How to keep your team engaged when working from home
Before Australia and New Zealand went into lockdown the amount of time that full-time employees spent at work with their colleagues was often more than they spent at home with their families (or so it sometimes seemed to feel).
Retaining a high level of engagement and the environment where colleagues can still chat, laugh and blow off some steam is more important than ever as it helps keep morale high which in turn helps productivity. Remote employees who are actively involved in the company life and culture are motivated by the inclusion to perform better than co-workers who don’t feel the same.
For example, in our business, we have implemented small but effective practices that we have found to be very successful with our team. Keep reading below for what we’re doing.
Managers have scheduled daily video or voice calls with their remote employees. This could be either a one one one call, if your employee works more independently, or a team call, if they work in a collective group environment. The importance here is that the calls are scheduled and regular, and they are a forum in which everyone knows they can talk to you, share any concerns, pushbacks they are having and that any questions will be addressed. This is also a great way to share the wins your team is having. If there is one thing COVID-19 has taught us its to appreciate the smalls things!
Walking meetings/catch up.
Implementing something as simple as both going for a walk while you have your meeting reaps great rewards. Heading outside for a change of scenery, some fresh air and getting the body moving a helps break up the day and reenergizes everyone to come back from the walk feeling motivated to take on whatever comes next.
We've continued our “Friday drinks” however we now do it as a group over video. (We use Hangouts for this which you can read more about here). As a business we all jump on with a wine, beer or drink of choice and chat about things non-work related - plans for the weekend, play games, show our family/pets on the screen etc.
In conclusion, working from home doesn’t need to be isolating. Give your employee the means they need to form and share their WFH culture and it’s essential that your team feel connected and that they are not alone. Ensuring there are clear goals established, strong and genuine values and a supportive environment helps your employees know that they are adding value to the business, which in turn will help their productivity soar.