COVID-19 or Corona virus as we call it is the invisible enemy attacking lives on every continent; and in every age group, race, and economic strata, disrupting the status quo of life as we know it.
To ensure the safety of employees keeping the norms of social distancing in mind amidst this pandemic, many organizations have asked their team to work remotely.
More remote work implies more challenges because of the sudden shift faced by organizations that have no prior experience of working remotely. But, the most common challenge is in establishing clear policies and keeping the employees engaged so that productivity is not hampered. Clarity on remote working policies and sustained engagement in these times will be helpful in the long run, since it may become a norm in the near future.
To help you establish a more work-from-home friendly environment for your organization, we hereby suggest 8 activities or ways in which you can ensure your employee engagement remains intact and so does your organization’s productivity amidst these hard times.
- Keep the routine going:
When employees suddenly start working away from their conventional setting, they are bound to feel a little lost and demotivated. The working style of a regular 9 to 5 employee is quite different than someone who has always worked remotely. This sudden transition may hamper the productivity of the employees. Thus, it is necessary to maintain a discipline where employees have set hours of work so that they are under a familiar work environment.
- Set meaningful goals:
While the employees are relieved from the stress of a daily commute, it can be a nightmare for managers to manage this situation. But, it doesn’t have to be this stressful. Discipline is a prime factor to make work-from-home effective. To avoid the constant distractions at home and work with full concentration, discipline is necessary.
The key to managing remote teams successfully is meaningful goal-setting by setting clear deliverables. The idea is not to set vast goals but to set short and achievable ones which keep the productivity going and give the team small wins to celebrate frequently
- Virtual Lunch/Coffee breaks:
The reason why lunch or coffee breaks are important is that it lets your employees spend some time with their colleagues and relax. Allowing such breaks is very important as it helps lighten up the mood and keep up the productivity.
However, when your employees are working from home or remotely they hardly get this chance to interact and form a connection beyond work. Hence, you can allow your employees to have some time off from their work or meetings to come together for a virtual coffee break and get involved in ice-breaking sessions and off-work networking.
- Keep the TGIF / townhall tradition alive:
It is very important to ensure robust communication between the management of the organization as well as the employees, even with the onset of the pandemic. Thus, the tradition of TGIF meetings should not be neglected where online meetings are held every Friday with the CEO to discuss the new developments and upcoming projects and then have an engaging informal session thereafter.
- Engage for fun:
As important as it is to have a constant framework for professional communication, it is equally important to have an informal structure as well. To make sure that you engage with your employees to build a connection, you can organize group movie screenings or online games with the team on off days to sustain a sense of belongingness among them. Also, in each report that needs to be done, you can add elements of fun through gamification to make work more enjoyable.
- Set up Team Health Challenges:
With the pandemic forcing employees to isolate themselves ensuring that your employees stay motivated at work depends a lot on their physical and mental wellbeing.
To promote their physical wellbeing, it can be a great time to incorporate a wellness application and share it with your employees. A mobile wellness application will enable employees to take part in various health tasks that can be easily done while staying indoors. Similarly, for the mental wellbeing, you can suggest online apps that deal with calming the brain or regulating the sleep cycle, to ensure that the employees spend their quarantine time more peacefully.
- Share knowledge and resources:
Educate and equip your workforce with the right information on COVID-19, safety tips, nutrition information, and so on. Communicate measures taken by your company during this situation. Similarly, you can also share relevant research papers or news articles that you find about the field of work of your organization and share it with the rest of the team so that they also stay in the same loop.
- Encourage online learning and upskilling:
It's a great time for employees to learn what they have always wanted to and a great time for managers to facilitate that. Therefore, you can invest in e-learning platforms from where employees will be able to learn new skills and upskill their existing skills in the extra hours that they are getting every day due to the current situation of working from home.
Adopting work-from-home practices is the most responsible way to deal with the current crisis. It is the only way of sustaining your business in a time of global crisis like this one. It is not only the role of the Top management, HR, the leaders, or managers but rather everyone’s responsibility to make sure they create a safe and efficient work-from-home environment with the optimum use of technology.
For more information on the use of technology to ensure a more engaged workforce, contact us for a free demo.