Covid-19 has forced many employees to work from home as a way to save money. From stress-free work and increased production to lack of motivation and technological equipment, work from home arrangement is not an easy or desirable task for many reasons.
So it is essential to create a supportive environment for your employees working from home, as they don’t have the same teammates they did before and can easily be isolated from the rest of the company.
11 Tips to support employees who are working from home
Undoubtedly, working from home can be a blessing and a curse for full-time employees. For many, it can offer relief from the daily stresses of commuting to an office. At the same time, other employees may feel less productive or supported if they’re not physically at an office.
This post will take you through some different strategies for making working at home - whether full-time or as a hybrid model - as effective and fulfilling as it can be so that your employees can fully succeed.
Keep Communication Strong
It’s vital that any remote job requires higher levels of communication than full-time, in-office jobs. Make sure that the team communication between remote workers and the in-house team members is transparent, frequent, and consistent. By communicating a lot with your team, you can make sure that they’re getting what they need and keeping up on their work, which lets you gauge the best way to support them while they’re working from home.
This may mean providing some extra information, some clarifications on how to do things, or even an extra pair of eyes to see their work in progress. Remember to equip your employees with proper communications tools- apps, a landline phone connection, messengers etc.
Purposeful Goal Setting
Many people like to set goals for themselves, but you must help your employees work towards clear and specific goals. Without this, they might not have any guideposts for their work, and they may feel like they’re not making progress at all.
So make sure each employee has a clear goal in mind for what they’re working on. It will make their working from home more manageable and productive.
Organize Virtual Activities and Happy Hours
Remote workers may feel like they’re unable to take part in the same workplace activities that their coworkers do for reasons like limited mobility or the inability to leave their kids.
So it’s crucial to organize virtual activities and events so they can get the same benefits. This will make the team bond stronger and engage them for upcoming tasks.
Bolster Professional & Personal Development
Remote workers likely don’t get the same amount of face-to-face professional development from their managers and colleagues. While some workers may feel that this is a limiting factor, it can be an opportunity for them to really think about what they’re doing and how to improve.
Employers can support their employees by starting remote mentoring programs that focus on connecting senior employees with more junior ones to provide guidance and advice - both for their immediate work and their careers. In doing so, mentoring is a great way to engage remote employees.
To learn more about bringing remote mentoring to your organization check out our webinar "How to Utilize Mentorship While Working from Home.”
Integrate the Latest Tech and Productivity Tools
Remote employees may want to make sure they’re getting the best tools possible to keep up with their work and stay productive from their home offices. While some of them will want to stick with the tried-and-true tools that have worked in the past, it can be important to help them understand that there are new tools out there that can help them stay on top of everything.
This might mean providing them with a set of policies or recommendations for new tech and productivity apps and websites.
Celebrate Employees’ Success
Being a working parent is stressful and it can be hard to maintain a work-life balance. If your employees are working from home and working overtime, you should do everything in your power to make sure you don’t forget to reward them. This is a simple but common practice by fully remote companies that thrive in remote working models.
The primary thing is to be aware of the stresses and challenges associated with working remotely and make sure you’re making the best effort possible to help them succeed. Otherwise, they may begin to feel like they’re not as valued or appreciated as other employees.
Regular 1:1’s But No Micromanaging
People who are remotely working are independent and don’t need much re-engagement from managers. If you try to micromanage an employee located out of the office, they might not feel as comfortable doing so, and you might be undermining their productivity.
So try and only make sure they don’t miss anything in a 1:1 meeting rather than being informed every step of the way.
Promote Dedicated Workspaces
Ensuring employees have a dedicated workspace can make a big difference in how they feel about working from home. When they don’t feel like their space is their own, they can start to feel like they’re not getting as much done as they should be.
So if you have employees who work from home, make sure you’re offering them a place to focus on the work and not get distracted.
Encourage Clients to Recognize Employees
Even if your organization has no set policy about remote work, it can be important to make individual employees feel like they’re being recognized for their hard work. This can be done by using recognition tools like employee of the month awards and other social media promotions that don’t take away from their focus on their actual work.
Moreover, if your employees directly deal with the clients, it would significantly impact their mental wellbeing if the clients are appraising them. The recognition is incredibly helpful while you are feeling low to get you back to being your best.
Offer Mental and Physical Support
While it’s imperative to encourage remote work in all areas, it can be significant for employees working from home. This might mean offering them some office supplies or even a particular set of headphones to use. Additionally, seeing a doctor if needed can be very beneficial for their health and productivity levels.
Company-sponsored covid-19 masks, tests, and flu vaccines act as positive and protective actions that can significantly affect your employees’ well-being.
By playing a part in making sure they feel safe and supported, your employees can feel like they’re in a proper environment of teamwork and collaboration.
Listen To Your Employees
If you have remote workers, you should make sure to listen to their needs and make extra efforts to understand the challenges they might face. If you’re not taking the time to listen to their concerns, they may feel unappreciated or unheard, contributing to a hostile work environment.
Don’t expect them to solve your problems. If an employee is working from home, it can be tempting for managers or leaders in other departments to rely on these individuals as problem-solvers.
The bottom line
Remote work is becoming more and more common, and it can be a valuable tool for companies trying to cut costs or recruit employees from faraway places. Just keep the tips mentioned above in mind to make sure you’re maximizing the advantages of remote work without creating any additional problems.
One of the main challenges in this situation is to make sure that everyone can enjoy working from home in a stress-free environment. It’s important to build a culture where remote workers feel appreciated and respected by their teammates and other employees.