Work From Home: The flip side of the coin
Many of us have grown accustomed to the benefits of working from home: less commuting, more time with the family and, of course, the ability to dress down for a Zoom call (just don’t stand up!). However, this ‘new normal’ is not without issues.
Aside from the logistical and psychological transition required for your home to become a professional hub, there’s also technology, connectivity and time-management considerations – none of which can be ignored by companies that offer remote working, if they are to create and maintain a positive workplace culture.
It’s often difficult to define and understand exactly what ‘workplace culture’ means, however it’s widely related to how employees work together in the workplace – the ‘feel’ of the company when you enter its doors and the greeting you get from the reception staff on the front desk.
Creating a positive company culture has become even trickier with the sudden switch to remote working. Whilst some have welcomed this switch with open arms and continue to enjoy the flexibility it brings, others are increasingly raising issues such as loneliness and face-time bias. Blurred lines between work and home have also heightened employee stress and diminished overall wellbeing.
With research showing that culture is directly linked to productivity, creating a positive company culture is key to keeping your business going – arguably more so if your employees are working remotely. So, how can you achieve this? Read on to discover our top tips to managing your team culture – no matter where they’re located.
- Communicate, communicate and communicate more!
Maintaining consistent communication and making sure your team knows you are contactable will help them feel supported – meaning the weekly zoom call isn’t where your communication with your team should stop.
Hold regular 1-2-1s and use your internal systems to communicate throughout the day. We particularly love Slack, which allows employees to ask quick questions and keep updated with ongoing projects and what their colleagues are working on also.
- Encourage short and regular breaks
For some, working from home can mean that they don’t take a break and are at their desk for longer periods of time than if they were in the office. Encourage your team to take short and regular breaks to do things such as get some fresh air, make a cup of tea or ring a colleague for a quick catch-up.
You’ll get the most from your people when you allow them to switch off, rejuvenate and then re-engage with their work. Plus, you are showing that you trust your employees to use their time at home effectively.
- Consider being on site for collaboration
Whilst working remotely saves time commuting, and reduces our carbon footprint and pollution, working on site encourages group collaboration, creativity, innovation and strengthens the feeling of connection with colleagues, customers and suppliers.
You might be encouraging your employees to continue to work remotely. However, when interactions are not as effective via digital tools, consider time spent onsite – at your workplace, or another shared location. Time spent on site can be utilised for meeting and collaborating with colleagues, customers or suppliers in a way that could be more beneficial for your business and your team’s performance.
- Find new ways to enjoy face-to-face interactions
Technology has made it possible for people to interact face-to-face without being in the same room. Tools such as Zoom or Skype are a great way to maintain that ‘personal connection’ with your team members on a regular basis, even if they’re working remotely. Why not set up a recurring team meeting where you can catch up, have a chat and discuss what you are working on and even offer guidance and support where needed?
At HR Star, we also still enjoy having the opportunity to be in the office together at least once a week and feel it’s important to continue to supplement virtual interactions with in-person ones – whether this be working together in the office every week or so, or simply getting together for post-work drinks or another social activity on a regular basis.
- Health, safety and security at home
The health and safety of your employees should be front of mind, whether they are working on site or at home. Don’t forget, every employee who adopts hybrid working has a responsibility to ensure that work locations meet the health, safety and data security standards required by your company.
If you’re searching for new and innovative ideas to create or improve your workplace culture, drop us a line on [email protected] or call 01242 500 557 to find out how we can help.