Remote work has quite suddenly become the new normal. Luckily with technology, it’s not as hard to navigate as one might assume. With Slack, Zoom, and various remote tools, your company is at your fingertips, and work is getting done efficiently. However, there are still lots of challenges that can directly affect employees and how they feel about their jobs.
The most common issues are:
- Social Isolation
So how do we keep our remote workers happy and engaged? How do we counter the issues above and support our team?
Spotlight on your Leadership.
It’s important to make sure you have the right management for your team. Managers can be very helpful in understanding which workers are more self-disciplined than others. Since some employees might feel more disconnected, they may need more support and check-ins. Management efforts should focus on bringing people together and nurturing employee needs and happiness. Make sure employee effort is recognized. Recognition is a great tool to use while employees are geographically distant, whether it’s a call out on a meeting or a message on a team-thread.
One on one check-ins with each team member are crucial and should happen much more frequently while working remotely. Give constructive feedback, positive feedback, and encouragement. Make sure they have everything they need, have a healthy remote work routine, and listen! Often front-line employees have insightful information into how systems and processes are working and if they are effective.
Encourage Communication and Collaboration.
In addition to individual check-ins, promote open communication and collaboration. Make sure employees have the tools to talk to each other on various online channels. Slack provides opportunities to create channels for specific topics and members. This way, employees who are working on a project together can have a chat specifically to discuss it. Promoting collaboration could also entail open Q&A sessions, office-hours with leadership, and meet and greets. Brainstorm discussions and topics of relevance, host company-wide team meetings, webinars, and look into professional development for your industry. These are all great hacks to keeping employees happy and help to instill a company culture virtually.
Address Non-Work-related Topics
A really impactful way to reduce feelings of loneliness and encourage a sense of belonging is to make time for social interaction. This can be through leaving extra time during calls to discuss non-work items. It could also be more organized through zoom pizza parties, happy hours, and coffee chats. Again, this creates an atmosphere of company culture and will give employees a greater sense of involvement with work.
Offer emotional support
With what’s going on in the world right now, acknowledge the stress and listen to employee concerns. Speaking about current issues will give the team an overall sense that you are there for support. Even just the simple, ‘How is working remotely going for you?’ can allow employees to feel heard and included. They may have more distractions at home than usual.
While remote work has its challenges, we encourage you to be creative with how you deal with it, create a fun remote company culture. It’s the way of the future! There are so many benefits to working remotely that make most employees very motivated, and it’s just a matter of putting policies in place that keep them extra happy and engaged at your company!