Remote Staff Community Engagement

Goals

To obtain information about creating an engaging community for remote staff, frequency, method, tools and application used for communication, online community events or one-on-one engagements they participate in, and examples of successful community-building events for remote staff. This will be used to apply to fully remote teams and community.

Early Findings

Creating an Engaging Community

  • It's important to ensure that remote workers are engaged with their company because they are susceptible to quitting their jobs in the first year.
  • In addition to this, an UpWork report predicted that at least 73% of "teams will have remote workers" by 2028 and 75% of those who already work remotely intend to continue doing so.
  • To create an engaging community, it would be ideal for the company to use an individualized approach and build personalized relationships with workers, always keep employees in the loop and communicate with them regularly in emails, videos or video conferences, assign remote training and show recognition of their success publicly. Making personal connections with employees is also a good way to make them feel connected and important.
  • According to the CEO of Any Lab Test Now, Clarissa Windham-Bradstock, another way to keep the community engaged is to have at least one monthly in-office workday and one-on-one face-time with employees.

Communication

  • Companies may practice having scheduled engagements (e.g. a video conference at a specific time of the week or month), and use interactive platforms such as Workplace by Facebook.
  • In addition to Slack and Zoom, other softwares that can be used to communicate with remote workers include Google Shared Drive when there is a need to share documents with them and Jabber for when it's necessary to make phone calls to them.

Online Community Events

  • Companies have used virtual events for as part of their team building exercises to keep workers engaged and these include online office games, remote storytelling workshops, online team building bingo, and using social engagement platforms such as Petri.

Summary

  • Our initial research briefly touched on how companies are creating an engaging community for remote staff, frequency, method, tools, and application used for communication, online community events or one-on-one engagements they participate in, and examples of successful community-building events for remote staff.

Proposed next steps:

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We recommend continuing our research to 1) provide 5 - 7 additional insights about how companies with work-from-home/remote staff (100% of the time or 50% of the time) create an engaging community, 2) provide an overview of engaging methods (e.g. video, calls) and frequency of communication (i.e. how often and when to communicate), and tools and/or applications as well as technology that companies are using to keep remote workers engaged (EXCLUDING Slack, Zoom and Asana), and 3) provide an overview of online team-building events that companies have used to successfully engage their remote staff. We will include webinars and examples of their topics, one-on-one-sessions and examples of their topics, engagements done via Slack and provide examples of companies that have been using these community-building events.
In addition to this, we suggest further research to provide 2 - 3 trends in remote work. For each trend, we will provide a description of what it is and how companies are addressing/applying it.