In light of the latest advice from the government, home working is once again the order of the day. But it shouldn’t be out of sight, out of mind. Your people need you now, more than ever.
Chances are that post-pandemic, you have at least some of your people working from home, at least some of the time. But how are you meant to support them when they’re not in the office?
As a great employer, you want to know that your people are thriving – and that involves checking in on them, keeping an eye on their wellbeing, and giving them opportunities to grow and develop, no matter where they’re based.
The collective change to remote working is a new normal we’re all trying to navigate together. There has been trial and error aplenty, but after more than 18 months of home working, remote working, and hybrid working, we’ve seen employees call out for support in certain areas, time and again.
With employee wellbeing always at the forefront of our minds, we’re bringing you five brilliant ideas for looking after your remote workers.
How Do You Support Home Workers?
If you want happy, productive, engaged employees (who doesn’t) then you’re going to need to support them through this transition. Whether the move to home working is permanent, part-time or short-term, it doesn’t matter. It’s a change to the status quo, and uncertainty often creates anxiety.
So how do you alleviate the worry and help your employees to thrive whilst working from home?
1. Check in (but not just about work)
As a people manager, you’re used to catching up with your teams about their workloads. What you need now is the human touch. Talk about work, but don’t stop there. Ask people if they’re managing: how are they finding working from home? Do they have the right equipment? Is their internet connection good enough? Do they need more direction with projects now they’re not in the office? Are they feeling lonely? Asking these questions shows that you care about your people as, well, people. It also gives them the opportunity to open up and confide in you if they’re finding things tough.
2. Communicate direction, and give regular feedback
The most challenging part of working from home for many people is a lack of communication. We all like to know what’s going on, so keep your employees in the loop. Maintain regular comms to reassure your teams about the wider business (this is a time of economic uncertainty after all), and instil a sense of ‘togetherness’. It’s also important to keep up with feedback: people want to know if they’ve done a good job; they also need constructive feedback and opportunities for development – and that shouldn’t stop just because someone is working from home.
3. Encourage (and facilitate) collaboration
Being part of a team motivates us to strive towards a common goal. When we’re working from home, we can feel cut off and somewhat removed from those goals – so it’s your job, as an employer, to make sure that doesn’t happen. How? Encourage people to buddy up; maintain regular team meetings; organise online break-out rooms; suggest colleagues arrange virtual coffee dates; create a team email or WhatsApp group; introduce team challenges – basically, anything that gets people working together, swapping ideas, and supporting one another.
4. Embrace a flexible approach
If your people are working from home, they might need to make a few changes to their usual routines. It can be instinctive for some leaders to micro-manage, or ask for constant updates when people make the move to homeworking – but that’s not going to motivate anybody. Your check-ins should be supportive, rather than overbearing. If team members need to start work later or finish earlier to manage responsibilities at home, is that really a problem so long as their work is getting done to a good standard?
5. Invest in employee wellbeing
With more people experiencing poor mental health than ever before, there has never been a better time to invest in employee wellbeing. But supporting your people doesn’t start and end with a fast-track to therapy. Our wellbeing is heavily impacted by everything from sleep, exercise and nutrition, to stress management, community and meaningful activity – and it’s in every one of these areas that people need access to support, particularly when they’re isolated and working from home. That’s why our employee wellbeing platform always starts with an assessment, and provides personalised recommendations based on our six pillar methodology.
It’s an approach that successfully supports home and office workers alike, no matter what’s going on in the world.
BetterSpace is the employee wellbeing platform putting control where it belongs: in the hands of the individual employee. Our groundbreaking solution has been developed with medical and domain expertise and is aligned to our Six Pillars of Wellbeing. BetterSpace empowers your workforce to understand and fulfill their mental health needs.
This approach has achieved engagement rates of 94%, compared to the average usage rate of 2-18% for Employee Assistance Programmes and 10-40% for points solutions.
Want to know more? Schedule a product demonstration with us today.
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