Keep Remote Workers Happy And Motivated
In the age of the coronavirus pandemic, businesses everywhere are doing their part to social distance. This is not only imperative for the safety of your employees but the communities they reside in. With that, we’ve seen several companies allow their employees to work from home.
Working from home solves a lot of the problems a highly infectious virus can bring to the office. No need to put up barriers, space desks, or wear masks for 8 hours a day. But it does create a new set of obstacles that your company may not be prepared for.
Below are some tips that can be used to not just get the most out of your employees, but for them to enjoy this new experience.
Provide the Tools
We’d love to hand our employees a laptop and send them on their way. But it’s not as simple as that. Many of your employees may not have homes set up for remote work. Be it too small or lacking the essential supplies to work effectively.
This is a good time to work with each employee individually to see what can be done to make their time at home as efficient as possible. Perhaps it involves providing an office chair, an external mouse, or a headset. With a few hundred dollars, you can increase their efficiency.
Try Flexible Hours
Flexible hours are largely going to depend on the job that is being done and if working during certain hours is a necessity. But if your company is in a situation where task completion is more flexible, pass that on to your employees.
A recent MIT study showed that offering flexible work hours increases morale in the workforce. Employees are happier and remain with the company. They are also more open to taking on extra hours when needed.
This is important during a time like this. With schools closed, parents are dealing with homeschooling and life changes. Letting them shift their schedule around to fit their needs will not only help you but create a happier, more efficient employee.
Check on Mental Health
While many employees will jump at the chance to work from home, some mental issues come along with it. Primarily the feeling of isolation which can lead to depression. And as we’ve learned, depression reduces productivity and quality of life for your employees.
The first step is spotting the signs. This can include irritability and loss of interest in aspects of work that they normally would be fine with. A change in their sleep cycles or a sudden loss in confidence. Without professional training, this is a tough one to spot. But do your best to look for changes in behavior and don’t be afraid to engage in some small talk.
To be proactive, recommend employees get out of the house for walks or trips to the park. Encourage them to take the laptop outside for an afternoon to bask in the sun. Or just let them have a few days off to clear their head.
There may be a sense of holding off on promotions and raises during this crisis. But that’s a sure-fire way of killing motivation within your remote workforce. Let them know that just because they aren’t in an office every day, their work still matters.
And if promotions are on hold due to financial reasons, make sure you communicate when exceptional work has been done by an employee.
Include Everyone You Can
When teams get broken up due to remote working, it can lead to some employees feeling alienated. Being left off important calls or meetings can make them feel like outsiders. You must spot when this is happening and correct it before it becomes an issue.
Schedule One-on-One Talks
There are a lot of things that can be missed through e-mail and internet chat. While they make an efficient form of communication, you miss out on the personal touch.
George Kepnick, owner of a custom air freshener company with workers around the United States says, “Once a week I set up individual voice calls to see where everyone is at. It allows me to spot issues early and let everyone in the company know I value their input.”
Send Out Branded Products
Working in an office allows you to feel like you’re part of the company. There’s usually a big logo on the wall, marketing materials strewn about, and a sense of who you’re working for. But at home, none of that exists.
This is a good time to send out some swag. Mail everyone a t-shirt, pens, mugs, and other goodies with the company logo on it. Not only does this let them know you appreciate them, but it makes them feel like they’re working for your company. It’s a cheap and effective tool.
Encourage Off-Topic Conversations and Activities
One of the downsides of working remotely is losing that time we spend chatting with our co-workers about the happenings in the world. Showing off a funny YouTube video or discussing last night’s sporting events for instance. It’s a way to bond and create great working relationships.
So instead of tamping down on employees doing this, encourage it at times. Create some off-topic channels in Slack or start a group email where everyone can chat. Set up an office football pool or Secret Santa that can keep that watercooler vibe going from home.
Trust Your Employees
If you don’t trust an employee to work from home, they probably shouldn’t be with the company. With that said, show your trust in the employees that you do have faith in. Don’t constantly prod or accuse them of not working hard enough. And avoid the urge to micromanage. This creates a sense of anxiety and stress that your employees don’t need.
Why go through all this trouble?
After all this, you may be asking why bother going through all this? The answer is to keep a sense of normalcy as your company navigates unprecedented times in the corporate world. Keeping employees happy and working hard during this crisis can be the difference in your business surviving, or being another statistic.
© New To HR