Preserving Employee Engagement When Everyone’s Working from Home (WFH)

Working at home presents challenges for many employees. With the current crisis, many people are working at home who don’t normally. Some of them may even have very good reasons not to want to work at home. On top of that, kids are not in school and everyone is under a lot of stress.

In converse, many companies are finding that work from home is a far more feasible option than they thought, and it’s possible that remote work, already rising quickly, will increase even further.

So, how do you keep your employees engaged and motivated? Here are some things to consider:

Recognize and Appreciate

Thank your employees for doing their jobs. This will go a lot further than trying to heavily monitor people to make sure they are, in fact, working. A simple thank you can go a long way. If work from home is temporary, tell them how much you appreciate them keeping up their productivity.

If you have to say something about an employee’s behavior, then couch it in positive terms. Appreciate that working from home can be difficult and instead of giving employees a hard time, try to find out what is causing them difficulties so it can be resolved.

Check In Regularly

While you should not micromanage, you definitely should check in regularly. Also encourage people to check in with their peers. Schedule regular meetings, which need not be as long as face-to-face meetings, as there tends to be less chit-chat virtually. Use video chat if possible, as it helps people stay connected.

Solicit Input

Make sure that checking in doesn’t go only in one direction. You need to get input and participation from your employees. Make sure that they feel safe speaking up; this might mean that you need to do at least the occasional one-on-one with people so as they know their privacy is respected.

You should be doing this all the time, but it’s particularly important when people may feel isolated and be missing normal, expected feedback.

Set Goals Collaboratively

Keeping everyone on the same page is harder when everyone is working from home. Setting collaborative goals and encouraging people to check in with each other on them can help keep the team working together and feeling like a team, rather than a bunch of individuals.

Again, this is something you should be doing anyway, but it’s even more important when your team is primarily remote.

Encourage Socialization

The social aspect of being in an office is surprisingly important. The time spent checking on each other, exchanging brief chats, and taking breaks together is not wasted time but is, in fact, part of the process. People who get on well with their coworkers are more engaged and productive. They are also healthier.

If people are isolated, they tend to not just have poorer mental health, but may have worse outcomes if they have a physical health crisis. Remind people that talking to their coworkers is fine, and suggest virtual “lunch dates.” Some companies run virtual happy hours over video conferencing (bring your own booze). Online book clubs or television clubs can also help bring people together.

Physical distance can interfere with the bonding process, and working at home can result in distractions that may be difficult to overcome. However, if you properly engage your remote employees they will continue to work at their best.

Keeping everyone working well from home involves, above all, putting extra effort into ensuring communication, participation, and collaboration. If you are looking for more advice on motivating remote employees or are trying to hire in this challenging time, contact Ratedly today.

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