Remote Workers Often Feel Snubbed by Co-workers, So Here Are 5 Ways to Make Them Feel More Connected A recent study found that remote workers don't feel like they're treated equally to on-site employees.
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When you're not coming into the office every day, it can be tough not to feel left out. According to a recent study by Harvard Business Review, which surveyed more than 1,100 employees, 52 percent of workers said they work from home sometimes. And while remote work can be a great option for many employees and companies, it also comes with its own set of challenges. The survey found that many of these remote workers admitted to feeling like their colleagues didn't treat them equally. They even went so far to say that not only did they feel left out but they also worried other employees were gossiping about them and working against them.
While remote work is only expected to grow, these challenges can't be ignored. With some teams scattered all across the world, and some employees never even meeting face to face, trust, communication and cohesion are major obstacles for remote teams.
So with remote work picking up in popularity, it's important that companies figure out ways to make sure these workers don't wind up feeling snubbed. How exactly can managers make remote workers feel more connected? Here are five ways.
Constantly check in.Frequently checking in with remote workers is a simple way to make sure they feel like an important part of the company. According to HBR's survey, 46 percent of respondents said the most successful managers were the ones who checked in regularly with remote workers.
Don’t depend on email.
Good communication is one of the most important components to working remotely. And while it might be easy to depend on email, it's a better idea to use video conferencing or phone calls instead. The study found that a quarter of respondents said managers who insist on face time with employees are more successful.
Keep your ear close to the ground.According to the study, participants rated good listening as the most important skill in a manager. And while listening to the wants and needs of your employees is one thing, another important component is listening to what people are talking about at the office. Forty-one percent of remote workers felt like their colleagues say bad things about them behind their backs.
Observe how teams are functioning.While no one likes a micro manager, it's important to make sure teams are successfully working together. In many cases, employees are not communicating correctly. According to the study, 64 percent of remote workers said colleagues make changes to projects without warning them.
When people don't confront issues or get them solved quickly and efficiently, they can drag on and problems can multiply. Employees often won't speak up when there's an issue either, so it can be a task for managers to make sure no one has any pent up frustrations that could cause larger problems down the line. Eighty-four percent of remote employees said they let issues drag on for a few days or more -- and 47 percent even said a couple weeks or more.