The considerable impact of COVID-19 has seen lots of businesses, where possible, introduce remote working for employees. Of course, this comes with share of challenges as employers figure out the logistics of sending a workforce home. A side effect of this, possibly overlooked, is employee morale.
We’re getting to the point where the novelty of working from home is probably starting to wear off. It’s not remote working under normal circumstances, after all. Other social interactions have been removed too, and for some this is a real struggle.
Morale and motivation are huge problems for many of us, particularly if we’re not used to working remotely. Sure, some people find their morale and productivity is actually far higher, but that’s not universal. We look at some ways that employers can help keep up morale for locked down remote workers.
Flexibility around working hours
If you’re continuing to operate the business, then you still need to consider availability when customers expect it, such as normal working hours. Where possible though, try to take into account the changes in working environment.
Employees are not just carrying out normal duties but at home. Their families are also home with them. Parents of young children will have their attention divided, whilst those in house shares have their own problems to solve about internet usage.
If you can, try to relax the working hours somewhat or even better, let people choose their own hours. This might be difficult, particularly for some industries, but if you can relax the structure a bit to help out, this will definitely boost morale.
Set up informal communication channels
If you have always relied on email to do business, it might be time to find an alternate method of communicating with team members. Many employees will feel a bit more comfortable with an instant messaging app to chat with other team members or to ask their boss a quick question.
It also helps with the social aspect of working with colleagues. The day can be somewhat intense without the water cooler chats that keep everyone motivated, and pulling together as a team.
Try apps like Slack or Skype. Slack allows you to set up different channels for talking points, such as one for each active project.
Find a good balance for virtual meetings
If your staff are being disrupted from their work to spend 30-60 minutes on a video meeting that could have been an email, you might be doing doing more harm than good for morale and productivity.
That being said, this doesn’t mean you should go no-communication with your employees. Look at what you normally do under normal working conditions, and find the balance on frequency, duration and style of your video meetings.
If you’re unsure, ask your employees what they think and listen to the feedback. Some people might love video calls, some might hate them. It’s hard to find something that keeps everyone happy but it’s important to try and find a balance.
How are you finding employee morale for remote workers? Do you have any tips on keeping your remote team happy? Let us know in the comments.
About The Author
Forensics graduate-turned copywriter and blogger. I love turning complex topics into easy to understand, yet engaging pieces of content.