With a huge majority of the workforce now adapting to working from my home, how to keep employees motivated and productive is even more of a challenge.
We are in unprecedented times and now more than ever, we need to support and engage staff not only for productivity for businesses but to help and maintain their well being and mental health.
Managing employees remotely can be a challenge at the best of times, let alone when the situation is beyond your control, and there is the additional worry of health thrown in. Add the possibility of home schooling into the equation also and it’s no wonder staff may feel overwhelmed.
There will be some employees that are used to working remotely, maybe it was something they did previously, or maybe they did a mix of home and office. But for the majority, this will be a new experience and one which could cause apprehension and worry.
Feeling isolated and disconnected from their work colleagues and a lack of motivation could hinder any progress and affect reliability. Although it is always preferable to establish clear remote-work policies and training in advance, in times of crisis or other rapidly changing circumstances, this level of preparation may not be feasible, so we need to do all we can to aid this transition.
Communication is key
Establishing structured daily check-ins are one way to help maintain a schedule. Many successful remote managers establish a daily call with their remote employees. This could take the form of a series of one-on-one calls, if your employees work more independently from each other, or a team call, if their work is highly collaborative.
The important feature is that the calls are regular and predictable, and that they are a forum in which employees know that they can consult with you, and that their concerns and questions will be heard.
Zoom, for example, has experienced a massive surge in demand as people try to maintain some level of face-to-face contact until they can return to the office. Employers need to acknowledge that there may be some distractions on their video calls and deal with this with humour where at all possible!
Lower stress levels by offering flexibility and support. Ensure that working from home does not mean working all hours. Demonstrate to your team switching off from work is as important as setting a structure and work plan. It has been proven that to work in short chunks of work of around 45-60 minutes followed by a short break will maintain motivation and productivity.
We are at our most attentive and driven in the mornings so enabling the bulk of our work to be done at this time, will leave us feeling and accomplished and ready to take on the afternoon work with a less stressful outlook and the momentum to power through.
Keep acknowledging and recognising the efforts made-a simple email of thanks or motivating comment can never be underestimated.
If you require any assistance with workforce engagement or any other HR issues please contact us here.