Pre-pandemic most of us knew what to expect from the workplace. We knew that we probably weren’t going to love the morning commute and we knew that at the end of it we were looking at eight hours in the office.
Fast forward to these post-pandemic times and in just two years the landscape is looking vastly different for many of us. Some people are back in the office full time, sure. But others are now either fully remote or working to the hybrid model and splitting their time between the office and home.
While many employees respond well to being trusted to work from home and are therefore more engaged and productive, some business owners and managers may be suspicious that staff might become disengaged due to a lack of interaction.
With claims that by 2028 73% of all teams will include remote workers, it’s clear that working from home will become the new normal. And we’re not just working down the road from each other – it’s now common to have colleagues in different cities, countries, continents and time zones.
How do you engage a remote team?
If engaging your office-based employees can be difficult, engaging remote teams can feel like mission impossible. So as an employer, how do you motivate a remote team? And how can we apply the lessons we learned during the pandemic to our so-called New Normal?
If there’s one thing that the pandemic and its unique challenges taught us, it is that we are adaptable creatures by nature. In addition, we now better understand the issues surrounding remote working; one of the biggest problems is ensuring that employees are engaged and productive.
How to prevent disengagement in your remote teams can be a conundrum for even the most switched-on of business owners but the key to ensuring employees aren’t scrolling the job ads (at best) and bingeing Netflix (at worst) is providing them with strong and consistent communication.
Consistency is key
Almost overnight, the pandemic took our ordered world and upended it. As humans, we don’t like change. Companies that survived the pandemic and came through it stronger were the ones that provided that much-needed structure for their employees.
You need an unwavering voice, a strong brand identity, a genuine commitment to your people, and a company culture that ensures your employees know that you’re there for them.
But how exactly do you provide that?
Through consistent creative content.
Engaging a remote team through a creative content strategy
When your team is unable to interact in person, remote team engagement relies on content that is aligned across various channels to boost their energy levels, keeping them focused and invested in the company. For example:
How to engage a remote team with creative videos
Something the pandemic showed us was that creative content, such as animated video, was extremely effective at unifying teams that were dispersed across multiple locations. Videos are an excellent way of getting a message across to numerous people all at once, no matter where they are.
Animated videos are also a great tool for learning – which, in turn, is a way to engage a remote team. There is a tendency for people who work away from the office to feel forgotten. Letting them know that you are still invested in their development regardless of where they work is crucial for increasing employee loyalty.
Videos are also powerful tools for solidifying your company’s brand, strengthening its tone of voice and highlighting its personality. But it’s not just videos that can help to make remote working work. Let’s look at ways to ensure remote teams are happy and productive that can build on the foundation laid down by engaging video content.
How to motivate a remote team with social media
As much as we might like to think we’re not slaves to social media, as of April 2022, there were still almost 3 billion active Facebook users. This indicates that your social channels are ideal places to interact with your remote workers. For example, you could:
- Create a private page or account in which users can post photos of their home office inspiration or outfit of the day (pyjamas?!)
- Get more people involved in posting on the official page, such as the company’s LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook or Twitter profile – run a competition to see who can come up with the most creative posts
- Create a hashtag for your company that employees can use on their posts so they can easily find and interact with each other
Accepting that most of your employees will be on some form of social media at some point during the day and embracing that fact is an example of ways to engage remote workers
Remote team engagement through blog posts
Do you have one person who writes all of your company’s blog posts? Why not get more people involved and start engaging your remote teams through the power of the written word? After all, you might have some budding authors in your midst who would love to be given the opportunity to write something.
You could even ask that a couple of team members work together on one blog post to encourage teamwork and showcase different perspectives.
How to inspire a remote team with a newsletter
If you don’t already send out an internal newsletter, there’s no better time to start than now. Reach out to your people, entertain them, sum up what’s been happening, update them on changes, and tell them about future plans. Best of all, get them involved by asking for contributions to future newsletters.
Just be careful not to spam your people. Daily newsletters, we can probably all agree, are too frequent and the content will be sparse. Anywhere between once a week and once a month is your best bet.
Engaging remote teams with a creative strategy
For your efforts at engagement to be truly successful, you need a creative strategy. Throwing a dozen different ideas at the wall and waiting to see which one will stick is not a great idea – particularly while we’re still in the throes of the Great Resignation.
Write down your ideas. What creative content would be most effective for engaging with remote employees within your company? What would your people respond best to? Once you have that as a starting point you can begin to map out plans: who is best suited to spearhead your social media engagement strategy? How are you going to ensure consistency?
Making sure remote teams are inspired and engaged is the end goal but your consistent creative content strategy is the path you will take to get there.
At Content Creatures, we know a thing or two about creating internal engagement. If you’re looking for some help for your own company and would like to find out more about how to engage a remote team, either through animated videos or a stronger creative strategy, get in touch with us today.