As many CRE companies return to work, while balancing distancing measures and restrictions, it’s crucial for employers to understand how to continue to engage employees remotely. It’s hard motivating and managing from a distance, but it’s probably going to be a common reality going forward.
It pays for competitive CRE firms to get this right. Maintaining a cohesive and productive team – even through remote work – is vital adapting for the future.
Is Remote Work Here to Stay?
While many of us hoped to get back to our old office life as soon as possible, many others found they preferred work from home. And there are numerous reasons to believe working remotely will be far more common in coming years than it ever was before. Let’s look at the data:
- Remote working has increased 140% since 2005.
- Allowing remote work is better for employee retention, with a 25% improvement over companies who don’t allow this flexibility.
- It’s also better for productivity, with a 24% boost over employees at non-remote companies.
- 16% of all companies hire only remote workers.
- 94% of professionals in CRE believe remote working will continue after the crisis is over.
It’s Not That Hard to Engage Employees Remotely
With remote work growing and becoming more normal, it’s absolutely crucial to know how to drive a positive team synergy from a distance. But how do you engage employees remotely? How do you get them excited about the mission and keep tabs on their progress when they’re not even in the office?
Fortunately, it’s not that hard. Here are some tips to help you inspire and engage your work-from-home and telecommuting employees just as well (if not better) as in an office!
7 Helpful Tips
1. Set clear expectations Don’t let employees feel alone and isolated. There is a danger they could wither on the vine without a clear understanding of their position in the team. Make sure there are written details and expectations laid out from what their working hours are to progress points and goals to achieve.
2. Communicate Clearly Professionals in the commercial real estate business already know how important it is to communicate – both with clients and internally. Effective business communication is all the more important when engaging employees remotely.
3. Schedule Regular Video Calls
There’s something about getting on a video call with your supervisor and/or fellow team members that brings you out of your shell and forces engaged creativity. Schedule them at least once a week, even if only for 15 minutes.
4. Use Chat Make sure you and your team share a chat app in common to allow for more casual back and forth. So much of the success of the in-office dynamic was water-cooler chit-chat. It just can’t be adequately replaced by formal video meetings and email exchanges. A chat app will allow for both quicker responses and more casual conversations.
5. Be Flexible Remember, the beauty of remote work is the flexibility. To really engage employees remotely, be sure you don’t try too hard to re-create the office structure virtually. Whenever possible, give employees autonomy over their schedule, etc. This helps to build trust, creative liberty, and engagement.
6. Be Sociable Virtual team building may be a challenge, but it should not be overlooked. Set up hangout times, activities, or even in-person events if possible, to stave off loneliness and disconnect.
7. Mix It Up
Gallop found that the optimal mix for employee engagement is 3-4 days remote and 1-2 in office. When possible, engage employees remotely by bringing them back to the office a day or two each week. They’ll appreciate the change, and you’ll find managing and engaging them to be much easier and automatic.