Even under ideal circumstances, achieving a highly productive work culture can prove challenging. Since the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the COVID-19 outbreak a global pandemic, businesses and schools around the world remain closed or at minimum capacity. As a result, millions of employees have transitioned to working remotely from their homes.
While the concept of remote work, also referred to as telework, is not new, the coronavirus has transformed the traditional office into a digital workplace. A 2018 study found 52% of employees worked from home at least once per week globally. However, this leaves almost half of the world’s workforce inexperienced or entirely new to the concept.
With no definitive end in sight, organisations should ensure their culture transcends physical boundaries by leveraging the right combination of technology and strategies to safeguard their business continuity and organisational culture.
Social Distancing does Not Mean Social Isolation
Widespread adoption of remote working policies has left millions of people without the social interactions they are used to on a daily basis. Even the most introverted of employees now find themselves working alone from their home.
Remote work can leave employees feeling isolated and lonely. However, social distancing doesn’t have to mean social isolation. The internet, intranet, collaborative platforms, and other social networks serve as innovative alternatives to help organisations maintain social and cultural aspects of their workforce.
Encourage your employees to connect and engage through your company’s preferred platforms. Schedule daily virtual meetings through Skype, Zoom, or Google Hangouts. Encourage team members to check in with one another, and remind them that this is a temporary situation.
Reevaluate How You Measure Productivity
When your staff struggles with technology or they are experiencing difficulty adapting to their new remote work environment, it can impact productivity. First and foremost, be sure to train your employees on how to use any remote work platforms and clearly outline what the expectations are. Reach out to your employees and keep the lines of communication open.
In recent years we have witnessed a shift from the mentality of quantity equals quality. Employers are embracing the reality that hours worked do not necessarily equate to increased output. In fact, according to studies conducted by the Harvard Business Review, employee engagement and employee satisfaction are among the most effective drivers of performance.
Most importantly, be flexible and patient with your employees as they adjust to working remotely and online. Many remote employees are juggling working from home, homeschooling, managing their household, and even the impact of the COVID-19 virus itself. If possible, allow flexibility for your team to work during the hours that work best to achieve their maximum productivity levels (even if these hours are outside of the traditional workday).
While workforce morale is essential during the best of times, it’s especially important during these uncertain pandemic times. It’s very easy for remote workers to become disengaged if they feel removed from the big picture. To help combat this challenge, companies should focus on creating a positive remote work experience. While it’s essential to disseminate critical and important information, it’s also greatly appreciated when you share stories and news that will bring your team together.
Remember, that even though your employees are isolated in their homes, life is still moving forward. Be sure to continue to recognise important milestones, such as birthdays, anniversaries, and promotions. This will help your employees feel appreciated and valued.
In particular, CEOs, and key players need to use their influence and position to spread messages of inspiration, hope, and solidarity. Leadership can also help to boost employee morale by remaining active and in touch with their employees through email, blogs, live streams, and social channels.
Pave a Path for Collaboration with MenaITech
Whether in the traditional office space or with your remote workforce, the key to success lies in collaboration. Sharing knowledge increases productivity and cultivates innovations. Finding methods to support information flow is essential to building a collaborative remote workforce.
If the global pandemic has disrupted your organisation, your company can remain operational and productive. At MenaITech, we offer our clients complete end-to-end human capital information technology solutions and services, including payroll and personnel management, HR dashboards, data and analytics, time and attendance, and many other services through web-based, mobile, and cloud technology.
Contact a member of our team to learn more about how our innovative solutions can enhance your remote workforce.