6 Ways to Engage Employees as the Future of Work Largely Remains Remote
The pandemic has left many of us working from home, and with surging cases, new variants, and ever-changing guidelines, remote work doesn’t seem as though it will become a thing of the past anytime soon. Even after the pandemic, working from home will likely continue to grow in popularity.
While remote work certainly has its benefits—no commuting, saving more money, and enjoying the comforts of home—losing in-person interactions and staying motivated can be incredibly difficult. Despite becoming more common, employees can struggle to stay in their remote positions long-term.
Under the circumstances, earning your employees’ commitment and investment may seem like a daunting task, but it’s certainly not impossible. Here are six tips so that you can succeed in fostering an engaging, collaborative work environment.
It can be hard to know where to start. That’s why getting your employees’ thoughts on the current situation can give you the information you need to make the future of your workplace more engaging.
Create an environment where it feels safe to express opinions. To open the door to discussion during meetings, consider hosting a company-sponsored virtual lunch. Use a food delivery service like DoorDash or Grubhub to send meals to your employees. Eating while discussing will help create a more comfortable atmosphere for people to express their thoughts on working from home while also giving everyone a chance to mingle.
Every opinion is valuable, but not everyone feels comfortable disclosing all their thoughts openly. For those who prefer to remain anonymous, conduct regular surveys or open up an online suggestion box. It’s beneficial to get feedback from both newer and long-time employees, who will each have different perspectives to offer on what’s going well and what needs improvement. Implementing real change based on the feedback you receive lets employees know that their input is truly valued.
Acknowledge Employee Contributions
In order to stay engaged, employees must feel like a part of a team and know that their contributions are valued. Small acts of acknowledgement can go a long way in boosting morale and keeping employees motivated.
It’s important to acknowledge not just the big accomplishments, but the little ones too. A daily thank you for everyone’s dedication is a simple, but useful way to express your gratitude. You can also recognize individual employees during meetings, which in turn can encourage support among peers. Sending hand-written cards, gifts, or setting up rewards programs are additional ways to let your employees know they are valued.
Showing appreciation is key to communication and building up a meaningful, positive relationship with your employees.
Team Building Activities
Socializing is essential to building a sense of community among your team, but this can be difficult to accomplish through a screen. It’s easy to feel isolated when most social interactions are online. It’s one of the major downsides to working remotely, but this doesn’t mean that employees have to feel lonely. On the contrary, technology can provide advantages in this department.
Take 15 minutes during virtual meetings for short activities like Two Truths and a Lie, sharing bucket lists, or creating a storyline together. Even simply checking in on employees and asking how they’ve been can help combat feelings of isolation.
Longer activities can be a great option too. Technology provides a wide array of engaging events for everyone to connect through. Virtual escape rooms are a fun way to interact and accomplish something as a team. You can also try other similar activities like a murder mystery. You can even do a virtual retreat and pick from various options like a cooking class, wine tasting, yoga sessions, and more!
Socializing as a group is key to preventing loneliness, but one-on-one interactions are just as important. Entering a new work environment can be intimidating as it is, let alone when the workplace is mostly or entirely remote. Setting up a mentorship program between newer and longtime employees can be greatly beneficial in creating a smooth transition into the workplace.
Mentorship pairings give new employees a connection with someone who can both help them adjust to the company more comfortably and learn its inner workings quickly. It can also help them get over the learning curve of any new software or programs required for remote work. Mentors have plenty to gain from participating as well. Mentoring can provide a greater sense of purpose and help develop leadership skills.
When pairing up employees, consider things like their positions, goals, and interests. Employees with more in common will be able to learn more and make the most successful teams. One way to make this process easier is to have employees fill out a questionnaire. Mentoring can be a great experience for both parties that shows you care about their growth as members of your team.
Host a Mural on Wheels Event
Technology makes it possible to connect in plenty of fun, innovative ways. However, sometimes nothing beats meeting face-to-face. If you and your team are looking for a change of scenery and want to meet up in person, then we have the perfect team-building activity for you!
IPMM’s Mural on Wheels is a cool way for your employees to get some fresh air and socialize while giving back. This fun curbside event that comes to you is perfect for corporate, school, and retail events. Participants will get to make art to take home with a screen printing activity while learning about IPMM’s mission. Better yet, your support will help bring art programs to local schools and communities.
It’s easy to feel trapped in your own home when working remotely. Mural on Wheels events are a great way to take a break from the home office and build a sense of community among your team while simultaneously benefitting your local community. Keeping your employees engaged while making a positive difference has never been easier!
Enhance Office Spaces with Art
The space your employees work in can have a huge impact on how they feel about their work. Staring at the same white walls during Zoom meetings can get dull, so why not add some color to the mix?
Wall art doesn’t just add to the decor. It’s essential to creating a mentally stimulating work environment. Art helps to relieve stress and improve mood. The better your employees feel, the more motivated and productive they will be. Creating an atmosphere that supports creative outlets will also encourage more creative problem-solving.
Consider giving art prints as gifts to brighten up your team’s home offices. Art that reflects each individual will make home offices feel more personalized and make for fun conversations during meetings.
In 2020, IPaintMyMind extended their art rental services to home offices. If you’d like to give your employees the gift of art without committing to one piece, contact IPMM to see if this could be an option for you!
Jobs will continue to move in a remote direction, but that doesn’t have to mean that the future of work can’t be exciting and productive.
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