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The COVID-19 pandemic has affected nearly all facets of life. However, one aspect of everyday life that has changed significantly, is working. Remote workforces are more popular these days than ever. Some people have seen their jobs move completely online. However, those considered essential workers, are still showing up to their physical workplace every day. Unfortunately, many people have lost their jobs entirely.
As the pandemic continues, employers are put in an especially tough spot. They’re trying to maintain a steady volume of production from their workers while still showing care for their mental health. For remote workforces, this issue is exasperated further. It is more difficult to communicate with workers and gauge how they are feeling virtually than in-person. Many workers may resent the idea of working remotely. As an employer, it is important to keep the morale of your workforce high and build an open environment for people to share their thoughts with each other.
To accomplish this, you might have to get a bit creative. Replicating a normal environment for your remote workforce is not an easy task. In a time when nothing is expected and everything is unprecedented, it is okay for your workforce to branch out and operate a bit differently at times. Think about how you can keep your employees engaged and enthusiastic about work. Need some inspiration? Here are five quotes from different CEO’s and founders of established brands, to teach you how to galvanize your remote workforce.
Have Fun Together
“We’ve started to do virtual “Ask Me Anything” where a team member is in the hot seat for thirty minutes and gets peppered with questions. No question is off-limits! These AMAs help people learn about others while also lightly joking around and having fun.” – Darren Litt, from MarketerHire
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Build Meaningful, Genuine Connections
“First and foremost, begin by encouraging employees to form personal relationships within the company. This is especially hard to do while everyone is remote, but we’ve found it more important than ever since we’ve added so much headcount during the pandemic at Gainful. It’s bizarre to join a company where most folks haven’t ever met in person, so we try to have small virtual social events to encourage people to feel more connected. In addition, we’ve provided team members with a remote work stipend that they can use on everything from a new desk chair to a houseplant to beautify their workspace. Lastly, don’t forget to show empathy and understanding during this year, it’s more important than ever to realize that everyone is having a unique experience that may be more difficult than your own.” – Eric Wu, from Gainful
Promote a Healthy Work-To-Life Balance
“Working from home has been an interesting adjustment for all of us this year. We love to have close and personal relationships with our employees, so the transition to remote work has been a challenge. We’ve found that it’s all about balance. We like to set our expectations every week and check in frequently to see if those expectations are being met. However, checking in with employees daily is a must. If they are unable to meet those expectations, we want to know so we can come to a mutual agreement about the workload. We never want to overwork anyone or push anyone past their limits, especially while everyone is having a difficult time getting through the year.” – Jing Gao, from Fly By Jing
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Communicate Clearly and Compassionately
“We have found that utilizing communication software that is available is very important towards making remote work…work. Employees need to be able to communicate effectively amongst each other. We like to use Loom for that. Loom allows us to have those video conversations that provide a bit more intimacy rather than communicating via email. Also, virtual project management is key. Whether it’s email or basecamp, we have to stay more organized than normal and have one location for everything project related. As far as tending to the mental health of our employees during this unusual time, we focus on listening immensely, knowing the signs of a mental gas tank on “E”. When exhaustion is detected, we encourage the person to take a break, do what fills them back up and allow others to take things off their plate if need be. Making sure you make yourself available for these conversations with your employees is essential.” – William Schumacher, from Uprising Food
Employers should exhibit a heightened level of attention to their workers’ needs during these times, especially with a remote workforce. You never know how someone may personally be dealing with the pandemic. Be sensitive to issues. And be willing to listen. Nobody knows how to react or deal with today’s current events.
Most importantly, build a united front with your remote workforce workers. Communicate to them that you are in this together and that you are a team. Make accommodations. Give an extra push to them when necessary. But remember; everyone is going through a hard time right now. Be the spark that they need. Not the extra headache in their day.
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