(by Andres Rojas)
How to motivate employees working from home is has proven to be more difficult than motivating employees at the office, who know? Whether working from home has been received as a blessing or a burden, the one constant we all know too well, remains.
In this piece of our HR Tips will hopefully help get you started in motivating employees working from home.
Build a Virtual Office That Works
Working from home can be a real headache for office workers. The lack of cooler talks and office meetings means that not only are days more boring but also that sharing information becomes a much more complex process.
Poorly-written emails can lead to confusion. Moreover, the technical difficulties of running a conference call where every caller’s operating system and hardware differs are too much to handle for many people.
However, by investing in creating a virtual office that every employee is trained to use, you can help your employees stop feeling frustrated and start feeling connected and productive again.
Create More Opportunities for Socialization
While remote workers appreciate spending more time with their families, they also miss the office camaraderie. By creating online activities that don’t revolve around work you can foster a sense of community between staff members.
Some examples of social activities you can organize include:
- Setting time aside for chit-chat during meetings.
- Scheduling virtual lunches where you and your employees can enjoy great food in good company.
- Creating a virtual break room where they can share jokes, memes, personal hobbies, etc.
- Come up with fun selfie contests – such as best dressed, cutest pet photos, or best looking-dinners – to lighten up the mood.
As long as you keep things informal and simple, online social activities are a great way of de-stressing while fostering employee engagement.
Give a Homely Twist to Your Employee Benefits
With living rooms replacing offices, employees working from home need benefits that are tailored to their needs. For example, offering an allowance that covers the costs of setting and running a home office – furniture, office supplies – is always appreciated by home workers.
Offering food that is nutritious, tasty, and free is another great way of increasing employee morale among homeworkers. Indeed, a meal home delivery perk that takes tasty and nutritious ready-to-eat meals to your employees’ houses for free can remove the burden of shopping and cooking meals from their busy shoulders.
But if there’s one benefit you can’t afford to miss is mental health services. Homeworkers are prone to suffering from mental issues like stress, isolation, and anxiety. By offering online mental health training and support, your workers can have the tools they need to cope with their particular work environment.
Provide Timely Feedback
Offering regular feedback is essential for employee morale. When employees get constructive criticism they feel like their efforts matter. Moreover, by commenting on their performance with your employees you are helping them spend less time second-guessing their every move and more time getting things done.
Remind your workers of the importance of their efforts and help them understand where they’re falling short in a friendly, constructive way.
Similarly, make sure that communication flows both ways. It’s important that your employees feel heard, so ask for their input as often as you can.
Establish an Online Buddy System
Pairing colleagues together is an excellent way of breaking the boring routine of remote work. In the office, buddy systems are often used for onboarding new employees. But besides being a training aide, working in pairs can also:
- Boost efficiency.
- Distribute skills and knowledge.
- Break social isolation.
- Build team camaraderie.
- Encourage friendly levels of competition among pairs.
- Increase workers’ sense of engagement.
The key to a successful buddy system is autonomy. Once you have assigned workloads and set deadlines, it’s up to each buddy team to figure out the best way to finish the job.
The best thing about this approach is that while it helps increase employee engagement, it also offers a great way of honing your employees’ communication and leadership skills.
Far from being a vacation, working from home is stressful and requires high levels of motivation that many people don’t have. As expert benefits advisors, we know how important voluntary employee benefits are for homeworkers’ morale.
Need help designing the perfect benefits package for your online workers? Contact us today.