With the lifting of Coronavirus restrictions only one week away, many employers are starting to think about what the return to the office looks like for their business and what impact this choice may have on staff morale.
Whilst some businesses may be asking staff for a full return to the office, others will take the option of a flexible approach whereby staff are required to attend the office on a set number of days per week and some businesses may choose to not return to office working at all.
Remote working certainly has advantages such as saving on travel costs, positive wellbeing and time saving but it can also have its drawbacks.
Working remotely can make communication lines between teams more difficult and can also leave staff feeling a bit disconnected from their colleagues and workplace.
So how do you keep up motivation and find a way to keep staff productivity levels high?
Coordinate office days
Recent surveys have revealed that people generally would like a mix of workplace and home working, and a mass return of all staff to the office especially with the current rise in Covid cases, may not be a preference amongst many. So, putting in place set days of the week where different teams can be in the office together to review work, bounce around new ideas and plan future projects could be a good way to increase staff morale whilst still allowing the home working days where employees are able to be more flexible with their time.
Employers need to be able to show trust in their employees whilst they are remote working by allowing them to take ownership of the work that has been assigned to them as well as manage their own time without feeling like they are constantly being asked for updates.
If employees feel like they are trusted, this boosts staff morale levels and therefore will have a positive impact on motivation and productivity across the business.
Face to face chats with each team member
Checking in on each of your employees allows the employer to be able to gauge individual motivation and wellbeing in their staff. Try and aim for at least monthly individual face to face chats so that your employees can discuss their progress on any projects as well as a general check in of how they are doing.
Mental wellbeing is so important during this time and the relationships between staff and their employers/colleagues can help people to cope with stress.
Provide development opportunities
With remote working, it can be easy for employees to feel they are lacking training and development opportunities which can lead to staff feeling demotivated. It is important to talk to your team members about their goals/targets and how they can continue to grow within the company.
Staff morale can be lifted not only through a team member learning new skills but also by feeling valued knowing that their employer is willing to invest in them.
Monthly targets and recognition
Setting goals or targets for your employees is a less informal way of tracking productivity.
When an employee has something to aim towards and receives positive reinforcement once they have achieved this target, this can help staff to feel more valued and also reduce feelings of disconnection from the workplace.
Recognition of the efforts and achievement of your employees is one of the most effective methods of making them feel more engaged and boosting staff morale.
Trial and error
It is important to remember that the ‘new normal’ is different for both employers and employees, therefore, it will take some time to find the working situation that suits your business moving forward and this will no doubt continue to evolve and change over the coming months/years.
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