Remote work is becoming the new normal. With the COVID-19 pandemic wreaking havoc worldwide, more and more employers are adopting remote work whenever possible. Remote work has benefits. For one, it helps keep your workforce safe. You also save time for your employees’ commute. They do not go to work harassed and stressed by the traffic.
Remote work also has challenges, mostly if your original work set up was at the office. The transition for some employees who are not used to the remote setup is a challenge itself. Some are not equipped with the tools needed to be productive remotely.
The working habits of an office worker are different from those of a remote worker. The sudden shift can disrupt how your organization works. Your employees are also likely to feel detached from the company, making them feel less motivated. Keeping your employees engaged can be difficult. However, keeping all your employees engaged and motivated is a must.
1. Encourage self-care and wellness.
One of the main concerns about remote work is the blurred lines between work and personal life. Remote workers feel that they are tethered to their computers for more hours than what they had bargained for. Encourage your employees to prioritize their well-being. Start an employee program that encourages your employees to care for themselves. It can be a point system where the highest point earner for the week wins gifts, such as an online shopping voucher.
Someone who can post a photo of themselves in your office chatroom cooking a healthy meal for the day gets 20 points. An employee who posts a workout picture gets 30 points. And a worker who makes time for self-improvement and posts a Zoom screenshot of her online lesson with her private piano teacher gets 40 points. It is a fun and competitive way to encourage everyone to take care of themselves. An employee who takes care of himself is more satisfied, fulfilled, and productive.
2. Ensure that your employees feel that they are being listened to,
More than ever, show your employees that they are valued and that their contribution matters. Make them feel appreciated. It can be challenging because you cannot just treat them to lunch or coffee for a job well done.
Look for ways to celebrate their small wins. A virtual card or an online certificate can show them that you are aware of how they work hard for the company. Make it a point to celebrate birthdays and work anniversaries. It can be a small gesture, but it can make your employees feel that they belong in the right company.
Recognition is essential to boost the morale of your employees and to your success as an organization.
3. Maintain an open line for communications.
Miscommunication happens in the office. It is even more likely when you do not see each other. Set up a method where employees can reach out to you or with each other. It is easy to feel alone and disconnected in a remote setup. Collaboration platforms and chat clients allow your employees to stay connected, not just for work clarification purposes. It will help bring your people together, foster friendships, and strengthen your team.
4. Schedule virtual meetings to check on your employees.
Set aside time for a virtual meeting to check on your employees. How are they doing? Being cooped up at home can be stressful for social butterflies. Be sure to plan for online get-together s, where everyone is free to discuss non-related matters.You will be surprised by how it will improve your employee’s engagement and keep them excited.
You can set these virtual meetings at the start of the week so that you can also align them with your goals and targets. Managing a remote team will have some challenges, and one of them is getting your team aligned with your goals. Be clear with what you want to achieve, their deliverable s, and how the outcomes will be measured. Be clear and direct to avoid misunderstandings.
5. Give them equipment support.
The fact is, not everyone has a decent computer or laptop at home. One of the things that can make an employee effective is having the right tools and equipment. In the office, your employees have access to a computer, a printer, a scanner, and a fast Internet connection. They are fully equipped to deliver high-quality output. You need to remember that your employees will still need the same tools, even if they are working remotely. If feasible, provide full equipment support. If not, give them compensation or discounts if they need to buy something for work.
Every business organization has been affected by the pandemic. Working remotely is the best option for everyone, especially in high-risk areas. Do not ignore the needs of your employees at these challenging times, and show them that their leaders care for them.