The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many businesses to transition their staff to remote workers. Many employees and companies have struggled to adapt due to the sudden changes that were required earlier this year. While multiple organizations quickly realized that they could benefit from having employees operate from home offices, others have found it more challenging to deal with the switch.
After spending long periods quarantined and working from home, productivity and general morale can take a serious hit. Many employees are having to take care of their families while holding down a full-time job. With such few outlets to escape to and even less time with their busy lives, working from home can get overwhelming quite easily.
With uncertainty lingering regarding the coming months, it’s important for employers and management to prioritize the morale and happiness of their staff. On a humane and professional level, it’s much more beneficial to have happy and productive employees showing up for work every day.
If your staff is facing another sustained period of working from home, here are four tips for keeping them happy.
- Be open and available
In stressful times, it’s important for your staff to know that management is there to support them. In such unprecedented circumstances, stress levels are heightened. By being open and communicative with employees, they can work comfortably in the knowledge that their employer is looking out for them.
A good way of showing that you’re available is by setting a virtual open-door policy. Encourage staff to set-up Zoom calls, phone calls, or Google Hangout meetings.
- Demonstrate appreciation
Everyone wants to feel appreciated at work. In a workplace setting, it’s quite easy for people to feel appreciated. Whether it’s through face-to-face conversation, body language, or the general office atmosphere, there is a lot more clarity than when you’re working remotely.
Therefore, it’s vital that you make a concerted effort to show your appreciation for the hard work of your staff. This makes your employees feel valued, particularly when working from home.
- Organize fun virtual activities
The major downside of working remotely is that you miss out on the social aspect of work. Many employees will find remote work lonely, so you must encourage them to engage socially in a virtual setting.
Setting up online coffee breaks or lunches is a great way to socialize. Alternatively, you could organize a virtual staff party. Set a fun theme and plan some games or activities. A virtual photo booth is a fun way of marking the occasion, and it’s very easy to set up.
- Allow employees to be flexible
Although people are confined to their homes for the majority of their day, a lot of your employees will have taken on new responsibilities. Whether they’re taking care of elderly relatives or their children, performing regular hours might be a challenge.
Allow employees to be flexible with their work schedule. Plan important meetings in advance to ensure people can make them.
Not only will this boost happiness amongst staff, but it is also likely to improve productivity and performance levels.