The rapid spread of the coronavirus has forced many companies in the United States to adopt a remote work setup to slow down the infection rate. As of this writing, there are almost 2,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases in Santa Clara alone, and this is expected to rise in the near future.
Several studies show the benefits of telecommuting, such as improved productivity and reduced absenteeism. However, because your employees are forced to work from home due to the pandemic, they may eventually lose motivation and become less engaged.
The following tips will help keep them productive and motivated:
#1. Keep employees in the loop
Your employees need to be constantly reminded that they are a valuable asset to your company. Doing so gives them purpose and motivates them to work harder.
One way to do this is to regularly conduct virtual company-wide meetings. This gives employees the opportunity to meet and build relationships with team members outside their department. For instance, schedule weekly meetings and set aside some time to chat about non-work-related stuff or whatever is keeping them busy during the pandemic. This also makes your employees feel that they are an important part of your business, improving staff retention.
#2. Recognize exceptional work
Some of your employees are exerting extra effort to keep themselves productive during these trying times. To keep them motivated, make an effort to recognize their outstanding work.
Office collaboration apps such as Slack and Microsoft Teams make it easy for you to commend an employee who did an outstanding job. Use this opportunity to empower others to work hard as well.
You can also offer professional training and development to your remote workers to keep them engaged. This could be through individual mentorships, webinars, or financial assistance for an online course. Through these, your staff will learn new skills and significantly grow their career.
#3. Teach employees time management techniques
Time management is one of the biggest challenges of working from home. Not only are employees occupied with their office tasks, but they can also be distracted by household chores and other personal matters.
Motivate your employees by teaching them techniques that can help them manage their time more efficiently. One such method is the Pomodoro technique, which breaks down work into 25-minute intervals, with rests in between. Meanwhile, the “eat that frog” technique recommends developing the routine of doing the most important task first before other less urgent ones.
Teaching employees to manage their time not only makes them more efficient, but it also shows how much you value their time.
#4. Allow flexible work schedules
An employee’s environment at home is different from that at the office, so allowing them to work at their preferred shift is a good idea. This allows them to be more flexible with their tasks.
Does an employee need to work from 6:00 AM to 2:00 PM because of personal matters? As long as they can meet deadlines and manage to stay on call in case of a work emergency, giving them control over their schedules should be no problem.
#5. Get feedback
As your company implements a long-term remote work model, you might encounter some issues that might hamper productivity. This is why it’s essential to gather feedback from your employees every once in a while regarding your policies.
Use online surveys to ask employees what they like or dislike about your current remote work policy. Include a comment section where they can share any insights. Listening to your employees’ feedback makes them feel that they’re part of the process of improving workplace practices. It boosts their morale, keeps them motivated, and builds their trust in the company.
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