How to boost staff morale whilst working remotely
By Abby Rolfe, Digital Marketing Executive at Professional Academy
The worldwide shift between a structured office environment to home working has been a sudden and unexpected change for many people; however, humans are famously adaptable, and we can take this temporary adjustment in our stride.
Morale is a crucial component for productivity and engagement. Long days spent working from home can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnect, leading to a sharp drop in the level of employee satisfaction and happiness. Remote working means it can be more difficult to boost the spirits, but it’s not impossible.
Be patient and understanding
Your team may now have many home distractions, such as barking dogs and crying children. They also might be feeling down due to the economic uncertainty and fear for the safety of their families. Sensitivity is key here. If staff need to be flexible with their working hours or take a bit more time to do a task, cut them some slack. Trust that they are doing their best and make sure they know you’re there to support them in any way you can.
Encourage social interaction
Adapting to working from home can be a struggle for many people. Humans are used to physical proximity, routines and face-to-face communication. It’s important to keep staff sane and happy in times where their mental health might be taking a hit. Implementing something like a virtual coffee break is a good way to encourage that ‘water-cooler’ culture of having chats with work colleagues, and the social interaction can help to maintain some sense of normality.
Project an aura of positivity
Remember that your team will look to you for reassurance and guidance. If you are coming across stressed and negative – remember, these vibes can rub off on others. Make sure you are being positive, confident and empathetic. It’s a troubling time for all, but let your staff know you’re all in this together. A joint, positive effort can go a long way to improving everyone’s outlook on the future.
Daily video catch ups are a great way to keep your team motivated and on track with their goals. As well as discussing objectives and plans, it’s also productive to focus on recognition for positive ‘wins’. A ‘well done’ goes a long way to boosting morale and helps the team feel much more driven going forward. Make use of online platforms such as Teams and Slack to connect with your staff and encourage them to communicate regularly with each other – even if it’s just to send a gif or ask how their day is going!
Breaks are necessary for productivity and focus. It’s sometimes too easy for people to stay at their computer throughout their break, which means they’re not having a well-deserved rest. People are at their best when they’ve had that time to regroup and refocus. So, try and encourage breaks where possible. Suggest getting outside in the fresh air and having a walk to alleviate some of those stir-crazy feelings.
Don’t neglect learning and development plans
Working from home can make staff feel disconnected from the business and their future goals, but it doesn’t need to mean their career development has to be put on hold. Make sure you encourage learning as this may be a time when they are less busy in other areas – especially for those whose time is normally used for meetings and travel.
Professional Academy provide a range of sales, marketing and management courses that can all be completed effectively from home. Our distance learning packages have excellent interactive e-learning materials and tutor support, and there are also online short courses to choose from.
Above all, be supportive and present! And remember, this time of uncertainty will end, and you want a happy and productive team to come back to when things return to normal.