The modern digital workforce is one that works remotely. CNBC estimated that 25% of workers will be operating from home by 2021, reflecting the focus of digital businesses in placing employees into remote working. While this provides a lot of benefits, communications is one area of the business where key indicators often suffer. There is, however, a huge opportunity for businesses to do better – and the tools and data they need are often available right away.
Using employee data
Remote working provides a host of data to the employer, both from performance management tools and from internal communication platforms. Platforms such as Teams, Skype, Yammer, and Zoom provide consistent metadata on how, and when, employees communicate. Using Yammer as an example, Yammer analytics tools can help employers to look at key productivity hours, when breaks are being taken, and when employees can best be contacted. This is key to maintaining engagement; Gallup notes that, while engagement has remained static since remote working became the norm, this is likely due to happiness from being at home rather than the quality of communications.
The quality of communications is crucial in establishing proper communication and engagement with the team. The Harvard Business Review has had a long-standing view on how best to achieve that in remote work, and the key comes in brevity. Messages should be infrequent, clear, and concise; they should transmit only the necessary information, and give room for employees to digest it and then return with questions if they need it.
According to CEO-Review, over 50% of remote workers feel emotionally disconnected from their team. This shouldn’t seem out of the ordinary. One of the benefits of in-office life is the human touch that defines every single day. Birthdays, events, and simple check-ins color every single day and ensure that employees feel like humans, and have that human interaction. Rebuilding that into the day-to-day of internal communications can do a world of good for employees alienated by remote working. Just remember the key principles – keep it short, and make it timely.<
Linking teams back together in this manner will provide better outcomes for the business. Happier and engaged employees are more productive, and that will show in the bottom line of the enterprise. That, in the end, is good news for everyone.