Some organizations have completely transitioned from the traditional office to the remote work model, so working remotely has become the norm for many people. Remote work comes with advantages and disadvantages.
For instance, it offers a work-life balance, improves productivity, and reduces employee turnover. On the downside, it can cause feelings of loneliness, increases the need for meetings, and requires high self-discipline.
Despite the challenges of remote work, companies are able to manage employees well and keep them happy. The key is to create an enjoyable virtual work environment. Here’s how:
1. Streamline Internal Communications
For any virtual team, communication is vital. Members need to communicate constantly. Thus, there’s a need for relevant technologies to foster communication in remote workspaces.
Many technologies enable remote teamwork. Take cloud computing, for example. It allows teams to work from the cloud and access files or information from it remotely.
Another helpful technology that will help staff stay connected is video conferencing tools, which encourage collaboration and make it easier to share and understand information. Plus, video conferences are more engaging than audio ones since they deliver the human connection of face-to-face communication to every meeting.
2. Plan Virtual Social Events
The work environment can be stressful at times. To liven things up, host fun virtual events for work, such as quizzes and trivia games. Introduce a show and tell event: Ask your team members to arrange a photo slideshow and share their stories.
You can even play charades. All you have to do is set up different teams, depending on the number of participants, use a generator for some charade ideas, and then start playing.
Aside from charades, do work remote bingo. You can play this game before having a meeting. Search for a remote work bingo card online, send the card to your team, assign a caller to announce different squares at random, and you’re good to go.
3. Encourage Breaks
Working remotely is great because of its flexibility. You get to save on transportation costs as well. But having a flexible schedule could lead to overworking.
For example, you might have to check a lot of work emails even after you’ve clocked out for the day. Or you have to finish a project hastily to meet the deadline. As a result, you feel burned out and fail to perform well.
So, it’s important to take breaks frequently. Although some employees can work for long stretches, breaks are necessary. They help you stay focused, see your goals clearly, and be more creative. They even help you develop healthier habits, such as working out, eating nutritious meals, and getting enough sleep.
Moreover, encourage employees to use their annual and holiday leave. Going on vacation will rejuvenate and motivate them once they return to work.
4. Support Employees
Some employees who work from home have to look after kids or family members who are sick, have a disability or are elderly. Thus, striking a balance between work and family can be difficult.
Support employees by giving them flexible working hours or work arrangements, like long-term leave, part-time furlough, and a reduced work schedule.
In addition to flexible work arrangements, implement a buddying system, so colleagues can share their advice on approaches that have worked for them or insights they’ve gained from their experiences.
5. Promote Mental Wellness
While working from home is practical for most, there may be some that find it hard to adjust. So, it’s important to promote mental wellness in the workplace. From time to time, hold one-on-one meetings with staff to check in on them.
Introduce mental wellness activities, such as art lessons, yoga sessions, and dance classes. Online group meditation will work just as well.
6. Optimize Hiring Processes
Some companies that have migrated to remote work are also interviewing and onboarding virtually. You can make some adjustments to interviewing remotely. One change you can apply is to prepare interview questions ahead of time. Having the questions ready will keep video interviews engaging and leave a lasting impression on candidates.
Onboarding virtually may require unique approaches, such as preparing a virtual recruitment plan. For example, create a plan that details how you’ll go about the entire onboarding process. With a plan, the process will be seamless.
Other approaches include setting up welcome video calls, meetings, and virtual training sessions. A welcome video conference will help new hires overcome their first-day jitters and make them feel at ease. On the other hand, meetings will give new employees the opportunity to get to know their colleagues.
Training sessions prepare new recruits for remote work. During these sessions, recruits will learn the importance of time management and organization, as well as the significance of having access to a workspace that’s free from distractions.
Building a fun virtual work environment isn’t that hard. It’s all about using the right tools, improving processes, and, most importantly, caring for your employees.