As business owners and managers we know we are expecting an extended period of lockdown, so over the next few weeks, I wanted to keep in touch by updating you on relevant industry news and maybe share some good practices so you and your team can not only survive, but thrive during this lockdown.
Looking after existing employees (including temporary staff) is paramount and with the Government schemes which have been set up there are good options for businesses to keep hold of their workforce. Where people are working from home, this is tough on anyone not already used to it. However, with with the right technology and engagement people can continue feeling involved and encouraged. The most important thing is to keep morale high and stay focused on the goal. Please find below some tips for home working but also those who are still having to go to their place of work during these extraordinary times
Keep in touch
One aspect that’s often lost when all workers are remote is the natural sense of camaraderie that springs from a shared goal and shared conditions. Those shared goals won’t disappear just because work is happening differently.
But now people will be dealing with much different working conditions. Staying in constant touch about work topics is a good way to create the sense of shared conditions. Send out a daily email every morning with topics and questions, creating a conversation and encouraging engagement.
Keep a sense of humour
These are difficult times, for sure, and it’s appropriate to acknowledge that. But maintaining a sense of humour is an important means to keep group solidarity and spirits up. It’s okay to include a humorous tone in daily communication, especially around topics related to the new reality.
Encourage video conferences
One important way to maintain a productive and professional attitude while working from home is to make an effort to prepare for the day in the same way that you would if you were going into the office. While it might be tempting to start working in your pj’s (or less), in the long run it can chip away at self-confidence.
Besides just being a great way to keep in touch, Video conferences, especially those scheduled in the morning, are a great way to bolster social interaction while also subtly encouraging people to get dressed and fix their hair.
Ask managers and team leaders to make a point of calling people just to check in, without a specific agenda or question in mind. This is especially useful to do in the afternoon, when the long hours are starting to turn into an invitation for distraction. Managers can also take advantage of the chat to remind employees casually to make sure they sign off at the end of the day. Working from home shouldn’t be an invitation to work around the clock.
I hope these tips are helpful. As I said, we’ll keep in touch over the coming weeks with more useful tips on staff engagement, retention and recruitment. If I, or any of the Planet team can be of any help over these weeks, even as a sounding board, please pick up the phone for a chat.