In the era of the global pandemic, remote working is here to stay, and it has its own advantages as well. An increasing number of businesses are adopting remote working styles due to these benefits. One of the most apparent advantages being that one need not travel to the workplace, and even amid lockdown work can go on from home.
However, there are several challenges as well when dealing with remote working employees. One of the most significant issues can be keeping your employees motivated and in enhancing productivity and promoting teamwork among employees working from different locations. There can be many such challenges faced by businesses, and it can affect business operations adversely if a strategy is not developed for boosting employee morale and keeping them engaged.
Before we address these issues, it would do well to understand the advantages afforded by remote working or telecommuting for employees as well as employers. It will also lead to a better understanding of how the issues we have mentioned above can arise and how to deal with them effectively.
Benefits of Remote Working:
It is not only after the pandemic that remote working came into existence, and in fact, it has been there for years, but adoption rates were slow for several reasons. One of the most obvious ones being that many companies were afraid:
- If they would be able to get employees to work with an equal amount of dedication from a remote location
- If their work quality would be as good while working in a more relaxed environment
Defying all these fears, remote workers have proved in the pandemic era that remote work instead promotes the level of productivity because of a more relaxed working environment and ability to do things one’s own way to an extent. Being able to choose their work location within the home is one of the psychological factors which works well. It fills the employees with a subtle sense of empowerment and being in control of their work choices.
However, on the downside, it may not be accurate for everyone and some, being there in the office helps them enter the work mode and to stay focused on what they are doing. Working from home can be too distracting for some, or due to space constraints, they might find it problematic to find a good spot to work from in their home.
It goes without saying that instead of losing their jobs, most employees appreciate being able to work from home or they look for 100% guaranteed loans for their financial needs. It keeps them safe from the risk of the virus spread, allows them, to work and also gives a little flexibility, but after a while, the lack of human contact can make them feel a bit down.
Lack of Human Touch:
While working routinely in an office, one might not realize the importance of face-to-face communication or the element of human touch, but in telecommuting, it becomes too obvious. While most employees would be living with their family but some might be single or staying away from family in another city. In such cases, no face-to-face communication with others can affect them psychologically, and a feeling of isolation might set in slowly.
Businesses need to enhance face-to-face communication and interactive or fun activities with the help of virtual working and collaboration tools. This would allow remotely working teams to not only collaborate better in terms of work but also enjoy enhanced personal interaction healthily. It is essential to make the working style a bit lively and enthusing.
Even Virtual Workspaces Can Be Competitive:
It is also a great idea to promote healthy work competition among remote employees and incentivize them for performing better, which would go a long way to keep employees engaged and motivated. Also, try to get them involved in some level of decision making and charting the future course of work. It is because they might even get a sense of direction in their work lives and not begin feeling lost with endless, formalized virtual corporate meetings and deadlines.
Do Not Forget To Praise:
More so than ever before, all your remote employees might need is a bit of encouragement that would cost you nothing. It is essential to be real and not just make it a feel-good factor but it’s always better to be substantial, which would make employees feel appreciated. Do Not let any good work go unappreciated and avoid being unresponsive. Also, adopt a less formal tone in terms of appreciation to make your employees feel connected.
Ask For Employee Feedback:
Make it a point to get regular feedback from your employees on anything and everything. It is a virtual era, and it won’t hurt your business interests to handle even a bit of well-reasoned criticism about working methods or work routines and interaction from employees working under a lot of restraints. Make improvements and changes based on the feedback, and it may also not be a bad idea to devote a few hours every week for employees to share their personal stories in the pandemic era.
In the pandemic era, one of the biggest problems businesses are facing is with employees feeling increasingly isolated and even feeling a bit depressed. To ensure your employees do not suffer from depression and other possible negative consequences of being isolated in the virtual workspace, a company can adopt several ways to liven up things a bit. It would only help boost productivity to make employees feel more appreciated, involved, and a part of decision-making processes.
All that a business needs to do is think of out-of-the-box solutions and make work collaboration and interaction more interesting to keep remote workers engaged. There are several virtual tools available for teams to collaborate, share work, and interact professionally. However, the key here is to lend a personal touch to employer-employee interaction and promote the same with teams collaborating on a project in new and creative ways.
Remote working is in vogue these days due to the pandemic. Still, it is essential to keep employees engaged and motivated to help avoid them falling into depression or feel isolated.
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