How To Make A Remote Worker Happier: Actionable Ideas Every Leader Can Try

A Guide To Boosting Your Remote Workers’ Happiness

–Daddy!

–I’m already working! Honey, have you seen my tie? I’ve got a meeting in 2 minutes. Oh jeez, my boss is already online, and I can’t be late. He’s gonna kill me, this madman… (The last phrase is often optional, of course.)

That’s how a routine morning may start in some of your remote employees’ families. It can be worse or better but it largely depends on how you contribute to your remote workers’ well-being and happiness. Why do you look so skeptical? This article has only begun and you’re already hesitant whether it’s worth trying to change anything and boost your employees’ satisfaction with their job. I see it in your face. Now you’re going to say something like: “Don’t talk nonsense! Remote work itself makes employees happier, doesn’t it? Why should I bother?”

Objectively, there are some studies showing that remote work boosts workers’ happiness by 20% (according to the previous study, the percentage was 22%). Reasonably, though, it always depends. And there’s always room for improvement in building a true employee-first company. Believe me, you might need to take a good look at how to make a remote worker happier and you will definitely start taking action after reading this article. Here’s why.

Why Does Your Remote Workers’ Happiness Matter?

You should mind the level of engagement and happiness in your remote team. If you do that, you’ll get the following benefits:

1. Less Quits

It’s no secret that the level of employee retention is susceptible to the degree of employee satisfaction. Happiness and engagement impact retention in a positive manner. Look at the employee retention stats yourself.

Note: unhappy workers are more likely to egg their colleagues on to leave the job as well.

2. Higher Productivity

On average, happier employees do their tasks 13% more effectively. By increasing the level of your remote workers’ happiness, you create an energized and highly productive team.

3. Enhanced Creativity

“The happier one is, the more creative one becomes.” The source of these words comes from research on inspirational positive emotions in terms of job satisfaction and well-being.

Moreover, virtual brainstorming, for example, helps your distance workers gain an innovation advantage. If that’s not enough, there are some sure-fire ways to bring fun and creativity to your remote teams.

4. More Profit

Happier salespeople boost sales by 37%, while highly engaged teams ensure 21% more profit. Not to mention that a company may outperform the competition by 20% with a happy workforce. But how do you foster happiness in your employees?

On the one hand, you’ve got this “distance” thing, on the other hand, you’re able to use some ideas and tools that will help you spark your remote workers’ happiness. Let’s dive into those, shall we?

7 Must-Try Tips For Leaders To Make Remote Workers Happier

Consider the following ideas for making your remote staff more satisfied and delighted:

1. Show That You Actually Care

Empathy and sincerity, connection and trust, healthy communication and meaningful relationships—which of these will give you higher chances to create a happier working environment? All of them, actually. Miscommunication is holding us back and creating “invisible walls” between leaders and their remote teams—in addition to the visible, physical ones that already exist.

At the same time, sincere interest spurs greater collaboration and dialogue. I’ll repeat: sincere interest. Your questions/remarks should be truly open, honest, and meaningful. But please, don’t go too far with over-familiarity—keep your relationships professional.

2. Build A Culture Of Social Belonging And Connection

You may not even notice that, but there’s a high probability that your workplace culture is turning toxic. At this stage, you might also need to find out more about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Maintaining a healthy corporate environment is the biggest concern for 30% of business leaders. On behalf of employees, loneliness is among the toughest challenges associated with remote work. But you can easily deal with that; nurture a high-engagement community with social tools, chats, and team-building.

At my previous remote job, for example, we had a special chat for the manga comics readers and enjoyed our corporate cosplay meetings immensely. Miss you, guys…Now back to you.

3. Allow Home Office Personalization

Home office environments should reflect your workers’ personalities. Interestingly, 21% of remote employees worked from their closets in 2021, whereas 24% preferred the outdoors. 73% of those who work distantly do have a dedicated space for work. In my case, it’s a kitchen table (but I did personalize it with some stickers).

There should be a visible boundary between a working place and a home space for before-work and after-work. Your remote employee should take some measures, set some limits, and create a comfortable zone, especially if they work in the same room occupied by other family members.

4. Keep Track Of Their Work-Life Balance

Work-life balance is one of the top reasons your remote employee would stay in the current job. To achieve it, however, you should be aware of the things that can stand in the way.

Help your workers remove distractions at home. Some of them may easily become inattentive, absent-minded, or even irritated by their kids, pets, robot vacuums, noisy neighbors with drills, etc. Take care of their health and well-being at their home office and get them life insurance at last, if you haven’t done it yet.

5. Ensure Flexibility In Work Scheduling

Best Buy, for example, achieved a 35% boost in productivity after switching to a more adjustable work-at-home program. Or perhaps, you might consider a hybrid working model to offer your employees more options to create a convenient working routine experience. You may also take advantage of free scheduling tools.

6. Promote Their Personal And Professional Development

Coaching, professional development, and healthcare are the three most valuable benefits for your remote employees. Both professional and personal development catapults the level of satisfaction with life and career. But you, as a leader, should expand the possibilities for each. Engaging your remote workers in eLearning courses and motivational activities, recognizing their achievements, and encouraging them for more—these are the “three whales” that hold the proficiency growth schemes for each individual at your company.

7. Rethink Your Encouragement Schemes

Did you know that only 42% of employees are actually happy with recognition of their performance and rewards? Compared to on-site workers, remote employees are even more deprived of positive experiences such as praising in front of team members. But you can fix that too by trying a peer-to-peer recognition program.

Besides individual encouragement, promotion plans, and worker’s compensation benefits, gifts and bonuses may be tremendously helpful here. They do not guarantee a happy remote work atmosphere but can maximize employee engagement.

Quite often, business owners don’t give due importance to proper work assessment and additional encouragement. The taboo of salary negotiation interferes with healthy relationships, in the first place. For quite a long time, monetary reward has been the only form of encouragement used by managers and leaders. But today we should concentrate more on non-monetary incentives and other types of motivational means as well. Celebrate your remote workers’ success and recognize them as a valuable part of the team. Your appreciation may start with the little things and the simplest phrase “Thank you,” in your corporate chat.

Bonus Tip: Go Even Further And Build The Happiest Remote Team

One word. Moderation. Everything should be done in moderation. Starting with interaction and trust building. The abundance of talking as well as the lack of talking might be no good at all. Learn everything about your remote worker’s preferences in the amount of talk, pastime, hobbies, food, etc. Some people may hate questions about their families or themselves and would rather choose some neutral topics.

Conclusion

After all, being a successful business leader, you still need to spare no effort to build a better world of work. And that’s where the happiness of your remote workers matters immensely. You have seen why. You have also got a few actionable tips on how to make your remote workers happier and more satisfied with their jobs. Use the above ideas to discover what boosts their happiness level and make a decent contribution to their enjoyment of all work-related processes, and not only. Now, you’re ready to create the happiest virtual workplace!

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