Plenty of businesses are concerned about how to keep their employees engaged with their work, despite these difficult times of self-isolation. Employee engagement is tough enough to achieve – even when the entire team works in the same building. Promoting employee engagement with remote teams may seem like an overwhelming task.

No matter the business or industry, every business has made  to this new way working. That’s why our team of experts in HR consultancy and employee engagement has developed a plan to support our clients during these times.

To keep your employees happy, healthy, and productive (even in these troubling times), there are few areas of the work environment you should pay attention to.

Optimise the New “Work-space”

Environment is crucial when it comes to productivity and happiness. In the office, you have total control over the environment and what happens in it. Now that people are working from home – you cannot control the distractions.

This situation is difficult for many people, even those who are used to working from home. Your employees may have bigger priorities than work at home – for example those with children who no longer have a school to go to – and productivity is a nightmare.

Encourage and support employees as they optimize their work-space. Consider offering accommodations – like the same ergonomic office chairs employees have at the office – to help your people stay comfortable. Not to mention, as this situation continues, it’s expected that employers may have to provide these accommodations anyway.

Pay attention to the Online Meetings

There’s no end to the amount of video conferencing apps, instant messengers, and lightweight phone plans available now at a huge discount (or even free!) to help you keep your team connected. No matter which tool you choose to use, communicating this way can be uncomfortable and awkward for the team if they’re not used to it.

Much like in traditional meetings, there are certain faux pas participants can commit that waste time and are ineffective. Prepare some guidelines for your business when holding meetings, and try to observe some meetings going on right now.

Promote Mindfulness

Mindfulness is an essential tool to be productive at work and to stay grounded during this situation. This situation may be affecting some employees more than others, and for those who don’t usually practice mindfulness this situation can be especially difficult.

Put in the effort to understand how this situation is affecting your employees. What challenges are they facing? What is their attitude about the situation? What will life be like for them during this time? Our experts recommend personally connecting with your employees – one-on-one – and have an honest discussion about expectations.

Create Opportunities for Interaction

When we went into lockdown, we lost so many little moments in the day for interaction. Now, it’s all too easy for the team to fall into the routine of only speaking about work.  To keep your team engaged during this time, it’s critical to capture those moments during the virtual work day.

Don’t be afraid to get creative and create reasons for people to interact with each other, and your business. As a start, you can pad your meeting times to include time for basic social interaction. Create “water cooler” meetings or virtual lunch times for people to join just to chat.

Train the Management Team

There’s a lot to get used to with this new way of working – and managers can make the biggest impact on keeping engagement and productivity high. Develop your remote employee engagement plan with the managers and team leads of your business. Your managers will be the key to driving real engagement across your entire organisation.

Adjusting to the new normal

Several weeks into self-isolation, and many are starting to accept the fact that this will be the new normal for the coming months. How your business adjusts to the “new normal” will determine your success during these times – and after.

If you’d like to learn more about how you can engage your employees while they work remotely, schedule a consultation with one of our experts.