The UK government has spoken. Unless you’re deemed an essential worker you’re going to find yourself typing away at home, perhaps alongside your partner from the dining table.
Reality sets in… If your staff are used to office banter or a good social scene, this new situation is going to mean they may need motivation to the max.
The benefits of remote working can far outweigh the negatives. Employers, for one thing, save a lot of cash as they don’t have to fork out for pensions, sick pay or holidays. People working remotely get to choose when and where they work, avoid a daily commute and spend more time with family.
Strong connections are key to sustaining your business as we battle through this pandemic. Business consultant Alessandro des Dorides shares how to make your remote work team feel more connected:
- Communication is key
Sending an email and waiting hours for a reply just isn’t going to cut it when all your staff are working from home. They’ve got to be on the phones or have an instant messenger-style app.
Staff will be more motivated if they can connect with their colleagues. This is particularly useful when they’re sounding off about a problem or looking for quick solutions.
One of the most popular remote working tools is Slack – an instant messaging tool that organises conversations into channels. These can then be organised based on your team’s needs or work locations.
- Regular video chats
Another effective way to make your remote work team feel more connected is with some face-to-face interaction. How about a quick gathering on google hangouts when you all start work? It’s a great way to see where people are up to, who is doing what and just gives you a sense of all being in it together. Ultimately, this will help them form better bonds with their co-workers.
To build even stronger connections during your weekly video meetings, don’t talk only about work. Add a personal touch – may be have a virtual pub gathering on a Friday after work and all grab a beer from the fridge.
- Recognise achievements
Show employees you care and reward them for their important role in the company. According to Forbes, praising team members can even increase productivity.
This could be an Employee of the Month award or sending out a weekly bulletin with their name mentioned in it.
- Plan socials
They may not be possible at the moment but at least staff would have something to look forward to when people are finally out and about again.
An annual retreat is a very effective way to spend real quality time together and build deep connections, as long as there is ‘free time’ for staff to relax.
It can be easy to worry about logistics and how employees will get along when they do meet up but this connection is key to the success of your business – now more than ever.