The Connection Magazine AIM MUTUAL Fall 2019 - Page 30

REMOTE WORKFORCE KEEPING YOUR REMOTE WORKFORCE ENGAGED REMOTE WORK, for many people, is wonderful. Working autonomously with a flexible schedule can be a dream job. What’s more, many companies are relying on these telecommuters more than ever before. What nobody talks about, however, is the potential feeling of social isolation that is inherent in these jobs. A recent global survey revealed 40 percent of remote workers felt lonely and detached from the workplace despite regular email contact. This impacts productivity and employee retention, according to Dan Schawbel who has written a book on the topic. 1 Wellness for Road Warriors Working from home means communicating by email or phone, with little face-to-face contact, and working off-hours. Remote workers who bring socialization into their workday are more likely to find satisfaction in their career along with their day-to-day routine. Wellness is a perfect place to start. Extending your wellness perks beyond the “brick and mortar” office can be a challenge, but it’s not impossible. A flexible wellness program is the answer for your employees who have a flexible workspace and schedule. Here’s how to approach it: 1. Always include remote staff in wellness activities. You may need to get creative, but with every wellness competition, challenge, or activity, extend the invitation to remote staff to join in. Give them plenty of notice to plan their schedules. 2. If your company offers on-site perks like meditation classes, step challenges, and educational sessions, include your remote staff via video conference or with webinars. If you have an on-site gym, offer fitness membership discounts near where your remote employees live. 30