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How to Keep Remote Workers Productive and Happy As the work force becomes more remote, employers are finding new ways to help their staff achieve better results out of the office.

By Chris Porteous

entrepreneur daily

Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

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If a company has survived this far into 2020, they've figured out how to make remote work possible. But companies that see it as a temporary make-do effort will soon fall behind.

Not only are the effects of the pandemic likely to affect the way we do business long term, but the fact is that remote work was a growing trend before the pandemic, and now it's here to stay.

To be successful, companies need to move beyond making remote work possible and begin to make it more productive and efficient. They need to focus on ways to bring remote employees together while apart, engaging them with tools and information that allow them to work cooperatively to achieve shared goals.

The benefits of boosting employee engagement for remote workers is clear. Research shows it boosts productivity, increases creativity, lowers turnover, and reduces costs. It also allows recruitment from a broader talent pool because companies can draw talent from beyond the boundary of an office commute.

Related: How Remote Work Will Transform the Innovation Landscape and Establish a New Kind of Entrepreneur

Building internal communication is key to engaging remote workers

The key to engaging workers who are not together in an office is to create a structure for internal communication that connects employees, keeps them informed, empowers them with the knowledge they need to do their job, and aligns them with company goals.

Modern intranet software can fulfill all these requirements. Intranet provides a company-wide network to share files and information while offering collaboration tools and other resources. Fortunately, the days when IT departments had to build these systems in-house are long gone. Companies such as Simpplr now provide pre-built, out-of-the-box intranet solutions that can be implemented quickly and don't require ongoing IT support.

Related: 7 Communication Skills Every Entrepreneur Must Master

Tips to boost employee engagement among remote workers

Now that companies have made working from remote locations possible, they need to move beyond that to counteract the effects of isolation. Three keys to keeping remote workers engaged, connected and aligned with company goals include:

  • Set clear goals and expectations, and make progress visible. Even when employees were sitting in the office, it didn't guarantee that they were truly on the job. Successful companies have defined goals that can be measured, and they share progress so everyone can see their individual contribution and how it impacts their team's goals. Be clear about how goals align with company values, and how each person and team contributes to them. This helps identify and retain top performers.

  • Provide access to reliable information and knowledge. This should include searchable databases of often-referenced information, and operational checklists for common tasks, in a format that is easy to update so it stays current. Younger generation workers, who have grown up in a digital world, expect information to be user-friendly and immediate. But every employee will be more productive with reliable and relevant information at their fingertips.

  • Create connection and a sense of community. Research shows that remote work boosts productivity and that workers feel empowered when they are allowed to work in a way that works best for them. But it's crucial to help them stay connected and aligned as a team. This works best when companies provide a mix of internal communications options to meet a range of information needs. This includes formal internal and external content that must be written, reviewed for alignment with consistent company messaging, and scheduled for distribution.

How modern intranet can help streamline employee engagement

Modern intranet can help meet all the goals above by creating a hub that brings employees together. New intranet platforms provide the space where employees find information, get reliable and relevant news, and stay connected with their team. In short, it surrounds a team with the information and support they need to be successful.

Distributed workforces are here to stay through and beyond the pandemic. Employees will continue to work from multiple locations, at home, and on-the-go. And since they are actually more productive that way, companies that are looking to the future will find success by providing a platform to help their employees be successful from wherever they are.

Related: 5 Ways Employee Engagement Makes Your Company More Competitive

Chris Porteous

Entrepreneur Leadership Network® Contributor

High Performance Growth Marketer

Chris Porteous is CEO of SearchEye, which offers unbundled digital marketing projects for clients and agencies across the globe.

Want to be an Entrepreneur Leadership Network contributor? Apply now to join.

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