Telecommuting has become a more popular practice in today’s workforce, especially for those who work in big cities like New York. It’s an excellent way to promote productivity and accountability by cutting down on travel time and related expenses. Additionally, working from home or the coffee shop is generally well-received by employees, as 80% view the option to work remotely as a job perk. Even our future First Lady may end up doing her own version of telecommuting come January.
But while working from home may be a real advantage in many ways, it has its downside, too: namely, working outside of an office environment may prove to be too isolating for some. Although telecommuting provides flexibility not found in the traditional workplace, the trade-off is that many employees may feel like they’re not part of the team. With the holiday season upon us, it’s important for employers to make telecommuters on staff feel like they’re part of the family.
Experts recommend using technological advancements to bring the entire staff together. You could host an interactive holiday celebration via Skype or Webinar. If you host a celebratory event on site, make sure that everyone is invited. Even if your telecommuting team members can’t make it, they’ll appreciate the gesture. If your company is in a position to do so, you might even consider providing transportation to attend the get-together.
It also helps if you can distribute personalized cards or gifts that show your employees you care. Company-signed cards or handwritten notes go a long way in making a telecommuter feel appreciated. Many organizations have found success with company-branded gifts, subscription boxes, or treating telecommuters and their families to a dinner, paid for by the company. You can even organize a company-wide gift exchange that’s carried out by post.
Employers can also encourage donation to charitable causes by allowing workers to have a day off to devote to altruistic endeavors. By taking time to remember those in need, company members can bond and get a sense that the company cares about more than the bottom line. And a little down time goes a long way.
No matter how you choose to celebrate the season within your company, it’s critical to make sure all team members feel appreciated and acknowledged. When employees are recognized for their efforts, they’ll be much happier — and more productive — year round. Whether you’re participating in holiday festivities in the Big Apple or halfway around the world, make sure your workers feel included and full of holiday cheer.