In some countries, as lockdown measures continue to ease, businesses are opening and employees are heading back to work. But some of us are still working from home — a policy that has become the ‘new normal‘ and may continue for millions of people, even in the wake of the pandemic.
Companies need to make sure their employees still feel safe and connected at home to avoid WFH burnout. Here are some effective ways to make physical and mental safety and employee well-being a top priority.
Let’s dive in!
1. Keep the Lines of Communication Open
Providing several communication channels can enable the company and employees to stay in touch. An HR manager can run conference calls (both video or audio) to help bring teams together and keep them aligned on projects. One-on-one calls are more personal and can give employees a way to reveal any struggles or concerns.
Not only does communicating make employees feel safe and connected, but it also helps them feel valued — even when they can’t draw on the support of an office or workplace environment.
2. Adjust Company Policies
With the pandemic still raging, we’re not quite at “business as usual” yet. So, it’s crucial to adjust or revise company policies and continuity plans to better protect your employees and meet their needs. Flexibility is key: more than two-thirds of employees say at a loss of flexibility would convince them to find another job. WFH security guidelines can ensure that employees can use their own devices without worrying about their data getting leaked or hacked.
As you anticipate your business demands, use workforce management software to unlock your workforce’s potential and keep employees from feeling overwhelmed. Adjust your policies regarding benefits, pay, sick leave, and paid time off to fit the circumstances.
3. Provide Team Building Activities
Since working from home isn’t the easiest task for some employees, it’s important to help them manage stress levels and feel connected to each other. One effective approach is to strengthen teamwork at the same time with team building activities, such as icebreaker or informal video conference calls. Consider movie nights, or get-togethers to just talk about life.
Such activities can help employees not only decompress, but build their sense of personal connection and trust. 75% of employers rate teamwork and collaboration as “very crucial” to strengthen employees’ work relationships and overall efficiency.
4. Promote Fair Workplace Practices
Make sure your WFH policy aligns with the company’s principles and maintains fair treatment for all employees. 54% of employees rank fair treatment as the second most valuable employer attribute, a strong factor in a decision to stay or leave.
Double-check that all employees have equal access to the company’s services, such as the devices they need to work remotely, such as laptops, internet connection, and cybersecurity. And extend sick or paid leave policies to employees even when they’re working from home.
5. Reward and Recognize Employees
When remote employees feel valued and safe, they are free to be productive, and get their projects done effectively and efficiently. They may be working remotely, but they feel appreciated and acknowledged. Over 79% of employees who feel under-appreciated consider quitting their job — and this is going to extend to employees working from home as well.
Build employee engagement with rewards and recognition — even just a note recognizing their efforts can go a long way.
Whether your employees work from home occasionally or exclusively, it’s always important to make them feel safe. Support them, engage them, and you’ll see the results.