Business owners have had to contend with so many challenges during this pandemic. We’ve had to make do with a skeletal workforce, and not to mention the financial effects of the recession.
While it’s easier to bury our heads in the sand until all of it goes away, as business owners, we have the responsibility to make the new normal easier for our employees who are relying on us. We’re not the only ones having a hard time; they have their own set of challenges as well. If you want your business to survive, you need to protect the well-being of your employees first.
Here are some ways to make remote work easier for your team.
Get the tech sorted out.
Make sure that your team has everything they need for a productive work-from-home setup. Foolproof your technological resources by seeking help from strategic IT consulting experts who can check to make sure your networks and cloud services are in tip-top shape.
Help your team gain access to dependable laptops and tablets if they don’t have them yet. It will ensure that your lines of communication are always open and will be one less thing they need to worry about.
Encourage health and wellness.
Now more than ever, we need to take care of our physical, mental, and emotional health. The pandemic feels hard because it is hard, but there are things we can do to gain a semblance of control over our situation.
As business owners, we have a responsibility to lead our employees. Encourage them to be healthy by initiating fun and easy group exercise meetings via Zoom or by making a sweet gesture like delivering some delectable shakes or salads to their doorstep.
If any of them are struggling with their mental health, remind them it’s perfectly OK to seek professional help.
Host virtual team meetings and informal hangouts.
One way to keep your employees engaged is by fostering genuine relationships between the team. Remote teams need to maintain regular communication through video calls, instant messaging, e-mail, and other web conferencing platforms.
Don’t keep meetings too long, though, as research shows that a video call requires more focus than face-to-face interaction. Video chats make our brains work harder to make sense of non-verbal cues like hand gestures, facial expressions, and tone. Make efficient use of your time during virtual meetings.
It’s also a good idea to schedule online get-togethers for non-work-related chats. Make time for casual video calls to keep employees engaged and thrilled about being part of the team.
Champion personal connections.
During difficult times, like a pandemic or a global recession, it’s important for employees to feel that their bosses care just as much about their well-being as they care about what they can bring to the table.
People are not machines; they need to feel like they are not alone in navigating challenging situations and that there are people who have their backs. Here are some simple things you can do to foster personal connections with your employees:
- Ask how they are regularly.
- Create a safe place for them to be honest about how they’re doing and feeling. A healthy organization is made up of leaders who are open to receiving well-meaning feedback and criticism.
- Make them feel like you care about the details in their lives. Are they married? Do they have kids? What are the names of their pets?
- Don’t be afraid to share about your life as well, to a healthy degree. They need to know that their boss is also a human being who struggles and that you are all in this together.
Provide a safe environment for those who have to work in the office.
Should we ask our employees to do some work in the office, it is our responsibility to make sure it’s safe for them to do so. See to it that your workspaces are properly disinfected. Provide the employees with face shields and face masks they can use.
Respect their boundaries.
Remote work often blurs the lines between your professional life and personal life. People are now forced to use their homes as a place of productivity instead of work. Respect your employees’ boundaries by not asking them to do work when their office hours are over. Just because they’re always home doesn’t mean they’re always available.
The best thing we can do for our business is to make the new normal easier for our employees. We need to do all that we can to help them stay engaged and productive, even in these trying times.