The current public health emergency has forced employers to adapt to a more digital workplace. Millions of employees have shifted to working remotely and employers in all industries have had to accommodate how to effectively manage them at home. Some employers have expressed their struggles with successfully integrating their management style to a remote setting. At Alltrust, we’ve created some tips to help make it easier for employers to manage remote employees.
Every industry has its challenges, and it can be difficult to transition to a remote work setting. Managers need to understand the outside factors that might affect their employees at home. Some remote employees have expressed difficulties they face such as:
- Social isolation
- Distractions at home
- Lack of immediate supervision
- Difficulty in attaining access to information
- Enhanced mental issues
These are just a few of the problems employees can experience while working from home. There are ways employers can combat these issues and promote a healthy online work environment.
Employees lack the face-to-face supervision they would get from an on-site work environment when working from home. Scheduling daily check-ins require employees to be held accountable for their workday and allows managers to view their day’s work. Establishing more interaction with managers virtually can help offset the lack of typical interaction that employees had before transitioning to a remote work environment.
Managers should define what’s acceptable and unacceptable for their remote employees. Managers need to explicitly express what is expected of them and their daily responsibilities. What has worked in an office setting might not work for employees working at home. Listen to what employees need and ask how you can help them perform their best.
Recommend employees keep a daily schedule to help them avoid distractions at home and complete tasks in a timely manner. Enforcing these daily check-ins can ensure employees adhere to their own schedules. People struggle with time management, and working remotely can enhance that struggle, so having a schedule and calendar can help improve their time-management skills.
Establish a line of constant communication. There are resources like Slack, Google Chat, and Microsoft Teams that let employees communicate instantly with each other. Let employees know what the acceptable forms of communication are. Do managers want employees to use their personal phone numbers, and is it okay to call or text them? Employers also need to communicate regularly with their teams and update them on any company policies or staffing changes.
Employees should feel comfortable with coming to their superior if any issue arises, and communication can help. It might be beneficial to provide ways for departments to collaborate. There are options like sharing a Google Doc and utilizing Trello to keep tasks organized and promote coordination among workers.
Employees working from home have expressed feeling secluded and isolated. They lack the social connection they once got on a daily basis. These feelings could be detrimental to their mental health and can affect their work performance. Having that line of constant communication with their fellow co-workers can offer some comfort, but it won’t fill the gap of the interaction they’re used to.
To combat isolation for remote employees, managers could initiate team building activities such as:
- Digital happy hour
- Game or trivia night
- Weekly or monthly coffee chats
- Team fitness challenges
- Listening to inspirational podcasts as a team
- Virtual icebreakers
- Team cooking classes
- Team yoga classes
- Remote movie night
- Book clubs
- Employee pen pal program
These options are simple and free. Employees will appreciate the effort from their managers and enjoy the chance to get to know their co-workers from afar. Encouraging interaction outside of work hours can help lessen the feelings of isolation.
Employees don’t have the luxury of walking over to someone’s office to ask for resources or information for a given task or project. It can be bothersome for employees to search and dig for files or information online for their tasks, especially when they are used to a physical environment. Making data and resources easily accessible for all employees can help with their work performance.
Some websites and apps can make sharing documents and information easier: Trello, Google Drive, Basecamp, Monday.com, and Asana. These resources have multiple functions. They can be used for communication, sharing files, and project management. It might take time to integrate these new resources into daily life for your remote employees, but they can be very user-friendly and easy to learn.
Employees and employers alike have had to change their work environments and habits. Managers should acknowledge the change and how it might not be an ideal shift for every employee. If possible, offer hybrid options for employees.
Managers should be open to adjusting work hours. It was typical for everyone’s schedule to be nine to five, but that might not be the case working remotely during a pandemic. Some parents have their children at home learning online or others are surrounded by people working from home in the same space. They might have to adjust their schedules and work when the children are sleeping or when the house is empty. Focusing on the outcomes and completed work can alleviate the stress employees might experience working at home.
Working With Alltrust
We understand that these work environment changes might not be a pleasant transition for some people struggling to be successful working remotely. We’re here to help you and your employees in any way we can. The tips we’ve provided are simple but might be difficult to enforce or apply, so we can help execute some of these plans.
Employers need to encourage a healthy work-life balance for their employees and apply these strategies to help manage them. Providing guidelines and resources for every employee can ease the transition. At Alltrust, we want to keep our clients and their families and employees healthy. Contact us today to see how we can help your business.