Working from home was a growing trend before 2020, but the new reality created by COVID-19 has catapulted this type of employment to a higher level. While remote work allows employees to do their jobs safely from the comfort of their own homes, it can also reduce the feeling of connection within a company. If you are managing employees who are working from home, make an effort to bridge the disconnect and keep workers engaged.
Be Understanding and Flexible
Working from home can be challenging. Many parents are trying to work full-time while simultaneously caring for their children. Managers should avoid adding to this stress with unrealistic expectations and inflexible deadlines.
While the work still needs to get done, there is often room for flexibility. Discuss scheduling with your staff to make sure deadlines are reasonable. Also, try to regularly touch base with workers to make sure approaching deadlines are not causing extra stress.
If someone is feeling overwhelmed with a particular task, be willing to jump in and help. By being empathetic to what your employees are going through, a better sense of connection and teamwork is fostered.
Daily face-to-face communication is helpful for fostering healthy work relationships. While meeting in person may not be possible, scheduling regular video calls can help fill the void and make employees feel like part of a team. You can also help workers feel less isolated by carving out time at the beginning of each call to catch up on personal news.
Also, whenever possible, keep employees updated on decisions that impact the company. This transparency increases trust and makes employees feel like valued members of the team. Similarly, be intentional about asking your staff for their ideas and feedback.
Remote work is likely here to stay, and employers need to adjust to this new normal. By consciously modifying your style of management to better respond to the needs of remote workers, you can help your employees feel more engaged and connected.