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Role model healthy behaviors
It helps to practice your own healthy work from home habits, as managing a remote workforce while also working from home can be challenging. See Working from home for employees: 10 tips to support and enhance your wellbeing while working from home to role model healthy habits, as your team looks to you for guidance and will follow your lead, whether remotely or in person.
Give meaningful recognition and celebrate successes
Giving positive feedback for their significant contributions keeps your employees feeling motivated and valued. Set up a #Kudos channel in Teams to call out individual or team contributions on a team-wide scale or begin team meetings with recognition of a job well done. Send emails of appreciation with specific details.
Employees who are not accustomed to working remotely may feel cut off from the resources, information, or relationships they need to do their jobs well. Be deliberate in increasing communication. Schedule regular check ins and pad socializing into the timeframe of team meetings; it may be vital for people who need lots of interaction to keep motivated and energized.
Set expectations early and clearly
When it comes to managing remote teams, clear communication of expectations is increasingly important. Managers who clearly communicate their expectations have engaged, motivated, and happier teams. According to Gallup research, about half of all U.S. employees – remote or not – feel unclear about what is expected of them at work. This can worsen if they are working remotely without good guidance.
Keep an eye out for isolation and loneliness
According to a Harvard Business Review study, remote employees are more likely to feel shunned and left out compared to employees working on-site. Among the most common frustrations reported by remote workers was the lack of face time and deep relationships with work colleagues. Many of these workers struggle with feelings of isolation and loneliness. Caring conversations can get ahead of loneliness issues. Round with your employees as often as you can. Discuss challenges and help come up with solutions together to increase connectivity virtually.
Create a virtual community
Human beings need to feel connected – not only to their co-workers, but to the organization. Fully remote workers do not get that opportunity to connect, which can make them feel isolated and disconnected. Successful managers of remote workers
cultivate a social environment through effective use of technology. Online group chats allow teams to connect with each other. When managers meet the basics needs of engagement, even casual, friendly conversations can turn into innovative discussions that help the team and organization thrive.
Successful managers of remote workers are available during employees’ working hours. Maintain an open-door policy for your employees by making yourself available through different means of technology (Teams, Skype, email, phone, and text). Set up virtual drop in office hours via Teams when you are online so employees know they can ‘drop in’ to get questions answered on the spot.
Managers build trust by keeping their promises and having frequent conversations. Remote employees don’t always have the network that on-site employees do. When employees know they can turn to you for help, it enhances their productivity, aids in their development, and contributes directly to their success.
Encourage healthy habits
Encourage your employees to have walking meetings, take stretch breaks, and enjoy healthy snacks while working from home. Remote employees don’t have office stairs to climb, may not be walking to get lunch, don’t have access to a cafeteria salad bar, or aren’t leaving their desk to attend in-person meetings; however, it is still possible to be physically active and healthy throughout the day.