3 tactics for keeping remote staff connected

Whether working from home or stationed in a company outpost, your telecommuting employees need interaction with their colleagues. Try these approaches.

It’s easy to forget about all those people out there in home offices.

For those whose major interaction with colleagues in the corporate office is email and the occasional conference call, engagement may not be as high you’d like.

By being physically absent, they miss out on a lot of relationship building that happens when people show up in the same workplace every day.

Here are three tips for helping those employees build and retain visibility:

1. Put a face to a name. In the absence of in-person interaction, mere visibility can help. Just being able to visualize a face makes people feel more connected and familiar. Encourage profile pictures on the intranet, try an occasional video call, or even use FaceTime. (Millennials employees might be more comfortable than Baby Boomers with FaceTime.)

2. Picture their environment. To help connect team members in a department that includes remote staff, or to introduce a new telecommuting employee, have people share a photo of their office or desk. Include everyone on the team, not just the remote folks. It’s always nice to picture where someone is while you’re on the phone or emailing.

3. Look for opportunities to meet face to face. In research with employees nationwide on cultivating collaboration, respondents said meeting someone in person even once can help them feel more comfortable sharing ideas and collaborating. It might be too costly to have remote employees travel regularly to headquarters, but help them do so occasionally, and make sure they meet everyone available during those visits.

A version of this post first appeared on the Tribe Good Company blog.


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