Key Remote Work Statistics in 2021 (source: findstack.com)
16% of companies in the world are 100% remote. - Around 62% of employees aged 22 to 65 say they work remotely at least occasionally. - Since 2009, the number of people who work from home has risen by 159% - 44% of companies don’t allow remote work. - By 2028, 73% of all departments are expected to have remote workers. - Better work-life balance is the main reason why people choose to work remotely. - 77% of remote workers say they’re more productive when working from home. - 85% of managers believe that having teams with remote workers will become the new norm. - 74% of workers say that working remotely would make them less likely to leave a company.
Remote Work Challenges -
The three most significant challenges associated with remote work are unplugging after work (22%), loneliness (19%) and communication (17%). - Only 70% of remote workers get regular training from their company - Remote employees are 16% less likely to agree that their manager involves them in the goal-setting process.
These are some pretty exciting statistics! Covid-19 has drastically changed the way the world operates. Cash Flow Capital has struggled with similar remote-working challenges.
Apart from the struggle to unplug after work and dealing with loneliness issues, which I can personally relate to, I’d like to highlight a few ways in which you can improve communication and keep your employees engaged and motivated where the majority of your workforce may be working from home.
I believe remote working can result in more profound challenges than just maintaining good communication; it can diminish the sense of company culture, belonging and team spirit.
The following Cash Flow Capital tried-and-tested tips may help you navigate the new realm of online working and assist you in maintaining an engaged and motivated remote workforce:
1. Implement virtual teambuilding events. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different ideas here. While our recent virtual wellness week wasn’t a massive success across all the initiatives we implemented (we are still finding our feet on what works and what does not), our Friday online quiz day was a huge hit with employees. It didn’t matter that everyone cheated; what did matter was that everyone engaged, let their hair down and had a good laugh. There are a number of other fun ideas to try: online acapella, virtual 60 seconds, ad trivia, improv-acting, doodle contest, fact guesser, storytelling, etc.
Every team relies on meaningful interaction – it helps strengthen relationships, builds trust, and supports personal wellbeing. You want your employees to be more than just coworkers; you want everyone to keep one another positively. But, creating such a bond can be especially tricky when you haven’t interacted with some of your employees in person. That’s why team building games for remote workers are so important (source: https://connecteam.com/team-building-games-remote-workers/)
2. Use virtual keynote speakers to address your employees on critical topics such as mental health, communication, leadership and strategy. Choose a speaker who can deliver an inspirational message, perhaps using their story of adversity, the obstacles they overcame in their career and their success. Choose a speaker that can talk with Virtual Moxie!
3. Video conferencing. People are tempted to keep their cameras off during a video meeting. Keeping your camera on and showing your face allows your words to be more impactful and creates a more meaningful social connection. Schedule regular video check-ins with your employees not only to discuss work related matters but to also connect with them on a more informal and personal level. Everyone copes with lockdown and the pandemic in different ways, and lending your ear to your employees will go a long way to keeping them engaged and motivated.
4. If you haven’t already experimented with these, try out Slack and Google Hangouts (to name a few) for offline communication. Utilize these digital tools to recognize employee efforts and achievements. We do so daily, and this has a very positive effect on the mindset of our employees.
5. Using online productivity tools such as Trello is a great way to stay on top of projects and tasks on an individual and team level. Productivity tools also eliminate the need to call your employees multiple times a day for an update. This creates an element of trust and autonomy.
6. Where it makes sense, allow employees to have the flexibility to choose their own “work time”. As long as the goals and targets are achieved within specified timeframes, the flexibility to balance work and home tasks and schedules may help employees feel less stressed and burdened.
We had to postpone and cancel various training events and have not been able to attend as many business conferences as we had planned to since the pandemic hit in 2019. We have instead invested a lot more time and budget in online learning to foster the growth of our employees. We also implemented a learning and development KPI for each employee to commit to on a monthly basis. This is helping to ensure our employees stay focused on career and skills development, and we stay on top of our game in terms business delivery.
Bottom line: Invest and leverage technology to ensure continuous clarity in communication and foster strong, social connections between employees.