Employers and their employees alike can benefit from remote employment. Remote employment allows the employee to avoid the stress, effort, and cost of traveling to and from an office while also allowing the employer to avoid paying for that office space. As of 2015, more than one third of all employees work remotely at least part time, according to a poll conducted by Gallup. On average, an employee will work remotely two days out of every month, nearly half of all remote workers logging in during traditional working hours. It is commonly believed that employees who work remotely at least equal their non-remote counterparts in productivity.
As we move into the holiday season, it is important for managers to ensure that the distance being placed between employees remains purely physical. In order to build strong teams of employees, strong relationships – especially when those relationships are remote – are crucial. Employees who work remotely need to be integrated into the office environment, and recognition during the holidays can go a long way toward this end. Does the physical distance pose an obstacle? It does not have to, but it certainly can. Given the right mixture of creativity and technology, however, these obstacles are surely surmountable.
Incorporate technology into your plan by hosting an online holiday party. At this party, every employee participates, regardless of their location. Everyone can use this opportunity to bond and talk about the company’s successes. This is also a good time to congratulate employees on a job well-done.
Show off your friendly side by sending out electronic greeting cards. For that special touch, personalize the cards for each employee.
Encourage giving by running a Secret Santa exchange with remote employees, giving out company-branded merchandise, or purchasing gift cards for a night out at a nice restaurant.
These efforts will cost money, of course, but that money should be viewed as an investment. After all, employers are saving big-time when it comes to telecommuting.