Tips for looking after your team while working remotely
No one could have predicted that 2020 would see the world’s office workers switch hot desking for home working.
And while you and your team probably enjoyed the extra time at home initially, as this temporary solution becomes more our normal way of life, many may struggle to balance this new lifestyle and might end up feeling detached.
That’s why many businesses are turning their attention to employee wellbeing.
Our Future Ready Report finds as many as 90% of all businesses are taking steps to support their employees during this difficult time, such as adopting new technologies to help overcome the challenges of remote working and accommodating flexible working hours.
When you look at the hierarchy of needs, it’s no surprise many people are struggling in the current working environment.
Here’s some different ways you can help your employees stay happy and focused.
Be mindful of different personality types
Everyone is different. Some colleagues prefer an early start, whilst others work better in the evening. Some may react well to video calls, some people prefer to email.
It’s hard to tailor to everyone’s needs but making notes about your team’s preferences is incredibly important if you want to support them mentally and get the most out of them moving forward.
Understand demands outside of work
In addition to learning about your team’s different personalities, it’s also important to try and understand their personal situations and demands.
Everyone has a different daily routine and at home those differences are heightened.
Try to keep up with how their lives are evolving outside of work – do they have young children that need picking up from school? Are they caring for an elderly relative who is shielding? Or perhaps they’re a young professional who lives in a flat share with five others who have very different working hours.
Working with experts to provide seminars on a variety of topics such as fitness or nutrition, can go a long way right now – as well as offering discounts on meditation apps like Headspace or Calm.
On top of this, encourage people to take mental health days or annual leave so that they have some time to rest and recharge and spend time with loved ones.
How about blocking out time in their calendar so they can sit down and have lunch with their family, or so they have time in their day to organise their home life, like popping to the supermarket?
But most of all, let your employees know that you’re there to listen and remind them regularly that they can talk to you.
How to be social when you’re working remotely
Getting to know your colleagues through work social events can be great for team morale and is essential to most people.
Take time in your regular catch-ups to not just discuss the latest marketing report, but to break up the day with ‘water-cooler conversations’. Or better yet, organise optional fun activities such as team drinks or a lunchtime quiz. You could even ask a crafty colleague to teach an art class or start up a book club. Anything that will bring people together and encourage those social interactions.
Recognising hard work
Many businesses had remote working policies in place before the pandemic. But there is a huge difference between working from home occasionally and remote working for an extended period of time.
Sending your colleagues additional office equipment is only going to go so far to alleviate this incredibly different way of life. Small things like a little ‘thank you’ can go a long way in recognising their extreme efforts over the last few months.
This can be a genuine ‘thank you for your hard work’ over a video call which is always nice to hear, but perhaps think of ways you can reward them for their dedication. This could be:
Posting them thoughtful care packages sourced from local suppliers
Sending them a voucher for a Friday night takeaway
Making use of the ever-growing letterbox gifts available
And if budgets are tight:
Apps like Touchnote allow you to easily send personalised postcards to individuals