Businesses all around the world are being encouraged, where possible, to work remotely. During this time, how do you intend to keep your employees motivated and maintain the office culture? This article highlights ways to embrace a different type of workplace behaviour and thrive from it.
Remote or home working isn’t new, for many, it’s a fairly established way of doing things and for some – it’s all they know. But there is something particularly exciting about getting up, deciding what to wear and making your way to ‘the office’. Whether it’s the banter, quick chat over a coffee or meeting a critical deadline – office culture helps to keep us going through the day.
So how will this work now with the unexpected necessity for any office-based business to work from home? Yes, there are video conferencing tools available and other platforms to maintain a conversation but we need to look beyond that. During this time of crisis, some staff may be expected to be more ‘hands-on-deck’ than ever before and every effort should be logged and rewarded as it would be if the employee and employer were face-to-face.
During this challenging and albeit uncertain time, it’s important to keep a positive mindset and continue to motivate your staff whilst working remotely. Although it’s unnerving and likely that people will feel anxious, there are some simple ways to keep your team motivated, maintain productivity, manage skills and that all-important ‘culture’.
Keep A Routine
Granted, until you begin remote working you’ll never understand the impact your morning commute has. Just travelling to work helps to get your brain in gear and ready to start your day. If now you’re waking up and opening your laptop in your dressing gown, it’s likely to affect the way you start your day. So it’s important to keep an office mindset, get dressed, have breakfast and keep a routine in place.
It’s important to encourage your team to create and maintain a routine that will maximise their productivity and efficiency. Tell them to start each day the same as they would if they were to be in the office, for example, plan ahead, take a dedicated lunch break and schedule your daily calls.
If working from home is a struggle for some, suggest making small changes to their routine that can help boost employee engagement. Why not take a morning walk, talk your day through to a housemate or have a change in scenery – coffee shops are a great place to put your head down and do your work. It’s about creating a positive environment.
Establish Expectations Early On
If you were looking for a way to test your leadership skills, remote working is a great place to start. If possible, it’s valuable to put in place clear goals and deliverables before employees start working remotely. Doing this helps you to set the tone and outline what is expected out of your team.
It’s also a good idea to lay down the ground rules. Everyone should know what to work on, what they are responsible for and who they should report to. This enables a clear and defined structure that will help to streamline communication and let people get on with the important stuff.
Keep Your Office Culture
Culture is important. Every workplace has its own culture and ways of working. To boost morale and increase productivity, it’s important to keep the company culture in place even when working from home. Companies that have a strong work culture are more likely to attract and retain employees so it’s key to not lose sight of it.
Communication is key when it comes to maintaining your workplace culture. It’s no use sending everyone away and giving them a to-do list for the week. Give everyone their moment to shine by building out a shared leadership approach. Keep in touch through regular video calls where you can see and respond to each other, and don’t forget the bi-weekly beers so that you can catch up and reflect on the week.
Offer Opportunities for Personal Development
In most cases, working from home won’t feel natural and will definitely work better for some more than others. It’s possible for staff to occasionally feel unmotivated and isolated when away from the office, giving them incentives to better themselves during this time will work wonders.
To help enforce this, businesses need to be equipped with the right tools. Performance management software is a great way to unlock the potential of your employees. It allows you to create a shared vision, monitor your staff and help achieve their objectives. You can also reward staff for their achievements and success in their work, this is invaluable to employees – especially at times like this.
Keep Everyone In The Loop
If you are a business owner, senior management or team leader, you should always keep your remote workers up to date with what is going on within the business. Short term goals and visions would likely change if companies are forced to work remotely, but to adapt to the changes, employees need to be aware of them.
Employees will always appreciate being kept in the know and will work better knowing that everyone is working towards the same objectives. Leaders should give regular updates on the business’ strategic vision and objectives, as well as how they are going to be achieved.
To motivate and get the most out of your employees when remote working, it’s crucial to communicate regularly, create a sense of community away from the office and show that you care and value what they do. If you adopt these simple steps, your employees will feel valued and motivated to work wherever they are.