The virtual landscape is vast with virtual meetings, real-time presentations, and online instruction it seems as if we are living our lives and working on virtual platforms for most of our day. Working from home can be satisfying, but you may miss the comradery of being amongst your co-workers.
Working from home is now a requirement for many industries for the foreseeable future. Meeting employee social and communications needs is important. How do you create a platform that still allows workers to connect, share ideas and provide support to your overall personal?
From an employer or manager’s perspective, the working from home situation may pose a challenge when it comes to employee morale, mental health, and well-being. Meeting employee socialization and communications needs throughout the days, weeks, and months can and has been a tremendous undertaking. However, with a plan in place, you can help your employees stay productive and connected.
- Communicate expectations for employees to be responsive and available during set office hours – Make it clear that staff must be working usual established hours. They have to participate in calls and meetings and be held accountable for work needed to be done.
- Conduct performance meetings to address work projections, collaboration, progress, goals, and ways to improve – Let employees work together in teams to complete projects/assignments, promote effective communication to delegate tasks, and be aware of deadlines to meet. Teams can then share insight for improvements that can be made for future projects.
- Have a conversation with employees to get feedback of their concerns – Listen to what they have to say and create an atmosphere where their input is encouraged.
- Collaborate with employees – This includes regular check-in calls, virtual meetings, or instant messaging platforms for effective communication between management and staff.
- Focus on growth potential and performance goals – Take some time to have a conversation with employees individually to discuss plans for future growth with the company and any short-term and long-term goals.
- Keep micromanaging to a minimum – This will cause tension between management and staff and hinders job performance.
- Instill trust in your employees – Trust is the foundation for all successful relationships. Believe in your employees that they will get the job done.
- Schedule weekly Lunch and Learns where staff can make presentations about areas of expertise – This will let coworkers learn more about each other, their experience, and their skills, which can lead to more effective collaboration.
- Set aside time to schedule breaks – Encourage employees to take lunch breaks and 15-minute breaks throughout the day to keep energy levels up and prevent exhaustion.
- Keep employees informed with an internal newsletter to communicate company news, staff achievements, or recognitions – This will keep employees in the loop of any updates around the office and will elevate morale between coworkers.
Remember that each company is different. Make sure to customize a plan that works for all your employees and aligns with the current environment. It will be difficult to continue with the sustained work from home scenario, so keep these tips in mind to maintain the company culture and provide that extra boost of motivation for your employees.