During the COVID-19 outbreak, many companies are urged to let their employees to work from home. While some companies already have employees working remotely from time to time, this style of working leaves many working away from the office for the first time. What happens is that people can easily fall victim to “out of sight, out of mind” syndrome. Here are 5 ways employers can do to keep them engaged.
Establish periodic check-ins
Be it in the form of one-on-one calls or a team call, managers need to establish a daily call with their remote employees. The important thing to note is that the calls must be regular and open in the sense that employees know that they can consult with their managers freely on various concerns.
Provide platforms for effective communication
Email alone is inadequate. Companies can explore various tele-conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Slack, Skype, Teams, etc. Video conferencing can also provide participants visual cues that they would have if they were face-to-face, reducing the sense of isolation amongst employees.
Create opportunities to promote wellbeing
Managers can structure ways for employees to interact socially to boost their wellbeing. For instance, organise a virtual pizza party where pizzas are delivered to all team members at the same team of a video conference or throw virtual office parties where employees can hang out and drink together. Managers can also get creative by setting a virtual team fitness day where team members can work out together to online fitness programmes. Kick things up with a virtual team fitness challenge!
Offer encouragement and emotional support
In the context of a sudden shift to remote work, managers need to acknowledge uncertainties, listen to employees’ concerns, and empathize with their struggles. Even a customary question like “How is this remote work situation working out for you so far? Are you coping well?” can extract information that you might not otherwise hear. Let their concerns be the centre of this conversation.
Define goals and emphasis on what is produced
Remote employees require a clear direction of what is expected in terms of objectives and company goals. If expectations are clear and mutually agreed upon, it helps to bring the entire remote working arrangement into clearer focus. It is also vital that employees are not pressured into producing work in a strict schedule as some have family commitments and perform better in the evening.