In 1995, around 9 percent of the American workforce telecommuted full time or part time. Today, a little over two decades later, that number has quadrupled. According to Gallup, approximately 37 percent of the workforce’s current roles and responsibilities are accomplished through telecommuting. The workforce is changing, and smart companies are staying ahead of the trend. Some organizations are actually using telecommuting opportunities as a marketable HR benefit to reach the next generation of Millennial workers who are interested in nontraditional workdays. Adam Schwartz, founder and CEO of Articulate, which has a fully remote team, says, “Being able to choose where and when we work empowers us to be more productive, more engaged, and more balanced in every aspect of our lives. After 14 years as a fully remote company, we’re convinced a distributed environment isn’t just good for our employees. It’s also one of the key reasons we’ve been so successful as a company.” However, it may be difficult to keep such a workforce fully engaged. Nothing hurts engagement more than communication breakdown, so it’s critically important that remote workers always be included and feel “in the loop.” At least once or twice a year, everyone should come together to build relationships and work on teamwide engagement.
Engaging the Remote Workforce Through Communication