October 7, 2022

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Remote work is popular with employees. But employers still need to take steps to make far-flung employees feel part of the team.
“If you are still resisting remote work as inevitable in your organization, be prepared to become the Kodak of your industry,” said Adam Riggs. Riggs is the founder and CEO of Frameable, which makes software to help people work and have meetings online.
Everyone wants a productive, communicative and healthy work culture. However Riggs says calendar links and basic video meeting software alone cannot deliver this.
But an employer’s commitment to remote work goes a long way in making it function well for all.
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Don’t assume the most popular video meeting software is best for your company. You might need to try different options before determining what’s best for your remote work practices, Riggs said.
Optimally, working together virtually should and can feel as easy as turning around and talking to each other in person, he says. “Achieving this makes people happier and more effective,” Riggs said.
Christa Jansen is a principal and design director at B+H Advance Strategy, a global real estate advisory firm. She’s found that less-known apps which allow for real-time, online collaboration in her company have been “game-changers for virtual-workspace design.”
The best way to build systems remote workers like is by asking them what they need, says Paul Dillon, managing partner & CEO Europe of Infosys Consulting (INFY).
Let remote work employees shape their own virtual workplaces by providing extensive feedback on their needs. “This will drive a sense of ownership,” he said.
Dillion advises people putting in systems for remote work to know ahead of time how they will process the ideas they get from the staff. That will help them manage once the ideas come flooding in.
Some of the spark of spontaneity gets lost with remote work. A good virtual work technology, though, replicates the power of a worker shouting out a good idea or a problem they’ve spotted.
Scheduling blocks of time to interact with each other on video calls is unnatural and loses this ad hoc interaction, Riggs adds. In addition “it does not allow people to really get to know each other.”
Whether it’s used once a month, once a week or every day, the remote work experience for any given company or organization “can and should rival the in-person experience,” Riggs said.
This is not a stretch goal and does not require expensive new hardware, he adds. “This is possible now, using your existing hardware,” he said.
Employees who are unable to be physically together with their colleagues deserve, and can have, many of the benefits of in-person work. “But it only works when that experience isn’t an afterthought,” Riggs emphasizes.
Remote work employees who don’t feel heard might just shut down. “Quiet quitting” can be the result, with bored employees just doing the bare minimum to get their paychecks.
Combat this urge by giving employees autonomy and flexibility for remote work, said Chad Cathers. He’s the CEO of StarMeUp, an employee engagement and recognition software company. Keeping in touch with remote work employees helps keep them engaged.
“Building continuous feedback into your company’s culture can be the secret to employee engagement. It puts your organization on the path to exponential growth,” he said.
Video game makers know as well as anyone how to keep remote players engaged. Some of the same “gamification” tools, like rewards and accolades for epic work, can help remote work click, too.
These kinds of tools “encourage and reward employees for contributions, knowledge sharing and even external social media amplification for your brand,” Dillon said.
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