Here’s how to help your staff stay motivated once you’ve made remote working a permanent feature.
Remote working has been the norm for many businesses for around a year now. And for thousands of organisations it’ll be a few more weeks at least before office life can resume. Chances are, employees are beginning to feel the effects of this forced isolation combined with pandemic stress, and the risk of burnout is high.
As an employer, it’s your job to ensure that motivation levels stay high among your staff. If you’re worried that your team members are suffering under the current restrictions, and that their work is suffering as a consequence of this, then here are a few ways to try and keep morale high.
Set strict boundaries on work hours
There is a clear line between work time and rest time when you work in an office; employees can walk out the door and leave the day’s work behind them. However, the same boundaries aren’t present when it comes to remote working. There’s no physical boundary between work and home, as the home is now also the office.
It’s important to remind your staff when they start work and when they finish, and to encourage them not to commit to work outside these times. Tell them it’s ok to switch off email notifications after work, and try to avoid contacting them about work when they’re supposed to enjoying their free time.
While working remotely, you’ll never be able to fully recreate the easy comradery and conversation of the office environment. You aren’t seeing your staff every day, but this only increases the importance of making the effort to check in regularly.
It’s easy to let days or even weeks pass by without having a proper conversation with your staff outside of passing on tasks and feedback, but a small gesture can go a long way. Take the time to open up communications with and between your staff.
Chances are your staff are finding it lonely to sit in isolation all day pinging off emails, so ask them how they’re doing and how they’re feeling.
Provide regular feedback
It’s probably becoming apparent that communication is key to motivation during this period of forced isolation, and feedback is no exception to this rule. Although you aren’t seeing employees regularly, you still need to provide feedback in order to make them feel as though they are providing value to the business. This is also another way to help your team members feel more emotionally involved in your company, which in turn can improve staff retention rates and stop you becoming a revolving door business.
It’s hard to maintain motivation when the only person you’re seeing at work is yourself, so remind your staff that their efforts contribute to a wider business even when they aren’t seeing that business day in and day out.
A simple way to do this is with rewards. These can take many forms: bonuses, time off, gifts and even flexibility of working day. However you decide to show your appreciation for your staff’s efforts, it will help them feel respected. It will also make them feel more like part of a team, which is crucial during these remote working times as research by Gallup reveals that employees who are feeling burnt out are 2.6 times more likely to be looking for a new job.