The luxury of working from home might not be as luxurious as it’s been perceived in the past — especially when project collaboration, social interaction and company inclusion are on the line. With the trend of remote working still on the rise, it’s important to make sure that those remote employees are feeling the company love, even from miles away.

In this episode of Lifesize Live!, our Global Channel Sales VP Tim Maloney talks about the challenges he faces, opportunities he comes across and a few tips he’s learned along the way in managing his remote teams while also being remote himself.

Let’s admit it, it’s easy to forget about far-end employees simply because we don’t see them at a desk in the office or grabbing coffee in the kitchen on a daily basis. It’s hard to step out of your work bubble to talk to people just across the room, so it’s no surprise that we forget about those coworkers who are miles away.

From sending those company-wide emails about a party happening in the office lobby to forgetting to CC those who are out of the office on email chains about certain projects, it’s easy for remote workers to get lost and start feeling left out. And the more these people feel like they are thrown onto an island in the middle of the ocean, the more they start to believe it. 

So it’s important to make sure our dedicated remote employees are cared for and humanized, not just treated like assets, because it’s easy to feel isolated when your whole team is only reachable through a computer screen. And this is where company culture comes in to save the day. One thing that Tim mentions is that, in order to maintain that positive and inclusive company culture, sending these remote employees back to the headquarters as often as you can is critical. Whether that is once a year or once a quarter, being able to reset, refresh and rejuvenate with colleagues in person is key in building those personal and business relationships. The more remote employees can engage with their on-site colleagues, the more self-sustaining they can become as well — they won’t look to their managers as their sole source of contact and social interaction.

In order to encourage and maintain those personal relationships, ditch those email chains and get video involved. Just by being able to interact face to face, you skip all the trouble that comes with miscommunication and misconceptions. People on both ends have the chance to put a name to a face, collaborate in real time and strengthen relationships regardless of distance. Equipping remote employees with the tools and resources they need to get engaged and perform to the best of their ability helps everyone in the organization in the long run — remote or not.