As restrictions began to lift following the first COVID wave in the UK/Ireland, some businesses tried to get back to the office while others continued working remotely. Unfortunately, Europe is experiencing a second wave of the coronavirus and new restrictions are flooding in already.
Businesses that returned to the office or re-opened their doors may find that it’s back to remote work once again. Companies that continued working remotely full-time may wonder if there is any end in sight. Either way, the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we work, probably permanently. One thing’s for sure; it’s crucial for employers to continue to boost morale for their employees in this new normal.
Tips to help you support your employees
When businesses first transitioned to home working, many companies saw their productivity levels rise. Despite the challenges brought on by the pandemic, many employees were content working at home. Benefits like less commute time, more time with families, and increased flexibility made the work-from-home life bearable. However, as a “temporary fix” becomes increasingly permanent, productivity and positivity may suffer.
Employees have settled into a routine in recent months, becoming more familiar with remote working. The daily distractions and challenges of a traditional office environment have given way to unique issues brought on by working from home. Cabin fever has set in for many, distractions at home have increased, and some employees miss communicating in person. No matter the challenges, keep reading for our tips to continue supporting your remote working employees.
1. Provide the right equipment
In recent months, companies have scrambled to find laptops and mobile devices for their employees, creating temporary setups to keep productivity moving forward. As the pandemic stretches on and remote work remains, you need to ensure your employees have the hardware and software they need for success in their role.
Are your employees struggling to stay productive because they lack the right laptop or software? As a Microsoft Solution Provider, we can help you understand the best solutions and services needed for your business. There are lots of options available to facilitate remote working, and you should not have to sift through it on your own.
2. Maintain communication
Balancing the right level of communication is difficult, especially with remote work. You need your employees to feel connected, valued, and supported. However, checking in too often can make your employees feel un-trusted. The right balance will be different for every organisation or team.
One of the best ways to create a balance is by setting a regular communication cadence. If your employees expect conversations or check-ins at specific times, they can be prepared with questions, comments, accomplishments, or challenges. You should also reiterate to your team that you are available whenever needed; it might seem like repetition, but It gives them an invitation to discuss any issues. They should feel welcome to contact you outside of regularly scheduled meetings if they need assistance.
3. Supply motivation
Most in-person conferences, workshops, and classes have been cancelled for the year. It can be easy for employees to feel stuck in a rut and lack motivation. Without clear paths to grow professionally, people can quickly become discouraged. Seek out ways to ensure employees are motivated and reminded of their progression opportunities. Setting aside time for personal development, career development, and professional studying can provide extra motivation and encouragement for your team. Your company will benefit from the new skills they learn, and employees get to remain excited about the future of their careers.
4. Plan for the long term
As COVID-19 restrictions drag on, employees may begin to wonder if life will ever return to what they used to know. Show your team that you are considering their mental wellness by creating a long-term plan and sharing it with your organisation. Be sure to include any upcoming rollouts for equipment or software. Also, schedule times to reevaluate your plan and receive feedback from your employees.
5. Show your employees you care
Times are tough, and everyone is struggling in their own way; both personally and professionally. Recognising hard work can go a long way towards showing your employees you care. There are many ways to prove to your employees that you value them. From small gifts to ending the workday a little early when possible, you can show appreciation for your team.
While remote work comes with many benefits, it is not without challenges. Shifting to remote work can be difficult, especially if employees are not used to working from home. Ensure your team is equipped with the tools and services they need to successfully maintain a long-term remote work arrangement.