10 ways of how to motivate employees during work-from-home
The unprecedented extended COVID-19 global pandemic has changed the face of our workplaces. For over 2 years, many companies, especially in the IT sector have integrated Work-from-Home (WFH) options. While employees benefit from zero commuting, customizing their environment and working on a flexible schedule; working from home also means sharing space with other family members, more potential distractions including deterrents like slower Internet connection (especially when living in an apartment complex where many may be logged in at the same time).
Here are 10 ways to motivate employees during work-from-home and boost their productivity in the process:
1. Set clearly defined performance expectations: Clearly outlining team member’s availability, and providing clarity on priorities, milestones and performance goals can enhance the overall productivity of the team and contribute to team motivation. When the performance expectations are clear, any issues that may stem from work-from-home can easily be addressed.
2. Focus on deliverables over hours: Managers including team leaders must understand that the work-from-home scenario sometimes brings unexpected changes to the employee’s work schedule. Hence, the focus must be on the deliverables and time-lines instead of micro-management over small changes to schedules. Employees also feel comfortable working on flexible schedules rather than feeling like they have to account for their time especially during situations beyond their control.
3. Provide feedback channels for employees to share issues: Companies must ensure that appropriate channels are in place for employees to reach out to when they feel overwhelmed or have any questions, concerns or queries about their work-life balance. Employees also benefit from having access to confidential channels with clear policies that help them manage their professional life better.
4. Organize regularly scheduled Huddles to check-in: The positive impact of community cannot be overlooked especially during these challenging times. Though social restrictions prevent people from meeting physically, companies must insist on regularly scheduled team catch up’s and Huddles for employees to stay up to date on the team’s work. A portion of this time can also be used to encourage employees to speak about topics of interest outside the work project as well. This ensures a positive camaraderie in the team.
5. Optimize the length of meetings: What works in the physical world, may not necessarily work virtually. Companies must be flexible about the time required during meetings and try to make meetings productive and proactive and less time intensive.
6. Follow up with personal calls: Employee morale will be boosted when managers and team leaders take the time to not only communicate with their team during Huddles but also take the time to reach out personally to ‘check-in’ on how employees are doing. The check-in does not mean only asking about a work-related deliverable but could also be a warm enquiry on how the employee is doing and how they are managing their work-from-home schedule etc.
7. Be flexible with schedules: Companies must give employees the flexibility to manage their schedules and be empathetic and aware of the shift in work-life balance during work-from-home. Employees who are given a sense of belonging and feel trusted will automatically focus on balancing their priorities for the overall benefit of the team.
8. Encourage communication and collaboration: Managers including team leaders must be aware of how remote working can create a feeling of isolation among team members. For teams to stay happy, healthy and productive, companies should ensure that teams must have a positive environment where communication and collaboration is encouraged. Companies must also clearly communicate work-from-home policies and detail who employees can reach out if they have questions or concerns.
9. Remember to listen: Productive employees thrive in an environment where they feel they are being listened to. Companies must create an ambience and culture where employees feel that their perspectives are being listened to and more importantly, that they have the freedom to speak up and share their perspectives. This can happen organically only when they feel that their companies are genuinely listening to them.
10. Provide employee-wellness programs: Employees stand to benefit from virtual programs and platforms that focus on their health and wellness which may include Yoga classes, mindfulness programs, mentorship opportunities and on-line counselling. This mitigates any potential stress from work-from-home and boosts employee morale and productivity.
In this blog, we have explored the 10 things that companies can do to encourage employee productivity during work-from-home situation. What can employees do to manage their work-from-home arrangements? Watch this space for more!