Let's look at that title for a second. Remote employees, your most-engaged workers? Aren't they just scattered across the globe doing who knows what?
Well, we beg to differ. Remote employees really can be your most engaged workers when you've got the right collection of tech in the toolbox. Sure, you may have not believed that sentiment 10 years ago, but we've come a long way since then. If we can now have pet food delivered by drone via the tiny computer in our pocket, we can take the "remote feeling" out of remote work.
Trust + tech
Telecommuting arrangements are kind of like trust falls – have faith in your long-distance employees to get their work done, and you create a positive and synergistic relationship between you and your talent. Remote workers are more productive, according to the Association for Talent Development, while a study by research firm Future Workplace found that they're also more engaged.
Now, we know trust falls and secret weapons don't really go together, but companies have one when it comes to employing remote workers: technology.
Without using smart systems to engage your remote workers, you could have a team of far-flung employees who you only hear from once a year, like some kind of corporate meteor shower that people prophesize about.
To avoid this – and to make sure your remote workers are über-engaged – there are three technologies you should take advantage of:
1. Hosted voice
Long gone are the days of every employee using the same company-issued phone and computer. When the cloud rolled in, it also brought with it hosted voice, a business phone service that enables unified communication, no matter the device people are using or the location they're calling from.
2. Video conferencing
Don't think of remote workers as sepia-toned versions of their Gmail profile pics. Instead, engage with remote workers just as dynamically as you would with in-office employees with HD video conferencing. Hey, you could even create a little army of "Mobile Virtual Presence Devices" for each of your remote workers à la Sheldon Cooper, we won't stop you.
Remote workers being out-of-touch with what's going on with the company is so 2010. Webcasts keep telecommuters in the loop through live-streamed quarterly meetings, conferences and team-building events.
These tools can help you make remote workers seem closer than ever and see engagement skyrocket for your telecommuting talent.