Work from home engagement
The workplace is constantly evolving. Where the norm was once rows of cubicles and assigned seating arrangements, we are now seeing many companies adapting more comprehensive work from home or telecommuting initiatives and hotelling office organization.
As we experience daily uncertainty with the COVID-19 pandemic, the need for a flexible work environment is imperative to the health and well-being of your associates and your business. Working from home offers your team that flexibility and an element of peace of mind throughout this challenging situation, but for those employees who are accustomed to working within an environment that fosters regular team interaction and collaboration, an extended work from home stint could potentially result in dampened morale and a decrease in engagement.
While it is a stressful time for everyone, there are tactics that can be used to help improve associate engagement in at-home work environments and ensure that your team continues to collaborate regularly.
1. Give your employees a tutorial on successful work from home environments.
It is key to separate the home space from the workspace as much as possible. The working environment has a lot to do with maintaining focus and productivity throughout the day, and your team will do better within an uncluttered space that is away from distractions like the television or a communal area in the home. A separate space also allows them to properly leave work at the end of the day, and focus on loved ones and non-work activities. You can help your team prepare their space by setting them up with the tools they are going to need through the day. The right work from home essentials will help them get the ideas flowing!
2. Schedule weekly one-on-one virtual meetings with your direct reports/manager.
The current situation is unprecedented and beyond the challenges of transitioning to full-time telecommuting, there is the potential for stress to become a factor as well. It is important to check-in regularly to make sure that your team is coping well and to demonstrate your thoughtfulness and concern for their well-being. Send them a wellness package to help them make time for self-care, or consider a wellness journal and add a subscription to a meditation app.
3. Encourage your associates to take virtual coffee breaks with their colleagues!
You could even schedule random 15-minute pairings throughout the week to help your employees connect. By engaging in positive interaction, it mimics the in-office culture that is missing in a work from home environment and it allows your team to associate the telecommuting experience with more than just business-related communication. Send out mugs with sayings that are completed by pairing with another mug, encouraging fun coffee breaks and collaboration!
4. Urge your employees to take advantage of live video within their virtual meetings to simulate the face-to-face experience of in-person meetings.
Working remotely can be isolating at times, and something as simple as seeing the friendly face of a colleague can make a huge difference in creating a positive environment. To help keep virtual meetings engaging, consider a virtual meeting kit. You could even include a custom notebook with a tip-in page that shares top tips on how to host successful internal and external conference calls.
5. Introduce daily or weekly virtual challenges in your company’s online communication platform or digital message board.
Introduce daily or weekly virtual challenges in your company’s online communication platform or digital message board.
LinkedIn® Talent Blog, “4 Ways You Can Give Your Remote Workforce a Sense of Togetherness”.
Harvard Business Review, “6 Ways to Weave Self-Care into Your Workday”.