Development

4 Keys to Ensuring Your Remote Workers Don’t Feel So Remote

Anyone who’s debated how to break up with someone knows there’s a stark difference between phone and face-to-face communication. In business, we tend to view communication as a factual exchange of information, but the relational element of working in teams can’t be ignored, even when team members work remotely.

With geographically dispersed teams (or, as we call them, GDTs), the nuances of face-to-face interaction and the fun of spontaneous mingling don’t exist. This void can lead to feelings of isolation.

People who feel isolated may not be as communicative. If they show up for meetings at all, they may exist only as a silent blue shadow emoticon rather than a real member of the team. They also function with more uncertainty and have fewer opportunities to ask questions. According to a 2014 report, 26% of people who work from home struggle with drawing the line between work and personal time.

So why create GDTs with all these challenges? Because the benefits are fantastic.

An ode to remote workers

I love having a GDT. Mixing local and nonlocal staff members gives us more flexibility and availability to help clients. The company can manage a bigger workload without overloading staff.

91% of those who work from home rather than an office believe they’re more productive. That same survey also revealed higher levels of satisfaction and happiness among remote workers. The power to choose how, where, and when they work has kept our remote team members satisfied with their jobs, creating low turnover. While keeping our friends around is enough, 87% of businesses consider retention a critical concern, especially with the economy steadily improving.

Read more at smartbrief.com

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