Remote work continues to dominate the workspace, even as some governments ease lockdown restrictions. This approach to work has been beneficial to employees and employers alike. It cuts down commute time, enables employees to manage their professional and personal responsibilities more effectively, and helps organizations reduce operational costs.
However, lack of in-person interaction can cause employees to feel disconnected from their workplace and team members. Remote work can also blur the line between work and life, and this can overwhelm employees. Because you don't see your remote employees every day, you may be missing opportunities to offer the support they require.
Here are five easy ways to care for your remote employees' well-being:
1. Check in with employees often
Checking in with your remote employees regularly is the best way to make sure everybody is on the same page. Organizations can send out polls and surveys to gauge employee satisfaction. Managers can stay aware of employee challenges by conducting monthly, one-on-one meetings with remote team members. Employees can also share their feedback and experiences through town hall sessions with C-level leaders. Once you start communicating effectively, you'll be better equipped to identify what your employees need.
2. Leverage Employee Resource Groups
Establishing Employee Resource Groups (ERG) is an excellent way to keep employees connected to your organization and to one another. Employees can build bridges and support one another's growth by creating and joining groups based on shared interests or backgrounds. If you'd like to introduce ERGs to your organization, we recommend conducting a virtual session to help employees learn about their purpose and benefits. Once volunteers start their own ERGs, you can publicize them and encourage remote employees to join.
3. Encourage employees to practice self-care
While working from home, an employee's typical work practices could fall by the wayside. For example, some remote workers may sit in front of their computer the whole day without taking breaks. Others may not maintain a healthy posture while working. These issues can affect their productivity as well as their physical health and well-being. Promoting self-care among your remote employees is a great way to strengthen their well-being and help them prevent burnout. For instance, you could provide access to regular meditation or yoga programs, set employees up with subscriptions to healthy snack and meal boxes, and encourage employees to take fixed breaks with the help of timesheet software. Team leads should remain mindful when assigning new projects and ensure that employees can successfully manage their workloads. Most importantly, employees should know that it's always OK to ask for help.
4. Foster a sense of belonging
Because remote employees can't always get a strong feel for the organizational culture, they may feel isolated from the rest of the company. This could affect the work they do and cause them to disengage. To foster a sense of belonging, it's important to keep employees informed through business updates, messages from C-level leaders, and virtual meetings. Before authorizing major policy changes, communicate with your employees and take their suggestions into account. When there are organizational challenges, it's important to remain transparent and explain relevant issues clearly. Managers can also develop a culture of connection by regularly recognizing employees for their hard work.
5. Organize social gatherings
While in-person gatherings may be off the table for now, monthly virtual meet-ups can reinforce connections between employees. During these gatherings, you could play games, run contests, and even provide refreshments. Whichever activities you choose, they should help employees learn more about their colleagues' interests and foster meaningful bonds. We also encourage managers to make time for casual chit-chat so employees can catch up at the end of each work meeting.
While remote employees may typically be out of sight, don't forget to keep them in mind. Caring for your employees leads to better performance and lasting trust.