With 2020 being undoubtedly the toughest year in living-memory for just about every person on the planet, keeping motivated to work, improving ourselves and getting things done efficiently is harder than ever.
As you may now know, working from home takes a heightened level of discipline, and an ability to work as a team in a virtual environment as well as the understanding of when to take breaks. If you’re a business owner, manager, or team leader, there’s a good chance that employee morale is at front of mind in these challenging times, and we’re here to give you a helping hand.
Take a look below at a few of our tips to improve employee morale when working remotely.
The Team’s Presence Must Be Felt
Many remote workers will already know this tip, though, for newbies to the digital world of work, it’s all-new.
As many of us are working solely out of our own homes, there’s little to no interaction with our colleagues aside from a few emails, a short video chat and possibly a call or text message to convene.
That said, it’s essential that everyone in the team ‘feels’ one another’s presence during work hours because your organisation is not able to accommodate staff seeing one another, people may feel alone when working on projects.
A few of our tips to ensure everyone feels one another’s presence include:
Off-the-clock virtual meetings (or lunch hours) — this provides a time where staff can simply hang out, connect, provide updates on work and chat freely about the day. As most of us do on lunch breaks, these chats are imperative to strengthening workplace relationships and reducing the feeling of being ‘abandoned’ when working together.
Organising Game Nights — many businesses are now jumping into virtual games nights that feature trivia, charades and more to provide a sense of relief and a way to cap off a week of hard work. These games offer an excellent, group-focused time to unwind and keep everyone connected as a group.
Encourage Use of Social Platforms — although typically frowned upon, it’s time to encourage social media’s use during work hours. If an entire team is working from home, as a project manager, you want them interacting as much as possible. Whether this requires a Slack account or just an iMessage group chat, do your best to keep staff continually talking to one another.
All in all, while we’re together apart, it’s important to stay connected at all times. Employees who live alone will find themselves far more isolated than others, and this impacts efficiency, happiness and mental health which, in turn, hinders their ability to get work done effectively.
Offer Care Packages
A second great way to support staff morale, whether during COVID or not, is to offer care packages. These are great at improving employee-business relations, as well as making everyone feel appreciated.
Make it a priority to offer a small package with some essentials, gifts, treats and anything else that will be well received. In doing this, you’ll be adding a touch of joy to your team’s day and letting them know that although they’re working from home and unseen in the workplace, that they’re still appreciated, and you’re grateful for their hard work.
It’s also good to note that small care packages that are tailored to team members can also significantly improve a person’s mental health — boosting morale and cheering up your staff!
Educate Staff On Potential Ongoing Issues
One area many businesses are unintentionally overlooking is offering direct support and educational resource for present-day issues.
Although this may not be a workplace obligation, it is a great morale-boosting idea to show your understanding of what your team might be going through during this time. A good point to remember is that there are personal, COVID-related issues weighing on your staff which will affect their spirit and ability to output work effectively from home.
A few primary issues at hand in 2020 are disposable income decreases, falling home values, lack of social interaction and more.
With this in mind, it’s good to offering some support relating to understanding credit card debt, how to avoid online scams as well as who to contact for assistance in a time of crisis is an excellent place to start.
Some resources to consider:
Guides to choosing a suitable credit card — more information.
Staying efficient when working from home — more information.
Coping with significant social changes — more information.
It may only take a small flyer or info packet to do the job, so we suggest you take the time to have one of these documents written up and shared to your team.
As we continue to push through this challenging time, it’s vital to consider what can be done for your staff members when it comes to keeping them motivated and happy.
It’s a win for everyone when your staff are doing their best and feeling their best, and just a few small things can significantly improve their morale.
It’s essential to keep in mind, however, that morale-boosting activities don’t work as a one-off.
As a business owner, manager, team leader or HR representative, it will be your duty to set up a wellness routine to keep staff connected, ensure they feel appreciated and get their work done at a high quality.
Without a relatively routine reminder from a boss, or team leader, it can be easy for a team member to forget that their work is appreciated.