The average person spends 1/3 of their life at work – which roughly translates to more than 90,000 hours. Which means, if employees don’t enjoy their jobs, they’re in for a great deal of dissatisfaction and potential misery. The importance of job satisfaction for an employee can’t be stressed enough. A great deal of satisfaction comes from a sense of belonging which translates to a strong work culture that employees identify with. As such, many surveys, studies and articles show that engaged employees are happy employees.

But what about those who find themselves in a less-than-traditional work situation? From working remote and satellite offices to flexible options, the number of alternative work arrangements is on the rise. According to Fast Company, “the future of work is increasingly going to be dominated by remote working, which is quickly taking hold around the globe thanks to the productive results it delivers to business owners.”

Today’s technology provides greater opportunity for people to opt out of tradition and into more convenient versions of work. However, these flexible, nontraditional situations can still make connections and engagement with onsite employees difficult. Even if the flexible arrangement is desired, the need for connection is still present. The following are ways companies can help foster that sense of belonging even amongst those who aren’t physically walking the halls of an office building.

Keep leadership aware of remote and flexible employees

It can be easy for employees feel lost in the shuffle when they aren’t physically present at the office for a quick chat in the kitchen or a shared conversation in the workplace elevator. When leadership is keenly aware of the employees they have engaged in remote work and where they are located, personal check-ins and opportunities for connection can be created periodically. For example, if managers and leaders find themselves traveling to different areas for work-related purposes, they can incorporate visits with team members that may live and work in the area.

Help employees connect with others

Along the same lines of keeping leadership aware and involved with nontraditional employees, HR can help create a sense of belonging by encouraging interactions with other employees who are in their same area, division, stage of career, etc. With a mix of onsite and offsite team-building activities, employees can increase their sense of connection regardless of their working setup.

Encourage recognition amongst employees

Another way to foster inclusivity is to encourage employees to not only interact but acknowledge and recognize the work that is done together. Implementing a system that inspires employees to call attention to fellow team members for help and hard work increases goodwill, motivation and productivity. Also, this kind of recognition can be earned no matter the position or location – resulting in greater inclusion and awareness across the company.

Incorporate company-wide initiatives like volunteering

There are certainly benefits to being onsite in a job; however, companies can create a spirit of inclusion and culture across all employees through efforts like volunteering. Choosing causes that align with the mission and vision of the business, leadership can create company-wide initiatives that can be carried out by all employees. Perhaps you dedicate a single day for volunteering with a specific organization that has chapters across the country. Or, maybe you launch a campaign for employees to accomplish a certain goal over the course of a specific time period. Company-wide initiatives that involve the community can encourage increased unity and a greater sense of belonging.

The flexibility offered by so many companies is an amazing benefit for many employees in today’s work environment. With these alternative arrangements however, there’s a greater need for inclusion and belonging. Ensure a healthier, more satisfied and engaged workforce by offering ClassPass Corporate, a wellness option that reaches your full demographic.

Sign up for email updates including: events, product updates, Benefit articles & more.