More than ever before, businesses are shifting their employees to remote working as COVID-19 resurges everywhere across the country and the world. With more people working from home, this means less time spent physically together. Studies have shown the importance of human interaction as we are social beings and recent surveys conducted has highlighted that employees felt less engaged with work and isolated during this pandemic. For teams to excel, there needs to be better collaboration and relationship building, and your employees need to be happy.
Even when the pandemic is over and we can safely go back to the office, remote working is going to stay with us as more and more companies have advanced their plans towards this direction. As such, organizations need to find ways to ensure that their employees are just as engaged and connected when working from home, as they would be working in the office.
Here are a few tips on how to keep your team connected during this age of remote working so that your employees can continue to be successful:
1) Show Empathy and Support, and Provide Mental Resources
These are difficult times for everyone, and Organizations need to provide extra support for their employees. Those who pay attention to their team’s mental health and employees who are struggling and provide support and help resources find that their teams will get ahead of others as employees are what makes a company successful. Have regular check-in meetings with your staff to ensure that everything is going well at home and help address any issues when possible. If the situations are beyond what the organization can help with, provide your employees with additional resources or point them to where they can get the help they need.
2) Give Even More Flexibility for Remote Working
Working from Home is not necessarily any easier during a pandemic as the life at home is more hectic than usual as well. Let your employees know that they have more flexibility than ever before to get their work done and to manage their own time such that it fits their situation. Traditional work hours may not be the best options for those who have kids that are also at home due to shutdowns and require the attention of their parents at different times throughout the day.
3) Encourage Work-life balance
When employees bring work home, they cut into their time that is usually used to unwind after a long day of work and recharge for the next day. With remote working, work is permanently home, and people find it even hard to keep work separate from personal time. Employers must remind and urge their employees to keep the big picture in focus and that the current situation may last another few month to a year and to take necessary breaks from work so not to burn out. Whether it’s a 10-15 minutes breaks during regular working hours, or to set a 8-10 hours work limit per day, it is important that an organization communicates with their staff what the expectations are and make sure their employees keep their work-life balance for the long-run.
4) Keep Digital Communication Channels Open
The longer people work remotely, the more they crave and miss social interaction. When people were working full-time in the office, they have hours each day to interact and converse with people outside of their household and they get to share personal experiences from home with their peers at work. Nowadays, people are only seeing the same few members within their household each day and everyone already knows what is happening under the roof. That is why it is important that regular virtual meetings, chat chains, and phone calls are set for teams to continue that interaction and that it does not always have to be restricted for work-related conversations only.
5) Provide Better Equipment, Tools and Technologies
Organizations need to invest into better the equipment, tools, and technologies for their employees that enables their teams to stay connected and to perform to their highest abilities while working remotely. Employees may not have the best hardware and internet connections available at home and is due for an upgrade if they are to keep up their performance. Slow internet connects and long software load times can cause employee frustration and puts interruptions throughout the day for them.
Employees are the driving force for every business and their importance cannot be overlooked. An organization must ensure that their team is just as happy working from home with the tools they need to be successful as they would have been working in the office. If a business can achieve this, they will come out of this pandemic stronger than before and poised to achieve the goals that lie ahead of them.
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