Keeping Work-From-Home Employees Happy and Engaged in the New Normal

woman smiling

Since most countries are urging people to stay at home, most companies have adapted to these changes by also permitting their employees to bring their workload and equipment home. Of course, this will only work for some select industries, such as most IT, marketing, and any firm that offers services that are not necessarily face-to-face.

It seems all good knowing that you’re working in the comfort of your own home, right? Well, it might be convenient, but it can also be a bit mentally exhausting, especially when there is no clear compartmentalization of work and rest. Clearly, we associate our home with rest and spending time with our family, while the office is a place where we can be switched on and productive most of the time.

Why Is Employee Engagement Important?

When our teammates and co-workers are hundreds of kilometers from us, it’s going to be hard to have any physical contact or interaction. Sure, communication might not necessarily be a problem since there are plenty of messaging platforms that are available, but communication alone does not equate to employee engagement.

Most studies have shown that around 70% of managers would say that employee engagement is paramount in retaining employees. But ironically, only a third of the population would say that they are engaged at work. There are several factors that can lead to less engagement, such as a rigid bureaucracy, poor communications, or even a lack of recognition from managers for the hard work of employees. Some employees would also say that the lack of a clear and present plan can also lead to most employees being put off by the company’s vision and mission.

In order to retain employees in the long-term, produce high levels of performance, and quality work, employee engagement is paramount in a steady workplace. Basically, employee engagement is important since it can increase productivity, commitment, and can increase the overall success rate of companies. There are many activities and ways of engaging your team without requiring their physical presence. Here are some of the activities that you can do.

Give Them Incentives

Most of the time, companies will put a hold to their incentive program when most of their employees are working outside their supervision and won’t be able to track their progress. But contrary to what most people think, keeping the same rewards-based system and meritocracy on your working group can ensure that they are all happy and willing to work harder than usual. Studies have shown that incentives are a great way of increasing productivity in the workplace. 

If you have employees working overseas, you can give them office souvenirs and mementoes with their names engraved by a laser cutting machine for wood. This will show them that you’re grateful for the time and work that they’ve put in the company.

Female using laptop while smiling

Connect with Them on a Personal Level

One of the good things about being in the office is that you can joke around with your co-workers. Office banter is a good way of promoting a more lively and light-hearted work environment without getting too serious. After all, we want to get through the day while still forging a stronger relationship with our team. But when push comes to shove, it’s important to know when to get serious with your workload.

Ask Questions and Make Concrete Plans

Even though you might want to distract your employees from reality with a bit of fun, it’s still important to get down to business. When you’re in meetings, it’s time to get serious by getting making concrete plans. It’s best to listen to what your employees have to say. Do they have problems with their connection? How are they holding up in terms of mental health when they’re usually just at home? These are just some questions that you might want to ask.

Even though some questions might be a bit personal, it can still show your concern for them on a more personal level. Of course, a bit of professional demeanor can also come a long way.

Creating solutions to your current logistical problems and present issues won’t just keep employees happy, but give ways of keeping themselves busy.

Follow Up On Progress

Using project management systems can help your employees keep track of their workloads. Communicating and putting your feedback on their performance into words can help them know where their standing is in terms of productivity.

One of the key strategies of ensuring that everyone is happy and engaged while most people are working from home is treating it as if it was another day at the office. Everyone wants to be engaged and working in peak condition. There might be times that working at home might be a bit dissociating for some co-workers, but showing your appreciation and keeping them in a light-hearted mood can help with their productivity.

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