Are you a telecommuter? Here are 5 smart ways to stay connected and productive


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Dozens of U.S. companies continue to offer a hybrid work plan or an all-remote dynamic for their employees — and many believe remote work is here to stay, at least in some professions.

For those working remotely, the daily schedule can be quite different from the in-person routine of the more traditional arrangement.

The different setup requires a different approach – for everyone.

“The downsides of working without borders require employers to intentionally connect with their workforce,” said Alison Stevens, director of human resources services in Boston.

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Stevens works for Paychex, a leading Rochester, NY-based provider of integrated human capital management software solutions and services for human resources, payroll, benefits and insurance solutions for American companies.

The connections she talks about include consistency of approach for managers — which, in turn, can help employees feel connected to their jobs, Stevens said.

In today’s remote work arrangements, “companies need to find creative ways to cultivate personal relationships,” said a Boston-based human resources professional.

Constant feedback and skill development opportunities must be provided, she said.

Additionally, managers can ensure that each person contributes to the success of the individual team as well as to overall company goals.

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As remote or hybrid work arrangements continue, here are more tips for building and maintaining relationships — and steps managers, or any worker, for that matter, might consider taking to foster remote work. strong team and high productivity within their teams and workgroups.

Try creative communications

Strong communication should be a priority for everyone.

“Companies need to find creative ways to cultivate personal relationships,” said Sharawn Tipton, director of human resources at LiveRamp, a San Francisco-based data connectivity platform.

Virtual game nights can help remote workers get to know their teams and colleagues better.

A way to build relationships between remote teams?

Centralize relationship building tactics through communications.

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“This can be achieved by hosting virtual gatherings that aren’t work-related,” to help foster “human connection,” Tipton said.

Workers can get to know their colleagues and teammates better through specially scheduled virtual meetups.

Workers can get to know their colleagues and teammates better through specially scheduled virtual meetups.
(Stock)

For example, hosting virtual team coffee meetings or game nights on the “first Friday of the month” can help remote workers get to know their teams and colleagues better, beyond their daily work and meetings. , said Tipton.

Similarly, employees should be sure to participate when such opportunities are offered or arise. It is to their advantage.

Aim for an inclusive corporate culture

Employees are likely to be more productive when they feel a sense of belonging and appreciation.

“By continually fostering an inclusive and belonging environment, employees are more likely to perform exceptional work, champion innovative ideas, and perform at their best,” Tipton explained.

Congratulate publicly, give feedback privately

Managers can be sure to give kudos in team settings like zooms.

But if an employee isn’t meeting expectations, be sure to have that one-on-one discussion.

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“If someone on my team has gone above and beyond at a task, I like to praise them publicly on our Slack channel, so they feel recognized and valued,” said Zoe Biehl, Chief Content Officer at VentureKite. , a digital media company in Miami. , Florida.

"It is important to be open to feedback and suggestions to smoothen your business processes," said a Miami-based official.

“It’s important to be open to feedback and suggestions to make your business processes easier,” said a Miami-based official.
(Stock)

“Also, if they fail, I will speak to them privately and never call them publicly. This ensures they know I have their back and won’t put them in awkward situations.”

Use meeting time wisely

Avoid trying to kill time on video calls or phone calls.

“We have a content call every two weeks where we catch up on updates and progress, and address any outstanding issues or questions,” Biehl said.

“I invite my team to share ideas for improving productivity, alignment of expertise and anything else.”

“But if we have finished our agenda and there is still half an hour left in the meeting, I let the team go. [People] are more productive when they focus on relevant tasks rather than procrastinating during unnecessary meeting times.”

Be open to feedback

If you’re a manager or team leader, let it be known that you encourage feedback and suggestions from your remote staff.

If you are a team member, speak to your manager about this request.

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“It is important [for managers] to be open to feedback and suggestions to facilitate your business processes,” Biehl said.

“I invite my team to share ideas for improving productivity, alignment of expertise and anything else.”

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Additionally, she said her group regularly brainstorms “and shares ideas” via team messaging.

All of these steps can pave the way for stronger remote work processes and outcomes.


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