Join Digital Nomads and Remote Workers to Ask Questions, Share Experiences, Find Remote Jobs and Seek Recommendations.

Creating Employee Engagement in the Remote Work Era: Best Practices for Success

The rise of remote work has been dramatic in recent years. With the progress of digital technology and the ease of access to it, more and more companies are choosing either to transition into a work from home model, or to adopt a hybrid work model. From the employee perspective, the shift to remote work could be good news. Remote work offers them a better work-life balance, eliminates the daily commute, and saves costs on childcare, gas, car maintenance, and work attire. For the employer though, managing remote employees can seem daunting as creating employee engagement in a remote work environment is a challenge. Remote work poses a unique problem in that it is often difficult to build a work culture and foster collaboration among employees. Therefore, it is essential to create practices to ensure that employees stay productive, engaged and motivated in this new era of remote work.

In this blog, we will discuss the best practices for creating employee engagement in the remote work era:

  1. Establish Clear Communication Channels
  2. Flexible Scheduling
  3. Virtual Team Building
  4. Establish Clear Expectations
  5. Provide Opportunities for Skill Development
  6. Establish Employee Wellness Programs

Establish Clear Communication Channels

Clear communication is the foundation of any successful remote work model. Communication becomes even more critical when physical distance separates employees, and managers need to stay in constant touch with their team. Moreover, remote employees may feel neglected or disconnected from the team if they don’t receive consistent outreach from their manager. It is essential for companies to establish clear communication protocols to ensure that everyone is informed, included, and connected.

There are several ways to establish communication channels that work for your team. First, identify the tools you will use to communicate. The tools needed for communication can be as simple as setting up scheduled conference calls, instant messaging, and email, or they can be more complex, like collaboration tools such as Trello, Asana, or Slack which provide teams with a centralized way to track progress on tasks and shout out to teammates when they need input or support.

Another effective approach is to establish a communication plan with your team. This plan should outline the frequency and type of communication that will take place between the manager and the team. For example, weekly check-ins, a bi-weekly all-hands meeting, or daily touch base calls. This plan must also outline what communication channels will be used, how the team will provide feedback and receive feedback, and how conflicts and misunderstandings will be addressed. By establishing a communication plan, you can ensure that employees feel heard, supported, and informed, which promotes engagement, clarity, and morale.

Flexible Scheduling

Remote work allows for greater flexibility in scheduling. Traditional practices of a 9-to-5 work environment are transitioning towards the more flexible working schedule that remote work offers. If managed successfully, a remote work schedule can increase employee engagement and productivity. This model benefits employees by allowing them to work when they are most productive, and it can also allow them the opportunity to take care of personal issues or emergencies during the day, eliminating the need to take time off from work.

A flexible work schedule can benefit both employees and the organization. It promotes employee satisfaction, which leads to higher employee retention rates, as well as increased morale in the workforce. Moreover, it allows for greater efficiency as team members can work in their preferred time zone, expanding the working day and less overlap between shift work.

It is essential to set clear expectations for employee availability and response times when adopting a flexible work schedule. Teams must collaborate to establish guidelines regarding when employees should be available to work and respond to communications. By doing so, the team ensures that everyone remains in sync, thus promoting effectiveness and efficiency.

Virtual Team Building

Team building is the cornerstone of a successful work culture. It is essential to create camaraderie, trust, and instill the company culture in all employees. However, remote employees may find it challenging to build relationships and establish trust when they aren’t afforded the opportunity to be in the same room. Therefore, it is vital to establish a virtual team building program that fosters collaboration and camaraderie amongst coworkers.

There are several virtual team building activities that companies can use to build relationships between their remote employees, such as virtual team outings to virtual happy hours, and everything in between. These events provide employees with the opportunity to engage and build relationships outside of the day to day work environment. Virtual team building activities help to promote teamwork and can help foster a sense of belonging among remote workers.

Additionally, virtual team building can provide opportunities to celebrate employee success, thus improving employee engagement and motivation. Organizations can recognize outstanding employee performance, promote innovation, or reward employees for achievements. These programs lead to a more engaged and motivated workforce and help to maintain a strong work culture.

Establish Clear Expectations

When creating an effective remote work model, it is essential to establish clear expectations with employees. Expectations go beyond what is expected of a remote worker in terms of work output or meeting deadlines. Therefore, establishing clear and measurable performance goals is vital to achieving success. These goals should be specific, measurable, and attainable. They should also reflect the company’s mission and vision.

Managers should be transparent and honest about their expectations for employee performance, and employees should be given the opportunity to provide feedback and receive feedback from their managers. By doing so, employees feel valued for their contributions and receive guidance and support towards achieving their objectives. Ultimately, establishing clear expectations help employees remain productive, focused, and motivated.

Provide Opportunities for Skill Development

Remote work provides an opportunity for companies to promote employee development, which ultimately benefits both the employee and the organization. Remote work allows employees to take advantage of training opportunities, online classes, and professional development courses. Developing new skills and knowledge can help remote employees stay productive, engaged, and motivated. It can prepare them for future career growth, which means increased opportunities for advancement within the company.

Employers can offer incentives for employees to pursue skills development opportunities such as reimbursing employees for their course fees or providing time off to attend workshops or seminars. By promoting professional development opportunities, companies can promote employee engagement and retention, improve overall employee satisfaction, and promote a culture of learning and continuous improvement.

Establish Employee Wellness Programs

Employee wellness programs that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being are becoming increasingly popular in the remote work era. Remote workers may experience feelings of isolation, burnout, and stress due to the constant nature of work. Therefore, employers can implement programs designed to support employee well-being. Wellness programs such as mindfulness sessions, meditation, virtual yoga classes, or weekly fitness challenges can promote employee health while instilling a positive workplace culture.

By promoting a healthy work-life balance through wellness programs, organizations show they care about their employee’s well-being and are invested in their workforce’s long-term success. These programs help reduce absenteeism and work-related stress, increase employee engagement, promote productivity, and reduce healthcare costs.


Creating employee engagement in the remote work era can be challenging, but it is not impossible. Clear communication, flexible scheduling, virtual team building, establishing clear expectations, offering opportunities for skill development, and employee wellness programs, are all great ways to promote employee engagement, motivation, productivity, and a positive work culture. As companies continue to transition into remote and hybrid working models, it is essential to emphasize the importance of creating and implementing these best practices. In doing so, employees will feel supported, valued, and connected to their team and organization – all essential components for a successful remote work environment.

The Challenges of Remote Work

Working remotely can bring many advantages, such as increased flexibility and a better work-life balance. However, some significant challenges also come with working remotely, especially when it comes to employee engagement. Remote workers can feel isolated and disconnected from their team, which can lead to decreased motivation, decreased productivity, and a loss of the real sense of community.

The challenges of remote work include the following:

  1. Isolation and loneliness.
  2. Maintenance of work-life balance.
  3. Poor communication.
  4. Technology issues.
  5. Distractions at home.

Isolation and loneliness

Working from home can be a lonely experience. Remote workers can feel isolated from their colleagues, which can affect their motivation and productivity. They might miss out on the water cooler talk or the camaraderie of the office environment. Moreover, remote employees may experience difficulties in maintaining communication with their colleagues, leading to further isolation and loneliness.

Maintenance of work-life balance

Flexibility is one of the significant benefits of remote work. However, this flexibility can turn into a double-edged sword when the lines between work and personal life become blurred. Remote employees might find it challenging to separate their workday from their personal time, leading to feelings of stress, anxiety, and burnout.

Poor communication

Effective communication is critical when working remotely; it is easy to misunderstand tone and intent when communicating through digital channels. Remote employees need to receive clear and concise communication from their managers and colleagues, or they risk becoming misinformed or out of the loop on critical information.

Technology issues

Technology is at the heart of remote work. However, technology can be unreliable, leading to technical issues that, in turn, lead to lost productivity and frustration among remote employees. Technical issues can also lead to communication and collaboration breakdowns, leading to feelings of isolation and disengagement.

Distractions at home

Remote workers are dealing with more than just confined spaces and distractions in their home environment; they may also have to deal with family members or roommates who can distract them or interfere with their work, leading to feelings of frustration and stress.

Best Practices for Remote Employee Engagement

The challenges mentioned above may seem daunting, but they need not be. There are some best practices to ensure that remote employees are as productive, engaged, and motivated as they would be in an on-site work environment:

Create a Clearly Defined Remote Work Policy

Creating a remote work policy is essential, and that policy should outline the expectations, requirements, and guidelines for remote workers. The duties and responsibilities, working hours, communication requirements, and time tracking obligations should be clearly stated in the policy.

Moreover, the policy should outline how the company plans to support remote employees, including wellness programs and professional development. The policy should leave no room for ambiguity to ensure that all remote employees know what is expected of them and what they can expect from their managers and the organization.

Foster Communication and Collaboration

Communication is essential for remote employees. Establishing clear and structured communication channels ensures that remote employees feel included in the organization while providing managers with the feedback they need to ensure that everyone is on the same page.

Communication can be done through a variety of channels, including email, phone, video conferencing, and messaging apps. Having regular check-ins including one-to-one meetings between managers and individual remote employees ensures that each employee receives support and guidance, helping them to stay motivated, engaged, and productive.

Moreover, collaboration is the cornerstone of a successful work culture. The company should have an established system and tools for remote employees to collaborate on projects, share files, and track progress. Managers should encourage teamwork and provide the technology necessary to facilitate effective collaboration.

Provide Opportunities for Professional Growth

Remote employees are often looking for professional growth opportunities. Moreover, providing such opportunities can be beneficial for both the company and the employee. Providing training to remote employees is a practical way to encourage professional growth and personal development.

The company should support remote employees who pursue professional development opportunities by reimbursing them for the cost of attending courses or providing them with the time off they need to attend workshops or conferences. Professional development can boost employee satisfaction, morale, and motivation while preparing them for future career growth.

Foster Employee Wellness

Employee wellness programs that promote physical, mental, and emotional well-being have become increasingly popular among remote work organizations. Remote workers might experience feelings of stress, anxiety or burnout leading to decreased productivity, increased absenteeism, and a negative impact on morale.

Providing employees with wellness programs that promote physical exercise, mindfulness, and mental health can help them manage stress, leading to improved morale and increased productivity. The company should ensure that their remote employees have access to a variety of resources, including virtual yoga classes, mindfulness sessions, and meditation.

Moreover, companies should encourage employees to take breaks and engage in self-care activities. For example, encouraging employees to step away from their workspaces for a few minutes throughout the day to stretch, take a walk or meditate can help remote workers feel refreshed and recharged.

There are various ways to foster employee wellness in the remote work setting, such as offering a stipend for home office furniture, providing access to mental health resources or gym memberships, or offering healthy snack options. By prioritizing employee wellness, companies signal that they value their employees’ well-being, which can lead to increased engagement, retention, and job satisfaction.

Recognize Employee Achievements

Remote employees may often feel that their contributions go unnoticed, leading to lost motivation and disengagement. Recognizing employee achievements can help remote employees feel valued and appreciated for their hard work, which can increase their motivation and productivity.

Recognition can come in various forms, such as acknowledging an employee in a team meeting, offering public praise on company communication channels or through a peer recognition program. When celebrating employee achievements, companies must ensure that recognition is fair and equitable and does not favor one employee or team over another. It is also essential that the recognition illustrates how employee contributions align with the company’s current priorities and values.


Remote work has become a reality for many organizations. To manage remote employees effectively, it is crucial to prioritize employee engagement, productivity, and well-being. By following the best practices outlined in this blog, companies can support their remote employees to establish clear communication channels, offer flexible work schedules, foster collaboration, provide opportunities for professional growth, promote wellness, and recognize employee achievements.

Moreover, companies must recognize that remote work is not a one-size-fits-all solution. The best practices mentioned in this blog should be adapted to fit the company culture, employee needs, and work requirements. With the correct support, remote employees can be just as engaged and productive as their in-office counterparts, leading to increased job satisfaction, retention, and a positive impact on the company’s bottom line.

We Work From Anywhere

Find Remote Jobs, Ask Questions, Connect With Digital Nomads, and Live Your Best Location-Independent Life.