The workplace is changing – accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. The new work environment is slowly shifting from the traditional retail space, booths and workshops where you rub your elbows with your boss and employees every day, to your own home or to a completely different country. For those of you who don’t already know, these people are known as “satellite workers” and are on the rise.
Satellite employees (or external employees) belong to a specific company but are in a different location. be it their own home, another city, state, or even another country. These types of employees are also known as teleworkers or remote workers.
If you are an employer with outside employees, you need to consider how you can incorporate them into your company culture. Satellite employees may have a harder time being motivated or productive as they are most likely working from home and not having “your eye”. This may not be true for everyone, but changing the way your company works to better suit these people is never a bad idea.
You want a more cohesive, productive, and happier workplace, don’t you? These quick and easy steps can help your company achieve just that.
Open the gates to communication
Most companies have after-work grills or drinks that employees can join in order to get to know each other (do I emphasize the importance of good team bonding?). But like your business, planning a small after-work party can be a little tricky when you have multiple employees in different cities.
Here are some simple fixes you can make to strengthen your team and feel more connected:
- Create a blog that you and your employees can talk openly about. Encourage open chat and fun breaks with the blog.
- Create a newsletter to keep your employees informed of the new and entertaining updates in your company by email.
- Have a company chat room where employees can find and interact with each other.
These are great ways to make your employees feel connected and you can use the newsletter to recognize specific employees for their hard work and dedication.
Create the environment
Surrounding yourself with the right work environment will make you more focused and task-oriented. You can help do this for your teleworker by providing them with standardized office supplies that help create a professional workspace. This can help them maintain a clear and focused mind while working, properly dividing and avoiding distraction.
Some great ideas are: corporate clothing, pens and accessories, or mugs. By surrounding your employees with your branded merchandise, you not only help them divide and demarcate a space, but also remind them to be proud of their work and keep moving towards the next step.
Involving your external collaborator in goods not only helps them stay focused, but also helps all employees bond on a common purpose or vision. The main problem with satellite companies with multiple locations is keeping your people as a team and working together. If you don’t have your people in a unit, they’ll lose the ability to get to know each other. This is a key component in developing solutions and new visions.
Make your employees feel connected to a common goal and make sure they all have a clear message about the company’s goal and mission statement. By unifying your team, even if they are not all under one roof, you have a strong support system for your business.
Emphasizing the importance of team retention and recognition is very important in a company – especially in a multi-location company. Being open to new ideas that employees bring is a key component in building effective and efficient business practices. Let your employees know that you are open to good new ideas and opinions.
Even if you let your staff know that your door is open, most staff will not take advantage of it. It’s not that they don’t feel like you should know what they’re thinking – they just don’t want to be the one to break up your day to tell you. You can counteract this by knocking on the door or, in this case, making a Skype call, holding a Zoom meeting, or sending an email and asking about the work environment. When you go to see them, they will see how serious you are about updating and creating a better business.
A good society never stops changing and never stops listening. The little things are very important to your employees. By letting them know that you are ready and eager to hear and implement new ideas and by rewarding them for developing them, they will have the motivation to drive your business forward.