How to Engage Remote Workers & Digital Nomad

11th March 2022

It’s a no-brainer that the majority of people keep looking for better job opportunities throughout their careers. Honestly, why shouldn’t they? 

At HR Online, we know that life is short and the rules of the game change all the time, what with hybrid work models and various other opportunities.

Statistics show that 65% of employees think they can find a better job opportunity than their present one. This should be taken seriously, especially given that the gig economy is on the rise.

Now, consider another fact: retention is capable of maximising company profits up to 4 times. That’s why it’s not surprising to learn that 87% of HR experts consider employee retention a top priority.

A simple calculation will prove that investing in your team and keeping employees motivated is far cheaper than continually hiring new people, regardless, of whether you’re hiring blindly, hiring millennials, hiring remotely, etc. Merely onboarding and training costs are enormous, let alone the pains to keep your teams happy with a constant inflow of new colleagues.

For people working with remote teams, this conundrum is even more difficult, especially if they’re not versed in online communication. Fortunately, this is not a permanent state of affairs. Learning is, after all, an ongoing process for anyone who wants to call themselves professional.

So, how can a business engage (and keep engaged) remote workers and digital nomads? 

Let’s look at some of the best ideas.  

Employee Satisfaction

Employee satisfaction is a universal term, regardless of your business’ work model.

A happy employee is satisfied with their role, prospects, and of course, financial terms. However, since people are different, applying a single approach to everyone is not the brightest of ideas.

First of all, set up an anonymous feedback system that will ensure honesty to learn the answers to the very basic questions like:

  • Are your employees happy with their roles?
  • What can you do if they aren’t?
  • How do you keep this updated when they work remotely?

Employee satisfaction is a tricky point and should be taken seriously from day one. Things can escalate fast if you’re not paying attention, so make a point to actually listen to your employees.

Offer Additional Learning

Remote workers and digital nomads are, as a rule, resourceful. After all, it is not an easy feat to remain competitive in the ever-expanding gig economy. That’s why it is essential to offer additional learning opportunities to these people.

The fastest path to growth is learning, training, development, and growth can help increase employee engagement. Create your own materials, or pay for employees to sign up for courses on the platform of your choice. eLearning development is advancing rapidly, and you can be sure there will always be a number of courses your employees are interested in.

M-learning and eLearning allow employees to study how suits them best. They can choose when they want to dedicate their time to learning, which is just the kind of freedom remote workers love.

Online training is highly efficient because it both saves time and allows for perfect conditions beneficial for the learning process. According to professionals Dynamologic, service industry companies, such as digital marketing enterprises or software development houses, have the most to gain from digital nomads. 

Therefore, you should make eLearning opportunities a part of your HR strategy

Avoid Common Problems

With all of its good aspects, there are some common problems with remote teams. What are some you can avoid?

Common difficulties for remote companies include efficient employee communication, remote team collaboration, social interactions, maintaining company culture, time-off policies and hiring procedures.

This is a lot to take on all at once, especially if your business has just switched to a hybrid work model, so take your time devising proper strategies and, most importantly, listen to employee feedback.

Don’t Forget Digital Nomads

For many people, digital nomads appear to be adventurers, picking lucrative gigs and travelling the world without a worry in the world. The fact that many digital nomads work for a company or two regularly is not that well-known a fact.

They actually do. As long as the company of their choice offers remote work, they can work from any corner of the world with a steady internet connection. Most often, they choose the locales offering the best foreign tax credits.

What’s important to remember when dealing with digital nomads is that these people should still be able to feel like a part of the team regardless of their (current) location. 

Make sure to set up steady communication channels, such as Zoom or Skype meetings.

Communicate Goals Clearly

Stats show many people feel disconnected from their company’s goals, with only 25% of employees feeling satisfied. This is truly frightening, especially in light of the new job prospects offered by the gig economy.

It is, therefore, crucial to communicate company goals and expectations clearly.

The easiest way to check whether the employees are engaged is to watch out for absenteeism. When employees start looking for excuses not to make an online appearance, it means something is wrong.

Efficient communication is probably the most difficult part of building any successful remote team, but it is also the most important one. You should make certain proper communication is taking place at all times.

Also, don’t be afraid to ask employees for their opinion. Anonymous feedback is one efficient and safe way to do it.

Offer Only the Best Apps & Tools

Remote workers are tech-savvy and technology improves productivity. They don’t appreciate sloppy apps, especially since they have many choices. Make sure to choose proper apps for any kind of task.

The crucial ones include:

  • Task-management tools (e.g., Asana and Trello)
  • Communication tools (e.g., Zoom, Slack, Skype, Google Meet, or MS Team)
  • Document management tools (e.g., One Drive and Google Drive)
  • Flexible workspace tools (e.g., mobile-first access control, hot-desking, and room booking)

Other tools may also come to mind, depending on the scope of your business.

Everything considered, company success relies on clear communication and coordination. Managing remote teams is not an exception and, in fact, should be even easier than managing office workers. Because people are up to speed with online apps and tools, most don’t need excessive training.

Engaging Your Team, Wrap-up

Finally, show your employees that you value their hard work and input. Offer promotions and development paths so that they won’t need to look for additional jobs elsewhere. 

Remember that the engaged workforce is the only successful workforce, so take your time building a stellar remote team.