Video: Biggest Fear for Employees That Telecommute
Remote employees, those that telecommute, often have a fear that doesn't afflict their co-located compatriots and that is, am I going to be forgotten about? Am I out of sight, out of mind? Remote employees are those people that are working somewhere besides the office, they telecommute. This versus co-located employees, people that are working in the big office, they're co-located within the company and work where the office is. Remote employees often worry “ I'm not being seen, I don't get the same face time with the boss. I'm not going to be picked for all the really cool projects.
It's a very natural fear if you telecommute, right. If you don't see your boss, if you don't walk out of the next meeting shoulder to shoulder with them, if you don't spend time at the water cooler, you're probably not having lunch with him or sharing a cup of coffee if you telecommute. It's a very natural fear that whoever has the face time with the boss is going to get the best assignments, is going to get the best learning and growing and developing, is going to get the best opportunities for advancement, all of that. It's a very natural fear for employees that telecommute to have.
One of the things that we as leaders have to do is assuage that fear. We need to make sure that we dedicate sufficient time to our remote employees focused on their growth and development, their learning, their advancement, et cetera, simply because this is the thing that scares our employees that telecommute. If every month you picked up the phone and talked to your remote employees, or better yet, did it over a video conference, so you can actually see each other, and you ask them a couple of simple questions like: What's something you'd like to get better at this next month? Where would you like to grow and develop? What's something where you are better than you were last month? Where have you grown and developed? You start talking about those things, and all of a sudden the remote employee says, “I guess I am still at the forefront of the boss’s mind. I guess they are still thinking about how to grow and develop me and opportunities for advancement and all of that.”
If you don't do this at least quarterly, but ideally more like monthly, the remote employee is still going to have in the back of their brain, “I telecommute and they've forgotten about me. I don't get the face time, I'm not being observed.” This is likely to make being remote at times a more dispiriting position, and you don't want that.