Keeping remote work healthy and effective
6/8/2022
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Keeping remote work healthy and effective

All businesses were compelled to reconsider how they operate due to the pandemic. This implies the adoption of remote and hybrid work arrangements in numerous industries. The change was required to satisfy urgent health and safety concerns, but it also had certain unforeseen effects.

According to respondents in a recent Digital Leadership Report by Harvey Nash Group, remote work has boosted flexibility, reduced travel time to and from work, and increased time spent working, enhancing work-life balance and productivity. On the other hand, more than half (54%) of respondents noted a decline in the mental health of their technical staff.

According to a Gartner poll of digital workers, the tech sector still favors flexible work arrangements in terms of location (59%) and hours (64%), even while COVID rules loosen. To strengthen relationships and encourage healthier, happier employees in the new normal, tech and human resource professionals must collaborate.

Engagement

Find strategies to strengthen the emotional connection that your team members have with the organization and its goals. Begin by acknowledging the high-stress periods we are experiencing at work and thanking staff members periodically for their dedication, if not in person, then via phone call, email, or text. Consider starting or restarting engagement activities like e-clubs, volunteer work, mentoring programs, and employee recognition events. Especially with new hires, focus on connecting with them and communicating corporate news.

Several businesses have succeeded in integrating and settling new hires through a virtual buddy system: Each recruit is paired with a coworker familiar with the company and assists the new hire with the onboarding and transition process. It is advantageous if the new employee's mentor can relate to their personal and professional experiences.

Employee engagement boosts morale and lowers absenteeism. Additionally, increased work-life satisfaction increases productivity for the organization.

Meaning

The BLS estimates that since the spring of 2021, almost 33 million Americans have voluntarily left jobs that didn't meet their needs or align with their ideals. The industries with the greatest resignation rates were technology and healthcare. However, just 41% of tech leaders reported that their company had loosened policies around holidays and working hours, and only 32% claimed that employee benefits had been changed to accommodate remote work options better.

Everyone is responsible for providing the resources and assistance necessary to entice and keep people in a post-pandemic society. Trust your teams, and ensure their work is meaningful and connected to quantifiable results. Maintain communication with workers regarding workload to prevent overworking and burnout and ensure they are aware of the company's mission and the bigger picture.

Empowerment

It's necessary to comprehend employee emotions at all times, but it's especially critical during transitional periods. Employee surveys, focus groups, and other feedback techniques can impact commercial and technological decisions. Asking for employee feedback is a good first step but sharing and acting on that feedback is what establishes trust.

Opportunities for casual contacts in hallways, during lunch breaks, and at the coffee machine have been eliminated due to the shift to remote work. Utilize strategies for simulating interactions that result in the organic exchange of ideas. One instance is setting up a routine, opt-in coffee or lunch encounter with no set topic of discourse.

Make time to have one-on-one contact with staff members so they can provide feedback in a more private context. Some workers find it simpler to speak up since they believe their superiors are listening to them.

Leadership

To inspire employees and foster an inclusive workplace, it's critical to be deliberate in your words and actions. Encourage on-camera talks to start with a personal connection. Send an agenda before time so that participants may organize their thoughts. More individuals participate in the conversation when the facilitators are switched up, and everyone is allowed to speak at least once. Find ways to communicate and connect with team members by sharing personal situations and accommodating unexpected interruptions from pets and children.

Work-life balance

The boundaries between work and life might be hazy while working remotely. It's crucial to inquire about how team members are feeling. Encourage coworkers to take a break from their computers by going on a walk, downloading a mindfulness app, or eating lunch outside or in a different location. Consider organizing a virtual exercise class to encourage employees to take a self-care break.

Another chance to set an example is presented here. Regularly schedule leisure events, so employees can feel free to do the same. Another encourages workers to spend a few weeks at a time working in a new place, possibly even another nation.

By taking deliberate action now, leaders and teams can build wholesome routines and solidify bonds, fostering an inclusive culture where everyone wants to work, regardless of where and when.