Best Practices

Remote Employees

5 tips for the new normal
At Tribe, we’ve been doing internal communications for almost 20 years, and the move to remote and hybrid work arrangements is the most significant change we’ve ever seen in that time. In the early months of the pandemic, most company leadership assumed that having employees working from home was a temporary arrangement. We know now that very few companies will have all corporate employees back on-site together any time in the foreseeable future.

So, as you plan your internal communications for 2022, you might want to shift your focus to thinking remote first, on-site second. If the majority of your employees will be working remotely some or all
of the time, you’ll need to approach your communications differently to keep them engaged over the long term.

Here are five tips to consider for reaching remote employees:

Be okay with Zoom production values

Video is one of the most powerful and engaging means of sharing the voices of both leadership and rank-and-file employees. But the day-long on-site shoots with multiple angles and lots of B-roll aren’t happening right now — or if they are, they’re featuring only the people willing to show up in person. It is possible to shoot and edit video from Teams or Zoom. It feels homier and less produced, but maybe there are some advantages to that.

Focus on the remote experience for events

Back when remote employees were a very small minority of the workforce, we used to mail them events-in-a-box so they could share in some of what other employees were experiencing at the live event in all the offices. Now, we need to flip that thinking so that we’re starting with the activities that remote employees can participate in — from live streaming presentations to online contests to the ability to post questions online in real time.

Don’t ignore time zones

If your employee population includes a global workforce, try to avoid being US- centric when you schedule town halls, major meetings, and live events. Sure, all those remote employees in EMEA or Asia could watch a recorded version, but that implies they’re not where the action is and may be conveying a lack of respect for them. If their participation is a priority, then their time zones will need to be accommodated in real time — possibly by the US folks losing a little sleep.

Help employees bond over their passions

Find ways for remote employees to connect that go beyond their work functions and silos. For example, you might consider building stronger employee resource groups so employees can share their experiences and provide sounding boards for others in their demographic, whether that’s LGBTQ+ or military veterans. You might create a more formal mentorship program to connect across generations. Or you might involve more employees in your sustainability or DE&I efforts.

Give them new ways to build relationships

Having friends at work is a huge element of engagement. It’s more difficult for employees to develop strong relationships when they’re working remotely, so that needs to be a priority for internal communications and HR. Look at the various stages of the employee experience to see where you could create more human interaction. For instance, you might revamp your onboarding programs to include more social bonding.

How can we help?

Tribe does internal communications – and that’s all we do. We’re a full-service shop, from audits and strategy to creative and production.

Steve Baskin
President and Chief Strategy Officer
Office: (404) 256-5858
Mobile: (404) 663-7910
[email protected]