Living and working remotely can be a stressful time for you and your team. The lively, spirited work environments we used to enjoy have been reduced to online meetings, emails, and the occasional “hoping you’re doing okay during these trying times” messages. Gallup.com reports that only 13% of employees worldwide are actually engaged at work—meaning the remaining 87% find themselves lost in limbo and confused as to what they can contribute to their companies. This is why you, as a leader, should step up and provide as much support as possible.
Host Genuine Check-Ins
In whatever kind of set-up your company is in, checking in with your team will always be a must. Regular check-ins show that you value communication with them, and give both parties the opportunity to bring up any concerns or feedback. There are many platforms to choose from, such as Zoom or Google Team Hangouts, that can make this very easy nowadays. Actually be interested in what every team member has to say because this shows that you actually care about their input. A common creative way to up communication is to set up online get-togethers outside of work, where you and your team can socialize and unwind.
Recognize Outcomes, Not Activity
If you focus too much on quantity and not quality, you’ll limit your employee’s capabilities, and could have them end up judging their own worth based on the amount of work they do as well. We at AndersonServices.com encourage respecting employees’ personal time—refrain from contacting them outside of work hours or during weekends. Remember that overtime does not equate to better results. Give them the freedom to explore their interests and capabilities, even in the not-so-conventional ways, and they just might end up surprising you. And when they do, never forget to give them recognition and rewards for their breakthroughs.
Equip Them With Resources
A concrete way to help boost your team’s well-being and productivity is to provide them with the necessary tools for them to work better and smarter. This can include anything from access to digital resources like ResearchGate or Canva Premium to physical materials such as a better computer or microphone—or you might want to go for a new desk set. In fact, according to PainFreeWorking.com, standing desk converters will be better for your team’s health and will boost their productivity. Besides improving posture and muscle health, these also promote blood and oxygen flow to the brain, and in turn, improves the quality of work. Providing upgrades to your team’s equipment could be a tangible way to show your support and appreciation.
Be Flexible and Empathetic
Your expectations might not exactly match the outcome your team provides each and every time. Understand the capacities of your members and keep in mind that there are many external factors that could possibly affect their work. A study on employee behavior in work from home setups found in ResearchLeap.com explained how employee stress could develop into disturbances in mental health. These stress-inducing triggers include fear of the unknown, ineffective communication at work, lack of clarity and direction, and pressure from transitioning into a different setup.
Set realistic expectations and tasks for both you and your team, and set manageable deadlines and deliverables for your projects. Take the extra step and look into providing avenues for psycho-social, community, and organizational support to sustain your team’s emotional and mental wellbeing.
The best advice would be to never treat your employees as mere cogs in a machine—always see them as unique individuals with endless potential for growth.
Article written by Jane Richards