As a result of the pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, working from home has become routine for most of us. At first, we all waxed lyrical about the pros—saving hours on the commute (not to mention the money), longer lie-ins, hitting a Zoom meeting with your business attire on top and pyjamas out of shot underneath…
But if working from home has gone from being a temporary measure to a more permanent fixture in your business, then the novelty has probably worn thin by now. Here are some practical tips to help keep your staff feeling upbeat and energetic if they’re working from home for the long-term:
Share your wider business plan
Your staff knows what is happening at the company they work for when they’re in the office every day. But it can be easy to lose touch with what you’re doing and why when you’re working from home.
People need purpose to feel motivated, so keep staff in the bigger picture of your business. Remind them of your company’s vision and goals—and the important role they play in achieving them. Share the business’ success. Hold virtual one-on-ones to discuss their development.
Knowing their work is valuable and that they’re contributing towards a larger goal will help your staff feel inspired and invested in their jobs and your business.
Set specific and measurable goals
You can’t micromanage people working from home, but that’s no bad thing. Instead, monitor and measure people’s performances by setting targets and deadlines and getting stuff ticked off.
This will help you effectively manage people from a distance. Also, being able to see their progress and achievements will give your staff a sense of job satisfaction, which is necessary for staying positive and productive.
Encourage personal connections
Healthy and supportive relationships are the foundation for working well together. This is even more important in the current climate. When lockdowns and social distancing mean people can’t always see their family and friends, work relationships can help people cope with the ongoing stress and loneliness caused by the pandemic.
Hold virtual coffee breaks or ‘after work drinks’—or get on board with the now-classic Friday night Zoom quiz. We’re not saying everyone needs to be BFFs, but if your staff feel like part of a supported team then they’ll be hard workers and happy campers.
Embrace work hacks
In the spirit of work breaks, there’s a lot of evidence to support the idea that working in short bursts or ‘sprints’ helps people stay productive and energised. You might have already heard of the Pomodoro method? It goes like this:
- Choose one task—something that needs your undivided attention.
- Set a timer for 25 minutes and immerse yourself in the task until the timer goes off.
- Put a tick on a piece of paper.
- Take a short break (make a cuppa, stretch your legs, anything that isn’t work-related).
- For every four ticks, take a longer break.
- Set boundaries to avoid burnout
Yes, it’s called working from home… but it can also feel like living at work. One of the challenges with working from home is that sometimes you feel like you just. Can’t. Get. Away. From. It. All!
Everyone needs ‘down’ time to rest and recharge, so create some structure and boundaries to get the best out of your people. This could mean holding daily morning meetings. Encouraging team lunches. Setting an official time for you all to ‘leave the office’. And not allowing WhatsApp work talk to go on until 11pm….
Your staff will be much more focused, productive, and energetic if they’re well-rested instead of trying to keep slogging away when they’ve hit a wall.
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To learn more about how our software can help you manage your business and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, call us today: (1) 888-220-4924.