for businesses and employees alike, but there’s one simple thing HR and leaders can do to tackle the few areas it falls down in: invest more in team-building.
“It’s a well-known fact by now that remote workers are generally more productive than when they work in-person, but the social differences of working from home have been a topic of debate for some time now,” said Joseph Boll, CEO of RemoteWorker, an online jobs board that specialises in helping hiring managers and businesses connect with job-seeking professionals for remote work positions. “However, rather than use it as an excuse to go back to in-person, companies can address this by putting more effort into team-building exercises and other social support for their remote staff.”
Multiple studies have shown that one thing some remote workers miss from their days of working in-office is the ability to easily interact with their colleagues face-to-face. The stereotypical water cooler gossip has been the bane of some employees’ existence, but others found they actually missed it when the pandemic spurred all businesses that could to switch to remote operations.
Even now, with COVID-19 no longer a global health emergency, research finds remote workers can go days without leaving the house or speaking to anyone in-person. New employees, especially, can see this as a major challenge as they do their best to adapt to company culture through virtual messages where it can be hard to get a feel for their colleagues’ mood. What’s more, new research by The Hackett Group suggests that it’s this feeling of isolation from the team, rather than remote work itself, that can have a negative impact on collaboration — one of the major talking points that remote work opponents claimed was a “reason” to return to office.
Boll says, “Making sure employees feel included and connected to their team is a simple fix that can address several of the relatively few issues facing remote work. This can help reduce feelings of isolation and also boost an inclusive company culture where employees feel more confident about collaborating and interacting with their colleagues, and more socially involved as a result. That kind of support would benefit everyone, and it should start at the top.”
About Remote Worker (UK)
Remote Worker helps to connect the UK workforce with remote or work-from-home jobs in their chosen line of work. We are affiliated with Remote Worker (US), ClickJobs, EcoCareers and Caribbean Employment Services Inc.