Engaging Employees in a Work Anywhere World

Engaging Employees in a Work Anywhere World

By Vitiello Communications Group

From coffee shops and parks to airports and train stations, working remotely doesn’t necessarily mean employees are working from home. Many workers are opting to set up their laptops at places other than their home offices, whether it’s to be around other people, to enjoy the fresh air or to work while traveling. But, no matter where employees choose to work from, business leaders need to keep them engaged and productive.

The Telework Research Network reports that telecommuting increased nearly 80 percent from 2005 to 2012, and that number continues to rise. In fact, some companies encourage their employees to work remotely. Microsoft Ireland tested the waters of remote working with its “Work Wherever Wednesday,” which gave employees the chance to do their jobs “wherever” for a day. The company offered rewards to employees who worked in the most unusual place and to teams who had the largest number of employees working offsite that day. Other companies, such as Gap, Inc., integrate teleworking into their cultures. Several business units within Gap’s corporate offices have adopted a Results Only Work Environment (ROWE). This approach gives employees the option to work wherever and whenever they want as long as their work gets done.

Here are some ways to keep employees engaged regardless of where they’re logging on:

  • Encourage team building. Organize activities that everyone can participate in and encourage employees to share progress and results. If your organization is promoting a wellness initiative, suggest that employees track their results using a mobile app or fit band, and then share successes on social media.
  • Make productivity simple. Project management tools such as Asana and Basecamp keep teams connected via web-based and mobile tools. The ability to track and access information on any device is a must-have for mobile teams.
  • Check in often. According to Gallup, remote workers log an average of four more hours per week than their in-office counterparts. Schedule check-in calls or videoconferences to ensure employees remain productive and maintain a balanced workload.
  • Offer “touchdown” spaces. Mobile workers should feel like part of the organization and its culture. Incorporate areas in the office where remote employees can drop in and work to make them feel like team players.

Do you think employees who work from “anywhere” can be just as engaged as employees who report to the office? Start the conversation by leaving a comment.

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