The trend of the day is hiring remote employees to grow a small business. It’s fitting to make the most of this new strategy. With so many working from home and small businesses abandoning commercial office space in favor of virtual offices, why wouldn’t hiring remote employees be a logical next step? Worrying about productivity with remote employees probably didn’t cross your mind before you started hiring them. 

You might have figured out that hiring remote employees does come with its challenges. Besides the HR nightmare of figuring out how to be compliant with employment law in one or more states, keeping your remote employees engaged and productive is another thing. The way you motivate employees in the office is different than when they log into work from home. You can’t throw free snacks and pizza on Fridays at them anymore. So what do you do?

Productivity With Remote Employees Is A Challenge

Did people loaf off at their desk when you had them all in the office? Sure they did. But when people are around other people working, the likelihood that they could go days or weeks like that is pretty low. Someone is going to notice. Not so much with remote employees. You don’t know what they are doing on the other side of the screen. The only way you will notice that productivity with remote employees has taken a dive is when they start missing deadlines.

Many remote employees report feelings of being left out or not connected to people at work like they do in person. Even workers who were once together in the office but now are remote have more of a connection to their coworkers than those who never were. 

How can we improve productivity with remote employees and help them connect to the team if they live in another state or have never worked with your team in person? Is it possible to bridge that interpersonal gap with someone with whom you have never been in close contact?

Practical Ways You Can Engage Remote Employees 

Even when your staff is far away or not gathering together, there are still ways you can keep everyone connected, engaged, and feeling like a cohesive team. You will find that these simple solutions will have everyone thinking in a team mindset in no time at all.

Weekly meetings are the norm at every small business, but now with remote work, gathering around the screens on virtual meeting solutions is part of the drill. It’s easy to check out when the online meetings go long, or you’ve had so many in one day. It’s good to be conscientious of how long your virtual meetings go and how many your team averages in a day or a week. 

Do Something Fun On Virtual Meetings - Some of the best ways small business owners have overcome online meetings’ monotony is to do something fun on purpose for their group. When group fun and laughter are engaged, people feel more connected to one another. One small business owner brought in someone to do some mixology lessons with their team, and another hired a comedian to entertain their employees. Engaging in monthly fun is a sure-fire way to help people relax and bond with one another. Productivity with remote employees starts with assisting them to feel a part of the group, not just an add-on that no one knows.

Try Virtual Volunteering Activities - One great way another small business owner got his crew to bond is through virtual volunteering. The group decided what cause they collectively wanted to raise money for, and they chose for themselves how they would raise it. In this instance, they all decided to run their 5Ks for cancer research. As each team member trained for their big day, they would submit selfies and videos of them doing their activities. The group got to comment on and encourage one another as each submitted their progress. By the time run day came, everyone was excited and ready to cheer each other crossing the finish line. This proved a valuable exercise for building camaraderie with the team. 

Offer Remote Employees The Same Benefits - Helping remote employees feel more connected ensures every employee has the same access to health and wellness benefits. It is as simple as creating ways for remote employees to enjoy the same perks as everyone else. You might have to get creative, but ensuring that remote employees feel rewarded in the same way is key to building rapport with them.

Offering Remote Employees The Same Benefits

One of the biggest challenges that small business owners have had with remote employees is getting them healthcare coverage. Small group health plans are good for one state only, typically. How do small business owners find health plan coverage for the one remote employee who lives outside the coverage area?

PEOs are the best solution to the small business owners’ hiring remote employees out of state. Where small group health plans fail to cover your one remote employee in another state, PEOs succeed. Enhancing productivity with remote employees is ensured by letting them know they have access to the same things your other employees do. Providing healthcare coverage is proof that you value them as a team member. 

Do you want to talk about how PEOs can help you build productivity with remote employees and ensure every employee on your team has excellent healthcare benefits? Contact us today for a free, no-obligation consultation so you can see how PEOs can be the remote employee solution you are looking for. 

If you’d like to find out more about how PEOs can help you provide great benefits and payroll management at less than you are paying now, contact us today for a free consultation.

Mary Beth Crowley

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