Get Your Team Charged Up for Remote Working!
Working from home over a prolonged period brings its own unique challenges. As we hear about the spread of COVID-19 across the world, it is important to assess not only the physical and health consequence of the pandemic but to anticipate the subsequent emotional impact it will have on the overall wellbeing of employees.
Humans are naturally oriented toward other humans and are inherently built for social connection. Socialization plays a key role in both, individual and societal learning, development, and even survival. In times like these, traditional workplaces have been substituted with virtual ones, triggering anxiety, and emotional isolation for many.
Organizations should prioritize the health and safety of their employees during these times and must ensure employees feel connected, supported, and informed during this difficult phase of remote work.
The following are some initiatives for improving employee engagement during extended periods of remote work:
Sharing information: The need for information is even higher due to the fear and the uncertainty right now. Business leaders need to focus on opening communication channels to regularly share ways for employees to cope, build resilience, and care for themselves and their families.
Leveraging communication and social media channels: Technology today allows managers to be in constant touch with their employees and support them. Using internal communication channels and social media platforms allow the workforce to keep connected with team members while working remotely.
Understanding employees’ needs and implementing policies that reflect those needs: Engaging in an honest dialogue with employees to understand the support they need is key. Employee surveys and regular interactions with managers to talk about non-work related issues can help identify the emotional and social needs of the team, which need to be then implemented into effective policies.
Ensuring employees that they have resources available: Assuring employees have the necessary resources at their disposal to help them through such periods builds trust. Sometimes it’s not easy to reach out for help, organizations can have regular webinars with specialists to help employees navigate WFH transition, cope with uncertainty, and address any other issues they might be facing.
Managers need to be more empathetic: Managing people remotely means managers need to be sensitized to be more empathetic to the needs of employees, while also ensuring productivity. For example, Initiating virtual pieces of training for managers to help support their teams, encouraging the use of visual formats rather than phone calls to have regular team check-ins will ensure that employees are adjusting to the new rhythm of WFH even at times of ambiguity and change.
Organizing regular activities: Fun activities, games such as videos of how others are coping with remote working helps others feel a sense of community. Regular talks by experts and motivational coaches, activities like virtual Yoga Sessions to help employees stay calm, focused, and feel connected while they WFH can be great activities.
The health and well-being of employees are the greatest assets and in times like these, organizations must focus on social connection and engagement and must fight this pandemic together without isolating the workforce.