Since the 2019 outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, many industries have seen massive transitions. Many employers are asking their employees to work from home, particularly as social distancing techniques are employed, as mass gatherings are prohibited, and employees are requested to work from home as much as possible.
In some cases, working from home is a familiar workday for employees. This is the first time that this person has telecommuted. This seemingly positive working arrangement may fade over time, causing disengaged employees. Workforce productivity and motivation are both greatly impacted when employees are disengaged.
As managers, it is our responsibility to make sure that doesn’t happen. It is important to adhere to these five steps to ensure your employees remain focused while they do remote work or work from home.
- Communication should be given a priority
Because remote employees often feel like they’re left out of the loop, they can easily become frustrated. Since this is the case, managers must be in constant communication every day. Make sure you are checking in with your employees on a daily basis to see how their working arrangement is going and to see if there is anything you can do to help them complete their jobs. It is important to be prepared to report important company news at any time.
Don’t forget that communication is a two-way street, and don’t disregard the feedback provided by your employees. At this point, the COVID-19 pandemic is still causing disruptions, and many employees may be feeling stressed or overwhelmed. If they express those concerns, consider how you can help alleviate their feelings. If you make a point of informing remote employees that they’re not alone during uncertain times, you’ll make an extra effort to connect with them.
- Set tangible goals
You should let your employees know what kind of results you’re expecting while they’re working from home. It is easier to motivate employees who know what expectations you have of them. Communicate that you want employees to be online during specific times of the day, and your employees will comply. To be sure, make sure to ask for a daily update of what they are working on.
While most employers wish to have a greater number of employees work from home when schools and daycares are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is also imperative that you recognize that not all employees will have the ideal telecommuting setup in these scenarios. Keep an open mind, be understanding, and be patient with your employees. If their duties require them to take time off, let them do so.
- Reward and appreciate excellence with regard to work
Helping employees recognize and reward each other for their hard work is critical to keeping your telecommuting workforce engaged. Rewards and recognition are two separate things. They may both aim to motivate the continued output and dedication of your employees, but they’re two different methods to achieve that goal.
For example, you could send out an e-mail that details what an employee did and why it’s exceptional. You should also consider offering an electronic gift card for a local restaurant or delivery service if you want to reward good work. While it may not be necessary for recognition to be formal or grand for it to be effective, it can be. While working from home, sending a personal message or an e-mail expressing gratitude can boost employee morale and engagement.
- Work/life balance must be supported
It’s tough for remote employees to achieve a work/life balance now. Workers may feel they need to be available 24/7, which causes unnecessary stress and, ultimately, burnout. In this way, your employees should know that making boundaries is important. Instead, they can put in their normal hours of work each day, then take a break until it’s time to get started in the morning.
- Show how collaborative your workplace culture is
As people feel like they’re part of a team, they tend to be more engaged. It can be difficult for them to buy into the company mentality when they’re working from home. You, as a manager, are responsible for making sure your employees know that even though you might not be physically present, you’re all working toward the same goal: the organization’s success.