Forty-two percent of the American workforce currently do their jobs from home. And that figure probably won’t change for much of 2021.
Although remote work has become the new normal, many businesses and employees are still adjusting to it. Perhaps your company or team has yet to fully transition to — and succeed on — the home front.
There are ways to make the most out of working remotely, though. Here are the best ways to use your resources and improve your team’s experience now to make for a better future.
Continue to Highlight Your Mission
When your team’s together, it’s easy to remember why. But your employees might start to feel a bit disenfranchised when they don’t get to work side by side every day.
It’s vital to many of today’s employees that they work toward something, an overarching mission. Millennial staffers especially need to know that that their employer has values that match their own.
So, make your company’s mission and goals easily accessible. Add them to the company handbook or website so that your team can easily revisit them and feel recharged in their goals.
The leadership has to stay focused on these missions, too. That way, the work you do from home will continue to reflect your shared goals and continue to inspire the team.
Keep Everything Transparent
As the pandemic progresses, companies everywhere have suffered and even shuttered their doors.
Your employees are understandably nervous that the same will happen to their jobs. But don’t think that hiding the company’s prospects will make things easier for them.
Instead, create a more transparent environment for your team. For some companies, this means sending out a regular newsletter to keep everyone aware of what’s happening. Share the good and the bad, both operationally and financially.
Your newsletter can do more than just detail the business’s wins and losses. You can use it to highlight team accomplishments and milestones, too. If clients send over compliments, you can share them in the newsletter, too, to keep morale high.
Maintain Face Time
On that note, you should keep in touch with your team, and not just via email and instant messages.
If you haven’t yet, start video chatting with employees, both in groups and individually. Even though you can discuss projects and progress in emails, do it in person as often as you can. These conversations will remind your staffers that they aren’t alone — even if you’re working far apart, you’re still working together.
On that note, managers and executives should make a point to bring the entire company together, too. It’s possible to helm a remote all hands meeting. Hearing overarching prospects, achievements and goals from those at the top will be a welcomed activity for your team.
Set Core Hours
One of the positives of remote working is that your team can sign on at a time that suits them. They can leave their desks for a few hours during the day if necessary. And they can come back and wrap up their hours when their mid-day appointments end.
But if everyone on your team works at all hours of the day, then they can start to feel disjointed from the team. Not only that, but working solo means that your staffers won’t be able to communicate and get the necessary information from one another as needed throughout the day.
So, bring your team together by setting core hours during which everyone has to be online. This doesn’t have to be the entire day, of course. You can block out a few hours in the morning or afternoon so that everyone’s available and working together.
On that note, bosses and managers should have their hours visible to team members, too. Share your calendar so your employees know when they can reach out to you for help.
Chat For the Sake of It
When you were in the office, you probably made small talk with your colleagues throughout the day. Sure, it doesn’t count toward productivity quotas, but these conversations bond you together. They give you the inspiration to work as a team because you feel like one.
This type of interaction is surely lacking when you work from home, though. So, during your virtual meetings, make a point to chat and catch up as you would in the office.
Would you celebrate birthdays in person? If so, make a point to highlight them on a team chat session. Schedule a virtual happy hour, for example, if you want to highlight such a milestone.
Make sure you call out your teammates for completing big projects or making noteworthy sales. Again, these accolades would be celebrated in the office — why not toast to them online?
Always Have an Open Ear
Working from home isn’t easy for everyone. Your colleagues with kids, for example, may be struggling to balance work and childcare. Or perhaps someone they know — or someone in their house — has COVID-19, making it tough to concentrate on work.
As a leader, you should make it clear that your door is always open, even if it is a virtual one. You should be there for your team always, but especially during this transitional time. If they’re struggling, help them come up with ways to surmount their obstacles and succeed once again.
Be lenient with time off, too. If someone unexpectedly needs an afternoon or day to decompress, don’t hesitate to give them the time. They will come back clear-headed and better able to work — and they’ll want to work hard for a company that values their mental and physical health.
Make Remote Work As Easy As Possible
Remote work isn’t the norm, but it’s what we have for now. So, enact these six ideas to make it better for everyone — including yourself. Your team will feel inspired and connected, a sentiment that will surely carry over into the workplace when you can go back.
Be sure to check back with us for all of the latest news and updates until then.