With such a huge shift in working behaviours and the majority of people now working from home, our professional and personal lines have been well and truly blurred.
Ensuring people’s WFH experience is positive should be high on everyone’s list. To the extent there’s even a new role in job market – the ‘Remote Experience Manager’, someone assigned to oversee the remote experience, ensuring the process remains positive and collaborative.
Engagement, purpose and belonging are as important as ever, being connected reinforces psychological safety. This creates the opportunity for teams to openly share ideas, problem-solve and overcome obstacles together.
What can you do?
Making sure people’s needs are met without having the benefits of physical interaction (body language, social cues and socials) takes consideration and commitment. We’ve created a list of helpful ways to maintain positivity remotely.
- Lead with kindness: these are high stress times, and many people will be feeling the pressure of juggling family life, childcare – potential job and financial security. Schedule time to connect with your team. Be compassionate with ‘thank you’ meetings or check-ins to make sure your colleagues are feeling ok.
- Introduce flex and freedom: Reimagine the 9-5pm by giving people the autonomy to choose how to work around their home life. People will thrive more if they have a proper distinction between ‘work time’ and ‘personal time’.
- Make lunch breaks mandatory: Make sure everyone is stepping away for proper breaks to refresh, like taking a walk or joining an exercise class.
- Advocate microbreaks: Quick blasts of non-work-related activity are proven to reduce stress and increase productivity – they should be short and voluntary, like watching a short video or stretching to break up the monotony.
- Allocate team members as mentors: New joiners aren’t able to shadow within the office environment, so create a buddy system with lots of opportunities for networking.
- Choose tools that encourage conversations: Tools like Snack feature virtual coffee roulettes to help break silos and expand personal networks – participants are paired at random for a short conversation. It also has the added benefits of boosting productivity and innovation – because the best ideas usually come from these spontaneous catchups.
- Brighten people’s day: Create positive everyday experiences to boost morale, like sending people gifts to brighten up their workspace.
- Offer a safe space for vulnerability. The likelihood is people will be feeling uncertain right now and it’s important they know that that’s ok and there is opportunity to talk about it. Well-being checks will show your people you are invested and help them deal with their new way of working.
Time to Change is a growing campaign working to change the way we all think and act about mental health problems, they offer a range of downloaded content and resources for the workplace. If you need help or further support on mental health, please see The NHS’s resource list.
During these times of enormous change, there isn’t a quick fix remedy to ensure your culture remains positive; however, in the absence of the office, maintaining a sense of belonging and communication are key elements.
At HappyHQ we can offer advice and guidance on managing the remote experience so everyone’s happy. Get in touch with a member of our team for more information via happyhq.co.uk