Remote work can be very daunting. Having to work from home can be a suffocating and challenging prospect that can leave many fighting feelings of frustration and isolation. As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, more and more companies are needing to move to online forms of communication. The transition from a social work environment to an independent at-home setting has disrupted many employees’ work-life balance. With the majority of companies’ workforce having to be moved online, a new normal must be reached. 2020 has shown itself to be a challenge, but that doesn’t mean your work life has to suffer!
Psychology has taught us that humans are inevitable social creatures that thrive off of human interaction, and without it we are faced with an uncertain reality. For any community to flourish, there must be a sense of belonging. In order to foster a positive company culture there must be a strong presence of morale, genuine collaboration, and inclusivity. With the right strategy, you can mitigate the negative effects of remote work and restore balance to your team.
Ready to arm your team with the right tools for working remotely? We can help with that.
Accessibility Is Key
According to a study done by Slack, 85% of employees want to feel closer to their remote colleagues. Many employees cherish the professional relationships that they have made and regard it as an essential component of their work environment.
Flexibility was one of LinkedIn’s 2019 Global Talent Trends, and is an essential quality of businesses that are maintaining a strong, collaborative team dynamic, despite working remotely. While the traditional 9-5 work schedule may be alive and well, more thought must be put into fostering community to keep employees connected and motivated while working at home.
Keeping a company’s social community engaged takes strategy and motivation. Below we list a few ways in which you can grow community while working remotely.
5 Virtual Community Tips
1. Small Talk: Not all communication during remote work times has to be work-related. The coffee break chats and water cooler moments may not be a physical possibility at the current time, but you can still stay connected and use professional apps like Slack, GitLab, and Google Hangouts to stay connected with work friends. Send over a funny GIF or an off-topic comment to brighten up their day.
2. Clear Expectations: Without a clear understanding of how your work dynamic will look in the future, remote work can feel like you are stranded in the middle of nowhere. Make sure any uneasy or hesitant employee is welcomed into group chats and knows the times set for socializing with other workers. Making everyone feel included is crucial for mental wellbeing in your social community.
3. Emphasize Virtual Meet-Ups: Some employees may stray away from online socializing but these meet-ups are crucial during the Coronavirus pandemic and will ensure the social community is still strong during this time. Get creative and make weekly themed meetings. This will create a buzz that will make the new normal a bit less daunting.
4. Reward and Motivate: Operant conditioning is the best way to motivate people to participate in something. If there are rewards for good behaviour, employees will feel valued and appreciated, and will be more eager to deliver high-quality work in the future. Thankfully, remote work can allow for a steady stream of virtual communication, which can be utilized to support, encourage, and cheer on the whole team, making them feel empowered instead of disengaged and isolated.
5. Share Encouragement: Make sure positive praise and encouragement are still present for employees, despite the recent remote integration. Positive feedback should be given for work just as it would in the office under normal circumstances. By providing positive encouragement, employees will feel supported in their tasks, keeping them goal-oriented and present in the daily nuances of their job.
Still unsure of how to navigate these uncertain times? Get advice from the HR experts.
Let Us Help
At Imagine Better Solutions, we can help make remote work engaging. We have optimized HR Solutions that architect employer experience to get the most out of your employees.
Unique times call for unique measures. Being mindful and open is a key ingredient for fostering a positive community in a remote work environment. As social-distancing measures continue, HR managers and businesses will have to keep expanding the ways in which they engage with employees and encourage a social community amongst the chaos.
Remote work doesn’t have to be lonely. The new normal we are embarking on will have to be shaped to the likes of the community to keep it social and balanced. The work environment will look very different moving forward and being ready for the impact it will have on mental health is vital. Follow our AIR Model (Attract, Improve, and Retain) to create plans to keep remote work productive and lively. Be proactive and let us help!