By Jaimy Ford, leadership and business writer. 

Take a look at the infographic below, created by the good folks at Time Doctor, makers of employee time tracking software. While it’s chock-full of interesting tidbits, two points stand out to me:

1. You might be overcommunicating with your virtual staff

According to a report by TINYPulse, only 18% of your employees want you to contact them multiple times per day, regardless the communication channel. Instead, 31% want to hear from you once per day, and 34% want to hear from you only once per week.

Our take: Some people will want more; some less. Don’t play the guessing game. Poll your employees to find out how much contact they would like to have with you and what communication channels they prefer to use. While you won’t be able to satisfy everyone, all the time, you can make adjustments that will improve your overall communication with employees.

Beyond finding out employees preferences, it’s really critical that you assess your overall communication. For example, if you shoot off an email every time something pops in your head, you could likely do a better job of compiling your questions and ideas into one succinct message, or perhaps, you should schedule a quick meeting to discuss everything at once. Or if you haven’t contacted an employee in days, you likely need to touch base more often. Take an honest look at how you can communicate more effectively.

2. While virtual employees are happier, they tend to feel less valued and close to their teammates

The same TINYPulse report asked virtual employees to rate how much they feel value and their overall relationships with coworkers. Both were lower than the “All Workers” group.

This is an indicator that leaders aren’t communicating enough. I know you most be thinking “You just told me that I am over-communicating!” What we’re talking about, however, is not the frequency of the conversations, but the quality of the conversations. If you aren’t regularly telling your virtual employees how much their efforts matter and what they do specifically to help both the team and the organization reach its goals, you aren’t spending enough time conducting high-quality conversations that boost morale and results.

Make sure that you are providing consistent feedback and praise. Recognize them publicly (even brag about them) to the rest of the team, other departments and upper management, even if that is just sharing some praise and a “Thanks!” in an email.

Furthermore, you could be creating opportunities for your team members to connect. Even if you can’t bring everybody together for face-to-face meetings, you can still offer them a chance to learn about each other and their commonalities. Schedule virtual coffee or lunch breaks where people chit chat about topics other than work. Consider online games to bring people together, and conduct virtual training programs. Perhaps most important, is that you ensure that everyone on the team knows everyone else’s role on team, and that you encourage them to work out problems, find solutions and brainstorm together, without your involvement. That’s how they will build trust and learn to rely on one another.

Does any other data from the infographic stand out to you? What do you think about the findings? And what are you doing to ensure the happiness of your virtual workers? Share your thoughts in the comments section.

Are Remote Workers Happier Than Office Employees? #Infographic

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  1. “Our take: Some people will want more; some less. Don’t play the guessing game. Poll your employees to find out how much contact they would like to have with you and what communication channels they prefer to use. ”

    My take: a Riemann-Thomann assessment. This personality test does not only show the needs and desires of “nearness” – or in other words: how much and what kind of communication (it’s not only a matter of frequency),
    but it shows the grade of risk / security the team-mate is made for.
    Knowing these information is crucial to assess the status statements of the team-mates.
    Here is, what we do:
    and here is our latest tool:

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