Remote work is becoming more and more common because of COVID-19. Thankfully, people have been able to discover its perks. It has the ability to give employees an increase in flexibility, as well as a better work-life balance. But remote working does have its downsides. I know, shocker! One of the most prevalent problems is that it can be difficult for team members to keep engaged with one another when they are not able to meet up in person or talk on the phone often. And according to a 2020 survey done by Monster, a global employment website, 69% (of 284 U.S. employees) of remote workers were experiencing burnout by early July.
So, how can we keep our teams engaged in the era of remote working?
There are a few tips you can follow:
Look Out For the Team's Health
This might sound obvious and gratuitous but in order for your team to be engaged, your workers have to be healthy! As team leader or employer, you should encourage wellness practices and give out healthy tips to your team. You might even want to arrange for a team challenge that lasts a few weeks or a month. This will not only encourage healthier behaviors, but it might also get your team closer to each other.
If you have the budget and the logistics to pull it off, sending care packages to employees might be a great way to let them know they are appreciated and part of a fun and rewarding working space. Companies like TeamBuilding specialize in this sort of ideas, but you can also try going for what you can afford and what you feel your team could appreciate. Sometimes the thought is more important than the actual package.
Encourage Coffee Breaks
If you've worked in an office space, you know how stimulating it can be to just ask a colleague to tag along for a coffee break and engage in some small talk for a few minutes. When you are working by yourself, well, that's harder. BUT it is not impossible.
You can obviously have virtual coffee breaks and you can even arrange them in a myriad of ways (lineup already thought of 25, so that you don't have to). You can schedule them so that you know when they're coming, or if you want to keep it more casual, you might just want to remind your team on your weekly or daily meetings to take a break with one or a couple of their colleagues.
Have an End-Of-The-Week Meeting
One of the main struggles for remote workers is keeping the boundaries between work and leisure. How to not be online all day everyday and knowing when to rest can be hard, more so when your physical space doesn't change from one activity to the other.
That is why an end-of-the-week meeting is so crucial. It highlights the fact that workdays are ending and that the weekend —and with it, the leisure— is about to start. It is important to use this meeting wisely, though. Keep it light and maybe even make use of the time to show appreciation for your team in a way or another. Maybe shout out a project, or an employee of the week.
You know that research you've made about gamification in order to have more engaged users? Well, why not try to apply it with your own team? A little competition —and its corresponding rewards!— never hurt anybody, so try to encourage this with small tasks and achievements. Don't go crazy with it and turn your whole business into a treasure hunt, but try it out maybe with some small duties and see if it works for you and your colleagues.
There you go, five tips for you to improve your team's engagement during the remote work era. Apply them and let us know how they work for you. If all of this looks overwhelming to you, you might want to leave it all on the hands of experts like Plerk, a company made specifically to manage and improve your team's happiness and engagement!
Also, a friendly reminder that these tips are great and all but the most important thing in your virtual workspace is for everybody to feel like they are heard and appreciated. That should be your main goal.
See you next time!