Working in the comfort of your home is great. You can get the job done without leaving your room, skip the rush hour commute, and hey, you don’t even have to shower.
It’s all very chill. Until it isn’t.
Studies have shown that prolonged isolation in a work-from-home setup can lead to feelings of isolation and burnout. This is particularly true for extroverts who thrive on face to face interactions in the workplace. Thus, the abrupt change in their daily routines can really take a toll on their mental health and productivity.
Meanwhile, introverts find it easier to deal with a remote working environment. Compared to their extroverted counterparts, introverted employees actually prefer staying at home, so they aren’t as affected by the change.
But let’s face it. A lot of us aren’t voluntarily working from home. It’s a drastic measure we all adopted to protect ourselves and our loved ones from covid-19.
Now, if you’re worried about how your employees might be coping, this is for you. Well-adjusted and supported employees make for productive employees, after all. Here’s how you can provide support and encouragement especially during these tough times.
1.) Offer your employees mental health benefits.
Staying at home for prolonged periods, especially if you’re alone, can take a toll on your mental health. Your employees might be battling loneliness, anxiety, and depression, so they might appreciate some professional help. Providing them with mental health coverage can help.
This small act of kindness will result in long-term benefits. Employees with good mental health can think more clearly and are more likely to go the extra mile, ensuring better output for your company. It’s a win-win.
2.) Be flexible with your deadlines.
Your employees are under a lot of pressure. It’s natural to expect good results, but it’s also necessary to cut them some slack once in a while. Whenever possible, be flexible with your set guidelines and allow them to work at their own pace.
You can always monitor their progress and check back in with them regularly to get the output you need. The goal is to give them enough structure and wiggle room to do their jobs well.
3.) Acknowledge good work.
It’s always great when your employees meet, or better yet, exceed your expectations. That sort of work ethic and ability will only make you feel more confident about your products and services. So if you’re happy with their work, you should let your team members know.
Now, more than ever, employees could use a morale boost. All this imposed isolation can make them feel disconnected and numb. Expressing sincere appreciation can go a long way towards making them feel that you see and recognise what they do.
4.) Take time to say hello.
Your employees won’t say it, but they need you to reach out to them. Don’t just talk about quotas, deadlines, and targets. Ask how they’re doing, how they’re coping, and what motivates them. And listen actively when they open up. These small gestures can give you better insight into each member of your team and will also help you figure out the best way to encourage each one.
A good leader makes his/her team feel that they matter. You don’t even have to send wordy motivational messages. An occasional “Hey, how are you doing?” will suffice.
5.) Organise virtual parties.
All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy. Don’t forget to humanise the work environment from time to time. Talk about new recipes you’ve just discovered or the latest Netflix show you have watched. Then there are games on Slack or Zoom for those slow work days.
You can also hold virtual birthday celebrations for your team members on Zoom. These can lessen the tedium of being stuck inside the four corners of your room, and can encourage team camaraderie too.
Sustaining a harmonious work environment, especially for a distributed team, can be a huge challenge. Sometimes, it can even feel overwhelming. But you don’t have to do it alone.
Remote Staff has been providing continuous support to ensure a harmonious working relationship between various AU entrepreneurs and their Filipino remote staff. Whether you need assistance in onboarding your virtual staff or advice on keeping their morale up, we’ve got your back. All so that your virtual team is in the best shape to help you take your business to new heights.