7 ways to support your team while they're working from home

Remote working has fast become an option for businesses looking to cut costs and promote employee wellbeing. Though the benefits are clear, workforces still face challenges such as mental health, understanding expectations and technical issues. In this article we’ll look at 7 ways that you can support and nurture your remote workforce.

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The new normal is upon us. And where businesses once required their workforce to attend the office full time, staff can now work just as effectively at home.

Prior to the Covid-19 pandemic, hybrid working was seen as a privilege, existing so that employees could fit other commitments around work. These commitments often included childcare or in some cases, to retain valued employees who couldn’t commute.

However, during the pandemic, nationwide lockdowns required many employees to stay at home. This landscape shift forced companies to re-tool their business models, eventually accommodating home-based working for the majority of staff.

Some employers saw the mutual benefits of this arrangement. Businesses could cut costs and retain staff, while employees would enjoy flexibility and improved work life balance.

The question was (and still is); how can employers ensure staff have the support they need while working remotely? 

1. Be empathetic

Being an empathetic employer is often easier said than done. And though this description covers a lot of ground, the foundational elements remain the same.

Active listening

Listening is frequently mentioned as the bedrock of strong leadership. It may be surprising then, that it’s often overlooked in practice. 

This can cause employees who feel unheard to worry that their contributions are no longer valued, while some may disengage entirely.

For leaders of remote teams, listening is essential. It promotes an inclusive working environment, helps encourage different perspectives and allows insight into any challenges staff may be facing. 

Be approachable

Managing a team requires you to be assertive. However, as leadership styles have evolved, we’ve also seen positive results from being approachable too.

You can still be a strong leader by setting expectations. But giving staff a judgement-free, open line of communication too, helps promote trust and positive workplace conversation.

Treat office based and home workers equally

If your workforce is split between the office and home, it can be easy to fall into the trap of treating them differently.

If you’ve experienced office life, one of the benefits is comradery. While this can boost morale, it’s important not to accidentally (or purposefully) promote an ‘us vs them’ scenario and instead work together under a common goal.

By understanding the needs and limitations of your entire workforce (home or office-based), you’ll be able to plan consistent communications that don’t leave remote workers feeling stranded.

2. Provide the tech they need

The onset of pandemic saw many employees filling their cars with company equipment, ensuring they could work comfortably from home during lockdown.

Many companies saw it as a simple ‘lift and shift’ operation, but over time this new approach taught businesses about what employees really needed to work remotely.

Laptops and PCs

Although employees taking their office equipment home was a short-term solution, businesses needed to dig into what individual employees required. 

Call centre employees for example, are suited to laptops, which are easy to equip with the digital communication tools used in their role. Graphic designers however, require more powerful systems that can handle increased hardware use.

Reliable internet connection

Many phone-centric businesses have opted for VoIP services, both in office and for homeworkers. These services use the internet rather than a landline to make calls.

It’s important as a team leader, to ensure your remote workers have access to a stable connection. They can then make full use of these services and remain visible to you.

The ability to communicate digitally

With VoIP services, the restriction of tethering a business to one location has been lifted. It means employees can now work from anywhere, even on the go.

Though these advancements offer increased flexibility, it’s important for businesses to choose a service which suits the needs of both remote and office workers. 

For a powerful, yet lightweight option, take a look at T2K’s Gamma Horizon. It’s a cloud-based phone system that enables you to take business calls remotely and in the office. 

It also comes packed with features like a CRM integrator, giving remote employees access to your chosen CRM (Customer Relationship Management tools). This also ensures your entire team has access to the same data, promoting a cohesive working approach.

Make sure they can access support

It’s fair to say that most new employees, including remote workers, will experience teething problems with the systems and equipment they use. As a leader, it’s important to understand the support your team needs on a daily basis.

This could be technical support, like direct access to IT consultants - or work-specific guidance from an experienced colleague or leader.

3. Offer flexible working

Promoting a healthy work life balance within your team is essential. You can do this by using an open line of communication to offer a more flexible approach to their day.

For some employees, their other commitments can't be avoided. It’s important to approach these situations with empathy, finding compromise where possible. 

Some employees may prefer shorter lunch breaks so they can leave early to pick up their children. Others may be more productive at a certain time, so offering alternative shift patterns may be beneficial.

4. Make remote training easy to access

Providing relevant and accessible training is key when supporting your remote workers. Yes, there can be limitations, but it’s still possible to deliver successful training by assessing their needs and access beforehand.

Ensure relevant access

Giving your team consistent access to the information and systems they need can be a difference maker.

If you’re remote workers can’t access key information and those in the office can, it limits the communication and potentially even productivity of your team. Instead, before remote working is agreed, check with your IT support to ensure consistent access is given to those who need it.

Supervise according to needs

Employees may prefer to be trained in different ways. Some may prefer the hands-on approach of taking the training and trying their new skills alone. Others might be more comfortable being shadowed to validate what they’ve learned.

Try to identify the needs of your staff before rolling out training. This will give you an idea of how you can support them in developing their new skills going forward. 

Investing in a VoIP solution may help you keep track of trainee progress too. Services like T2K’s 3CX option deliver call recording, history and analytics, alongside collaborative tools which allow you to offer support when it’s needed.

5. Set clear expectations

Whether you have a split workforce, or an entirely remote one - employees need to understand what is expected of them. 

Being transparent, while showing respect for individual situations, enables strong working relationships, while still being able to lead an effective and productive team. 

Flexible but established working 

While offering flexible working to employees is mutually beneficial, it’s important to determine the day-to-day availability of staff. Some staff may prefer different break times or may have booked days off.

With remote teams, a lack of visibility leaves room for misunderstanding. Establishing a robust attendance process for office and remote workers lets you know the skill sets available when distributing workloads.

Goals and objectives

Setting goals for employees is a win-win situation. For employees, it’s both a development tool and offers a sense of purpose within their role. Through this, employers gain a skilled member of staff that is motivated and enthusiastic about their job.

Quality assessment 

As an add-on to goals and objectives, it’s important that staff understand the quality and standard of work that’s expected from them.

This can be challenging for some remote workers who struggle to stay motivated, leading to low quality work. Having quality guidelines available to staff shows them what is expected. 

As mentioned earlier, telephony-based operations may benefit from the inbuilt performance management tools that many VoIP services offer. This is an efficient way for leaders to offload manual checks, allowing their phone system to do it for them.

Employee doing a catch up call with colleagues via video

6. Check-in with them regularly

Regular communication - whether face to face or on a video call - has been shown to increase employee trust, motivation and productivity. These check-ins don’t need to be every day, but introducing them regularly and also ‘as and when’ - lets your staff know you’re there for them.

‘As and when’ meetings

Impromptu catch ups during the week can elevate employee/employer trust. Building them into your work diary means staff can choose the time, without feeling the pressure of a pre-organised meeting.


They might not be everyone's favourite time of day; however huddles are an opportunity to share updates, news and roll out new processes across your team. 

They’re especially beneficial for remote workers who may at times, feel out of the loop. Group interactions like this allow the entire team to share ideas and suggestions, while boosting morale through collaboration.

Performance reviews

Though there’s been debate around whether performance reviews are as effective as they once were, there are still positives to this format.

They allow employers and staff to share feedback, and can be an opportunity to reinforce good work that would have been acknowledged sooner in an office setting.

Performance reviews are also a way to gently re-establish expectations. If a member of staff isn’t quite performing to standard, leaders can discuss the challenges being faced and how best to overcome them.

Social meetings

It could be a quick quiz. It could be an open 30-minute slot with zero agenda. Whatever suits your team, small portions of non-work time can boost employee morale, job satisfaction and elevate trust in their leaders.

7. Offer support for mental and physical health

Studies show that employers who take an interest in employee mental health have a greater retention rate. With the distance and isolation, it’s important for employers to recognise the challenges employees face and provide them with relevant support.

DSE assessments

Once remote workers have everything set up in their home offices, it’s possible they may experience challenges using it.

A DSE (display screen equipment) assessment is conducted by an employer to acknowledge these challenges (such as posture issues, joint pain, fatigue and eye strain) and provide support (like specially designed equipment or training) . DSE’s may also be conducted by the employee themselves via a DSE form.


With remote work’s increasing popularity, businesses need to acknowledge staff who may require additional support. 

Here are some great ideas for being a more inclusive, accessibility friendly employer:

  • Make meetings remote to acknowledge those who cannot easily attend the office. If you can’t, ensure access to these events are available via video to home workers.
  • Provide accessibility friendly software for those who need it.
  • Regularly discuss the individual needs of your workforce.

Regular contact with employees

Keeping tabs on your workforce is key, however remote workers are vulnerable to isolation, working long hours to keep up, or feeling shut out. Without regular contact to reassure them, this can lead to deeper feelings such as lack of self-worth and purpose.

By offering a small amount of time (outside of daily huddles where they may not want to speak up) to talk through challenges and update them on new developments, you can help them feel part of the team, while also building rapport.

Employee assistance lines

It’s common for larger companies to offer staff an EAP helpline. These services offer free counselling to staff around topics like burnout, anxiety, depression, grief and more.

As a leader, you may feel you have supported your staff but that they need more than you can offer. You may even find that employees are reluctant to use EAPs due to the stigma surrounding mental health. 

To make it clear to employees that these services are available, place posters around your site and casually discuss their advantages at your regular check-ins.

Showing up for your remote team

As an employer, it’s easy to slip into the mindset that employees are happier working from home. To assume that as adults, they can support themselves and will check in if they need anything.

This isn’t always the case though, with remote workers often needing more support and guidance due to the isolated nature of their setting.

With remote working here to stay - businesses that nurture home-based staff, make regular contact and provide the tools and resources they need are a step ahead. These businesses not only retain staff through job satisfaction, but build excellent reputations as fair and just employers who are great to work for.

Looking to support your own remote workers? Contact T2K today to discuss how our VoIP services can deliver better communication across your workforce.

Lee Clarke
Sales Director

Having worked for T2k for nearly 25 years, it's fair to say that Lee is an expert when it comes to all things telephony and business communications. Overseeing the commercial side of the business, he has helped the company evolve and grow through the decades. In recent years, and with the advent of VoIP and hosted telephony, Lee has made sure that T2k is at the forefront of technological developments. With a firm interest in helping businesses navigate the world of telecoms, Lee is responsible for the majority of the content on this website.

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