Making the Most out of Remote Working

By: Julie East, Corp. Marketing & Recruiting

Sep 15, 2020

I am one of those people who has two families: my home family and my work family. Going to the office everyday keeps that connection to my work family.  It’s very rare that I see my colleagues outside of the office environment.  With the stay-at-home orders for many of us dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic, working remotely from home has become the new normal. But with this freedom of communicating and/or dressing for the office comes a sense of disconnect from your colleagues and company.  So how do leaders ensure the growing number of remote workers feel connected to their work, their colleagues and to the company?



If your company has remote workers, be sure they have the proper tools necessary. One of the most frustrating things for remote workers is not having the proper tools at home. Whether it’s a personal laptop, cell phone, and/or home Wi-Fi, employees can feel frustrated and in some cases, they don’t have personal equipment to use at all.  Be sure to ask your team members if they have the tools necessary. If they don’t, then arrangements will need to be made to use company equipment at their home.  Also, don’t forget that these employees are now using their personal devices at home, using their electricity, minutes, Wi-Fi, air conditioning, etc. Companies should have discussions and/or plans to compensate these employees above their normal pay.  Electricity and phone bills will see an increase due to their increase in usage at home.  

Leaders must provide the appropriate amount of work to do and performance expectations for their work. Setting these clear expectations indicates your attention to, understanding of and respect for their job role. Clear expectations with the right tools helps remote workers succeed.



Schedule weekly virtual meetings to keep remote workers connected and to build empathy within teams. Zoom seems to be the most popular right now.  This type of gathering helps bring teams closer together.  The virtual connection helps colleagues exchange problems and solutions together.  Sharing workspace issues, connection problems and the challenges of working at home – with your family, and dogs, and cats, etc. – can bring a social connection to workplace colleagues that may not have been there before.  

As a leader, it’s important to use these virtual meetings to point out in public (virtually) when a remote team member has done a good job. This will go a long way toward building a sense of belonging and recognition. Remote workers have fewer chances to receive live feedback on assignments or tasks.  It’s important to remember to give them feedback in real time, not just when there is a problem or to assign more work assignments.



Because leaders can’t see employees working, it’s easy to assume an absence of communication means remote workers aren’t working.  Leaders imagine the worst: their remote workers are watching television, playing video games or relaxing by the pool drinking spritzers.  But trust is at the root of success with remote workers. The nicest part of working remotely is that you can easily build blocks of uninterrupted, concentration time into your day, which might translate into times when communication is sparse. Acknowledge that and set clear expectations for remote workers as to what communication best practices look like within the company.  

Make the experience as similar for remote workers as it can be to that of coworkers who see each other in person every day.  If your staff are located in different time zones, strive to hold meetings or delay decision-making until you’ve heard from everyone who should be involved. If you need to ask a colleague to join a meeting outside of their normal work hours, consider using a group phone chat vs. virtual meetings. It’s much easier to jump in if they aren’t expected to be camera-ready.



Your remote staff is going to miss out on interpersonal interactions that would normally take place in the office.  From a quick trip to the breakroom to group lunches, employees need to feel connected to each other to be an effective team.  When possible, carve out some time to socialize virtually.  

A leader can reinforce personal connections by encouraging team members to share more personal updates, from how they spent the weekend to the last time they actually put on pants. Be inventive and invest time and energy into building that rapport.  This is an investment that will lead to enduring relationships. The quality of the relationships between the team members can make the difference between goals being reached and goals being exceeded.  

As leaders, you can take extra steps to help them feel part of the team. For example:  

  • Have a cake delivered to an employee whose birthday is during the COVID shutdown.
  • Mail a physical “Thank You” card for a job well done.
  • Mail a physical package with company swag for a job well done. (Everyone LOVES company swag!)
  • Include a personal note with an employee’s paycheck or paystub.
  • Hold a “Watch Party” on social media with your team.
  • Hold TikToc challenges with your team.
  • Have a Pet Party meeting. Invite team members to have their pets with them during a virtual meeting.  

Creating belonging for remote workers doesn’t have to feel like a daunting task. It simply requires carving out small moments for employees to connect digitally on a personal level.


About Lofton: Founded in 1979, Lofton Services offers clients the best of all worlds. We provide the responsive, personal service and flexibility of a small local firm while having the technology, resources, and infrastructure to deliver the benefits of the biggest players in our industry. Lofton Staffing can deliver the right people, with the right skills, right when you need them. Contact us today

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