At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, working from home transitioned overnight from a sought after job perk to a daily reality for many people across the country. While remote work may mean a desirable break from gas-guzzling commutes and an office dress code, it presents unique challenges for employees as well as their employers.
Navigating this newer normal is an adjustment for everyone involved, and it’s a great opportunity to step into your learning zone. Here are some recommendations for increasing employee engagement, motivation, and performance.
Connection is important in the workplace and it’s crucial to prioritize when in-person interaction isn’t an option. Consider bringing some fun to your virtual meetings through activities like bingo with custom cards (and prizes, of course), compiling a “favorite things” list among your team members which is a nice chance to connect on a more personal level, or banding together from a distance to support a meaningful cause such as wearing pink for a day during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.
Phone calls just to check in, utilizing messaging platforms like Microsoft Teams, and staying in touch through group texting are also ways to maintain the connection needed to feel like a team. And things like exchanging pet “co-worker” photos or sending relevant memes help promote normalcy and relatability.
Instead of tracking someone down in the office to express gratitude, there are other opportunities to say thanks. From providing your employees with gift cards as a token of appreciation to giving shout-outs over email, it’s still possible to cultivate an uplifting work environment where people feel valued.
Consider a reward system to boost employee morale at your workplace. At Evergreen Home Loans™, we have one in place that allows employees to send points and recognition to other people in the company for outstanding work. Points can get redeemed for a variety of rewards, such as a paid day off or merchandise.
Provide home office support
Everyone has different needs, and it’s important that employees are provided adequate equipment to set up a functioning home office in order to be comfortable, happy, and productive. Access to IT support is also necessary as technology issues are unavoidable. These may require budget revisions and the investment is worth it.
Additionally, offering cybersecurity resources and training is also beneficial to ensure the safety of customers, employees, and the company. Auditing current systems and processes can help identify areas for improvement. This is feedback you can present to your risk management or related department.
Working from home is overall a big transition from working in an office, especially amidst a pandemic. Finding a balance can take time, and being there for your employees with empathy and patience throughout the experience is vital.
If you’re interested in learning about Evergreen’s people-centric culture and explore current job openings which may include remote work opportunities, visit our Careers page.