Nowadays, more and more companies are starting to effectively leverage remote work. Thanks to the advanced computing power and improved connectivity, working remotely is quite seamless these days. Another reason why so many companies are interested in remote work is that it allows them to tap into a global talent pool.

The fact of the matter is that companies no longer have to restrict their recruitment efforts to their vicinity alone. However, as beneficial as remote work can be, it can also become quite difficult to manage. The main reason is that remote workers aren’t physically present in the office and they can easily start to feel neglected and isolated.

This can lead to costly turnovers and a decrease in employee motivation, productivity, as well as efficiency. Fortunately, companies with an HR department can ensure those inconveniences are avoided to begin with. With that in mind, here are a few of the best practices for the HR sector to manage remote employees.

Communicate frequently

Communication is the key to managing remote employees. As mentioned before, remote workers aren’t physically present in the office, which means that managers can easily forget about them while focusing on their in-house teams. This action can result in remote workers being left out to the point of them becoming willing to leave your company.

That’s why it’s very important for the HR sector to schedule regular checkups with the remote employees. You must communicate with them and ask them how they feel, what they need, and gather their feedback on potential improvements. The more you communicate, the easier it becomes to maintain a good relationship with remote workers. That way, you can avoid making them feel left out or as if they’re not an essential part of the team.

Involve your remote employees

Just because someone is working remotely doesn’t mean they aren’t that valuable to your organization. Remote workers can be just as skilled as your in-house teams, which means you must involve them in the decision-making process, as well as any discussion regarding the project, in order to keep them engaged. The HR sector can make this happen by ensuring that remote workers can collaborate with both their coworkers and managers.

The easiest way to do that is to leverage modern technology that will make communication, file sharing, collaboration and any other relevant activity quite seamless. For instance, if you’re holding a business conference or an important meeting where you’ll discuss future projects, make sure you involve the remote employees and not just send them a summary of what was discussed. You can leverage a conference call to ensure remote workers are present at the meeting.

Cater to their needs

The main purpose of an HR department is to ensure employee satisfaction by catering to their needs. This oftentimes includes good salaries, health insurance, work-life balance and other factors. The same goes for remote employees. They have specific needs you must attend to, in order to ensure that they’re engaged, productive, efficient and most importantly, willing to stay.

boosting morale in the workplace

Moreover, going an extra step is also beneficial for retaining your remote employees. As an example, 52% of employees globally work remotely at least once per week while 18% are employed remotely full-time. One of the major issues for remote workers is loneliness. 19% of remote employees claim that’s their biggest issue.

Did you know? In Australia, the number of coworking spaces grew by 297% in recent years, with Melbourne having the largest concentration of such spaces (49%). Your remote employees can easily cowork in Melbourne if you have multiple remote workers from that area. This will help them meet their colleagues and avoid potential issues that can result from them feeling lonely.

Encourage face-to-face meetings

Another essential aspect of an HR department is to organize team-building activities that will encourage everyone to bond and establish meaningful relationships with each other. Face-to-face interactions can be very beneficial, especially for remote workers. Organizing a special company event every now and then, where you’ll bring in even remote employees, is a great opportunity to make them feel like a part of the team.

It won’t ruin a company’s budget to fly remote workers in for a celebration or a team building event, for example, but it will mean a lot for establishing and strengthening relationships between employees themselves, as well as between employees and managers. These activities will make managing remote employees much more seamless in the future as they’ll feel more like an essential part of the company and not just an outsourced workforce that is there to do the job only.

Remote work is on the rise these days, especially since more and more companies are realizing the benefits remote work can bring them. However, it’s still challenging to adjust to the fact that not all employees have to be present in the office. Luckily, with the help from the HR sector, companies can not only effectively manage remote employees but also ensure that their remote workers feel like a vital part of the team.