Due to the pandemic, most employees are working from home. However, many of these employees are not prepared for full-time work from home. Here are some ways you can help support workers that may be new to working away from the office.
Give them the technology and tools they need
Video and messaging tools like Skype and Zoom are more common than ever in the workplace, but these tools can be utilized to allow remote employees to meet ‘face-to-face’, even if they are not in the same location. Encouraging everyone to use the video features can increase personal connection and help working from home feel less isolating.
Set clear goals about communication and expectations
Setting clear goals and expectations can help manage the stress of working from home. Let them know you trust them to do their work. Schedule regular video meetings for teams so they can communicate with each other and make sure everyone is on the same page. Feeling out of the loop can be extremely demotivating and can also cause anxiety in workers that are used to frequent in-person collaboration.
Stick to these regular meetings and avoid micro-managing
For supervisors that are not used to managing remote workers, it can be challenging not knowing exactly what your team is up to at all times. However, it is important to demonstrate that you trust them to get the job done.
Respect work-life balance
If everyone on your team is now working remotely, it can often be a struggle to separate work-life from their home-life. It is important to set clear expectations about hours you expect them to be working, what flexibility might be OK and that you do not expect them to go beyond their regular.
Appreciate everyone’s unique situation
Working from home can be different for everyone. Maybe some employees have room for a dedicated office or workspace. Others may live in a studio apartment without much room for their work life to invade their living space. If they are working at home due to the virus, maybe their children are home as well. This can be difficult, and you should have some empathy for everyone’s situation.
The Takeaway: Support and Appreciation goes a long way
The most important thing to takeaway from this is that your employees should feel supported (tech tools, clear communication) and appreciated (with clear boundaries, trust them to do their jobs).
You can let them know their work and effort during these difficult times is appreciated. Maybe send them a gift or other token of appreciation. Or maybe some branded merchandise that can help them be more productive while at-home. These types of signs of appreciation can let your employees know that you care and understand that they are working hard.