How Can Companies Best Support Their Remote Workers?
Remote work refers to the opportunity for employees to work outside of a traditional office environment. This gives workers more flexibility and autonomy, often leading to greater job satisfaction.
As a result, remote work has become a popular trend for many companies. This article aims to show workplaces how they can best support their remote workers, along with the impact remote work can have on employees.
Below are five ways that companies can best support their remote workers.
1. Implement Effective Technology
As a remote worker, you need access to technology that improves your workflow, whether that happens to be a laptop, computer, or strong Wi-Fi connection. To do this, businesses need to provide their employees with technology they can use while traveling or working from home. This will ensure employees are working efficiently and effectively.
2. Facilitate Communication
Effective communication is essential in a remote work setting; regular check-ins, team meetings, and newsletters can facilitate it. However, micromanagement can be a significant challenge, so it’s crucial to strike a balance between oversight and autonomy.
Encouraging self-direction and trust-building measures can help alleviate micromanagement tendencies. Furthermore, having a dedicated communication channel on platforms like Google Teams or Slack can promote seamless communication and keep the team connected.
3. Provide Training and Support
In-office workers transitioning to remote work might consider this a huge challenge. Companies should provide support and training to help with this adjustment period. This may include onboarding for specific tools or tips to stay organized since the employees will not have a manager at their fingertips 24/7.
4. Encourage Flexibility
As a remote worker, it is important to feel like you have the same flexibility as in-office workers. This could include a range of working hours, time online, or the ability to work anywhere with reliable internet.
But there must also be rules in place to prevent abuses. This could include being online during a certain period of time, or even weekly check-ins with a manager.
5. Build Company Culture
Although many remote companies will not have face-to-face interaction like in-office companies, it is still important for employees to have a sense of connection. To create this, many remote companies have an annual vacation, local happy hours, monthly gifts, and more, though not everyone has to participate in these events.
Challenges of Remote Work
Unfortunately, many remote workers do not receive these five pillars of support from their workspaces. Because there are fewer opportunities for remote workers to experience face-to-face interaction and connection, it can be difficult for employees to report harassment or discrimination. This feeling of isolation can create animosity and a hostile work environment.
Likewise, remote work can create new opportunities for harassment and discrimination. Examples of this include cyberbullying and online harassment through digital communication channels. Employers should take steps to ensure there are no instances of harassment or discrimination, including developing remote work policies and practices to prevent and address any instances of negative emotions among employees.
Ways to Optimize Your Remote Workspace
Embrace Natural Light
Natural light is essential to boost your energy and decrease any drowsiness. Additionally, it is more flattering for any meetings and calls you have throughout the day. Researchers at Cornell University found natural light reduces eyestrain and headaches of office workers by 84%.
Declutter Your Space
Decluttering your workspace will help reduce stress and anxiety, thus making you more productive overall. To declutter, ask yourself if the object in your vision is something you need for work. If not, remove it or put it in a file holder or bin.
Drink Enough Water
This may be an obvious thing to note, but hydration is key when getting a lot of work done. Studies have shown that mild dehydration can decrease cognitive performance.
Check Your Ergonomics
Workers regularly spend at least eight hours a day sitting at a desk in front of a screen. This setup is not good for the body as a whole, so you may need to look into a standing desk option. For remote workers, constantly moving around your home is a great way to reduce any potential long-term damage from sitting all day.
Choose Soothing Colors
Studies have shown how important color is for your mood and productivity. Surrounding your work space with natural hues of green or blue can help improve mood and productivity. We spend 80% of our time daily indoors, so creating a space full of natural light and calming hues is essential for your workplace.
Building an Ideal Culture for Your Remote Workplace
Overall, companies can best support their workers by providing necessary technology, offering training and support, creating a strong company culture, providing regular communication, and offering flexibility. Additionally, workspaces need to enforce work policies and practices to prevent and address any instances of negative emotions among any employees before a hostile work environment occurs.
With this being said, there are many unique ways to optimize your workspace as a remote employee. Implementing natural light, decluttering your space, hydrating, checking your ergonomics, and using color theory may help remote workers thrive and increase the company’s success.
|This article is part of Buildremote’s contributor series. If you’d like to share some insights about how you run your remote company, learn more here.|