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How to Support Remote Employees

In the modern world, remote employment is something many people strive for. Not to mention, in our post-COVID era and everyone’s access to technology, it’s becoming more normal than it was a decade or two ago.


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Amanda Shea, M.A., CHRM

2 years ago | 4 min read

In the modern world, remote employment is something many people strive for. Not to mention, in our post-COVID era and everyone’s access to technology, it’s becoming more normal than it was a decade or two ago.

However, remote work is new to some; understandably, some employers aren’t equipped with the right knowledge to lead remote employees. If you’re in this position, you’re not alone!

It’s important to find the right approach to your virtual team and to engage them in a manner that won’t leave them feeling isolated or unsupported. Throughout this article, we’re going to list 7 tips for employers with remote employees.

1.) Find Out What Matters to Them

Every employee you take on board has one thing in common — they have a career goal that they believe your company can help them get closer to. Naturally, you’ll want to learn as much about this goal as possible, alongside their values and interests.

Beyond the fact that this will make your employees feel appreciated and validated, it will also help you build a deeper connection with them. One of the biggest difficulties with remote work is it can sometimes leave people feeling isolated.

Furthermore, remote work leaves both employers and employees with a few obstacles not seen in in-person work. For example, it can be easy for gaps to occur, such as suspicion and trust.

In order to avoid these gaps, communication is key. By openly discussing with your employees what matters to them, you’re helping to build the bridge of trust.

2.) Make Sure to Incorporate Mental Health Practices

As mentioned, many people tend to feel isolated when working from home — especially those who live alone. However, this is only part of the reason mental health practices are so important.

As you can understand, the work you’re asking for may be stressful to some individuals. They may make mistakes or have difficulty speaking about their ideas. Just like other forms of employment, remote work may leave a person feeling vulnerable and at a loss. Not to mention, negative mental health can have devastating impacts on a person’s physical health.

By incorporating mental health practices, you’re ensuring them that it’s in your best interest for employees to feel safe and supported. Such sympathy can go a long way in leading your team to success.

One way to go through with this is by inviting all employees to voluntarily attend a daily (or weekly) “well-being session.” This may just be a simple engagement where you practice breathwork or meditation. Regardless, such sessions can help people feel connected in a positive and productive manner.

3.) Team Spirit Remains Important

When it comes to working from home, some people may find there’s a lack of “team spirit” with a company. Since you’re not in an environment where you’re surrounded by people working towards a goal, this is only natural.

However, there are ways to circumvent this issue. For one, there are a number of ways you can create social interactions online. This might be scheduled meetings where employees simply hang out and have conversations. Or it can be the “well-being sessions,” as discussed above.

4.) Try to Keep a Social Element to Work

There’s no denying that humans are social animals. As you go about trying to incorporate team spirit into your work, it’s just as important to introduce social elements that just aren’t found in remote work. For example, random encounters with fellow employees and the small talk they may have.

These moments are vital to creating a social environment and furthering team spirit — no matter how big or small. To incorporate such elements online, you may want to have a Slack channel that covers non-work-related topics. Or you may encourage online social events, such as watch parties.

5.) Have One-on-One Sessions with Your Employees

Earlier, we discussed how it’s essential to understand your employee’s values and career goals. Even though you may get a sense of this right off the bat, it’s essential to continue to listen to them.

One of the best ways is to have scheduled one-on-one sessions. This gives your employees an opportunity to make them feel heard and offer you feedback on how their position is going.

Many employers have found one-on-one meetings to be much more efficient and easier compared to large conference calls. Not to mention, employees also tend to garner more out of this as it allows for their one voice to touch upon multiple points they may want to discuss.

6.) Schedule In-Person Meetings

If possible, it’s extremely beneficial to have in-person meetings or meet-ups. For companies that only hire locally, this is a fairly easy task and can involve a simple holiday party or dinner.

However, for companies that incorporate remote workers from anywhere, there is some difficulty. Still, such elements can be vital as they’ll lessen the virtual barrier online work comes with.

It’s in your best interest to book a flight well in advance or to plan on connecting with employees at least once or twice a year. It may help to book group trips in order to get multiple employees together.

Not only will this strengthen the social bond of your team, it will also give your employees something to look forward to.

7.) Ensure Trust in Your Employees

As you can imagine, most remote employees work on their own time — whenever that is. For the majority, it’s likely not a 9-to-5 deal as had been the custom for decades.

With that in mind, it’s in an employer’s best interest to not worry so much about the time spent on a project but whether or not the project has met your expectations. If so, it can be beneficial to trust your employees are getting everything done even if they aren’t logged into Slack during the hours you expect them to be.

Final Word

It’s no secret that hiring remote employees comes with a set of difficulties in-person employers simply don’t have to deal with. However, as you’ll come to find, overcoming these difficulties can have a lot of benefits.

In fact, some research suggests that remote workers tend to be more productive than in-person workers.

When you allow people to work on their own time, you give them the opportunity to excel during the hours they feel most productive. With your trust in your employees, you’re allowing them to trust themselves and their own abilities.


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Created by

Amanda Shea, M.A., CHRM

I am an organizational psychologist and adjunct professor of psychology with over 8+ years of experience as a human resource/operations generalist helping organizations operate efficiently to promote an environment of success. Owner & Founder of The New England Agency, an HR & organizational development consulting firm focused on supporting small businesses and organizations looking to develop comprehensive DEI & wellness programs.


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