“Always treat your employees exactly as you want them to treat your best customers.” – Stephen R. Covey

Don’t let remote working distract you from your core values, vision and mission. It is now that they should be at the forefront of your leadership and embedded in every meeting, townhall and 1:1 you hold with your remote teams.

In a 2019 study by Buffer, State of Remote Work, it was found that remote workers biggest struggles included (2500 remote workers were surveyed):

This study was conducted prior to the majority of the workforce having to work from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic, however the biggest struggles are relevant and likely to be the even more magnified if the study was conducted today. Not surprisingly, the most common challenges were loneliness and unplugging at the end of the day.

To better support your team members, and to more effectively lead them, you need to ask the right questions. These questions will help them open up about their biggest challenges and will allow you to understand them better. God knows, you are probably feeling exactly the same way!

Questions relating to their remote lifestyle should include:

1. What’s your favourite part of working remotely?

2. What does your daily routine look like?

3. What is most challenging in your daily routine?

4. What is your home/remote setup like?

5. What is one thing we could get for you that make your work easier or better?

Asking these lifestyle related questions, along with others in our suite of questions will help you to understand what drives them, highlight any signs of loneliness, and will help to build more tailored and structured coaching and 1:1 sessions from then on. Best of all, your team member will feel heard and if they didn’t know it already, that you actually give a crap about them.

The third biggest struggle for remote workers is communication. I think even in office environments where the whole team works together, side by side, communication is a struggle. When managing remote workers, there are two typical scenarios when it comes to communication – over communication or nothing. Crickets. Donuts. Your team are out of sight, and out of mind so we forget to include everyone, and sometimes anyone. Asking some questions such as these will greatly improve the way you communicate with your team so that no one misses out on critical conversations or knowledge of business decisions.

1. Do you feel the company supports remote staff effectively? What could be better?

2. Do you feel included in team decisions?

3. Have you been surprised by any news announced recently in our zoom meetings?

4. How are the communication tools we have adopted working for you?

5. What challenges do you have compared to those in the office?

One of the most difficult feelings to uncover and improve, is the feeling of connectedness. For most, arriving at work and chatting to your work friends about your weekend, your kids, the footy results…ok, so that topic is pretty well gone for now…and just general chit chat is good for morale and motivation. It can be a little more challenging and less personal when working remotely.

Answers to these questions will help to develop connectivity amongst your remote team:

1. How well do you know your co-workers?

2. Which of your co-workers do you wish you had more to do with?

3. How could I better support you and the team whilst working remotely?

4. Do you feel supported by the team and feel you could go to anyone for help?

An engagement survey should be on your immediate agenda, especially if you were suddenly forced to send your employees home to work. Get in touch with NextGen HR today to discuss your needs and what survey questions align best with your core values and vision.