Top tips to engage your remote workforce

Many companies are now requiring their employees to work from home, and asking employees to shift to remote work arrangements can be demanding and difficult, especially for organisations that don’t have remote work already embedded in their cultures.

One of the biggest challenges in managing remote workers is ensuring effective and efficient communication. With team members spread out across various locations, coordinating work hours to schedule online meetings isn’t easy. This can cause confusion that slows progress and delays in projects. Employees can also feel isolated and out of the loop, becoming frustrated with management.

Companies must ensure high productivity while providing their employees working conditions that will keep them safe.

While digital solutions can greatly help business leaders implement remote work policies to protect employees amid the coronavirus crisis, they must still do their part in understanding the needs of their staff. Ensure that your employees feel valued and that their well-being matters. Ultimately, keeping staff members happy and satisfied can motivate them to perform well at work – even during trying times.

 

Here are our top tips on…

How to keep your employees engaged whilst they are working remotely

Communication

It is important to keep in contact with your employees so that they do not feel ignored or alone during this period. For a lot of employees, working from home will be a new experience and quite alien. Consider arranging a quick chat with them each morning and use this time to set expectations and goals for the day. There are numerous ways to keep in contact with your employees; at Vanilla we use Zoom or WhatsApp video calls. We feel that it is extremely important to have face-to-face communication rather than a phone call.

Designated workstation

Ensure that your employees are equipped to have their own designated workstation set up at home. Most of the essentials for working from home are things people have already, such as a desk/table, a laptop, and a work phone. Having a designated space where you can be relatively free from distractions is the key to staying focussed and achieving everything you need in your usual work hours. We find always having a cuppa and a biscuit on hand also help set the usual Vanilla office vibe 🙂

Timetable

Ensure your employees have a clear plan to follow for their working days, including expectations of their working hours. It can be easy for employees to put themselves under pressure and worry that they are seen as not being productive whilst working from home, but it is still important for them to plan regular breaks. It’s also important to bookend your day. If you can’t commute or enter and leave a physical office there can be an inability to unplug after work. Providing clear boundaries to the workday can help put you in the right mindset: like a 20-minute coffee in the morning and then exercise right after work to open and close the day.

Training

Some businesses may have found that workload has decreased during this time. Another way to keep your employees engaged and provide a sense of focus and achievement to each day is to enrol them on an online course.

At Vanilla we have partnered with New Skills Academy to offer a fantastic range of excellent online courses via our website – there’s everything from practical IT skills such as touch typing and MS Office, through to personal development in areas such as management and assertiveness training or Google analytics, marketing and SEO.

Keeping up morale

Prolonged isolation could also potentially impact on morale and productivity. Try to sustain a semblance of normality and camaraderie in unconventional ways, like virtual lunch dates or remote happy hours where people dial in and share a cocktail recipe or home baking results. At Vanilla we make sure we get together at 4pm every Friday and have a chat to catch up on news and then have a virtual quiz. It’s a lot of fun (although we’re not going to winning eggheads anytime soon) 🙂

Here to help

We want to reassure you all that we are here to help and assist you throughout what is sure to be a very difficult time. Our aim is to communicate with candidates and clients and help put plans and processes in place to minimise the impact to you as much as we possibly can. As we move through the coming weeks, we will do all we can to assist you by offering our skills, expertise, help and guidance in getting business back to normal, keeping people in employment and putting job seekers into work. We are all in this together and will come out the other side stronger and more rapidly if we work with each other with care, understanding and kindness.

The Vanilla team are on hand to help and support you during these uncertain and challenging times with advice or if you just need someone to listen. You can contact us at any time for help, advice or just a chat.