Keeping your team happy when they’re all working from home requires some planning.
Managers and business owners traditionally develop their leadership skills while working with people who are in the same building.
Now there’s less casual conversation and pretty much all interactions are virtual, bosses need to come up with fresh ways to keep up the morale of their staff.
Here are a few things to keep in mind
When working remotely, some people get worried about bothering colleagues and wasting their time. With so many added pressures outside of work, more and more people are thinking twice before setting up calls unless there is a good reason for them to do so.
This is a huge contrast to many office environments which hum with the constant buzz of people talking.
It’ll pay off to foster an online environment where conversations between your team can flow as naturally as possible.
People are in a whole variety of different situations when working from home.
While some are kept busy at their large home with kids and an active social life, others may be stuck in a house share or small apartment; and previously relied on working in an office for most of their social interactions.
Make time to arrange team calls that everybody can attend and take part in.
You could arrange a weekly quiz, virtual drinks after work, or even a staff book club. If you use your imagination you’ll come up with many ways to keep your team interacting with each other as they work remotely.
Encourage people to start setting up groups for different topics they’re interested in. Maybe add a section on the staff intranet page to encourage people to make these groups available to anyone who is interested in joining the conversation.
If you notice somebody who reports to you has a significant change in behavior, reach out to them to check they’re ok. Don’t just ignore it.
If something’s wrong, there may be something you can do. It may be a case of pointing them in the right direction for specialist help with whatever issue they’re facing.
More than ever, people experiencing difficulties when working from home don’t know where to turn for help. It’s not as simple as knocking on their manager’s door or popping into HR for advice.
Maintaining a flexible and compassionate approach to work is important during this pandemic as your team adjust to new lifestyles and new ways of working.
A great way to boost morale is to offer your staff opportunities to learn new skills.
As well as giving them new enthusiasm for their work and fancy new certificates, offering your staff training courses will also give your business a more qualified team.
It’s an investment worth making.
When working from home, it can be easy to forget when the work is meant to stop.
Without the physical commute between the office and the home, turning off from work can be tricky if you have a lot on.
Don’t let your staff burn out. It’s not good for business and can be avoided by sharing the stance from the top and encouraging a work/life balance.