For many business owners, the COVID-19 pandemic has been an incredibly destructive force. The disease has led to countless business closures and has forced many businesses to adapt and begin operating remotely. For employees, there are definitely perks to remote working like spending more time at home and with the family, but there’s no denying that working from home can also lead to problems.
Without the cohesion and socialising that an office environment brings, it’s easy for communication between co-workers to break down. Not only can this cause a reduction in productivity, which is already a major issue, but it can also lead to reduced motivation and morale for a business’s entire workforce.
Addressing these concerns is challenging for any business owner, particularly when all of the other stresses of the pandemic are so distracting. In this guide, we are going to look into how to avoid disengagement and morale loss whilst a business operates remotely. Hopefully, this will inspire you to make changes in your virtual team that promote positivity, growth and employee satisfaction.
To start with, it’s important for all employers to recognise that we are living in exceptional times. Households, families and individuals are all facing challenges that they have never experienced before and for many, working remotely will be a completely new experience. Being accommodating, allowing for a sensible transition period, and creating an understanding relationship between employee and employer is essential for maintaining morale.
If employees feel that they can’t trust management to make concessions if something goes wrong, they will not only be tense but generally dissatisfied with their working situation. This leads to reduced productivity, which harms the business anyways, not to mention the drastically increased risk of employees simply leaving and moving on.
This isn’t to say that staff should be allowed to get away with anything. Finding the balance between expectation and understanding is a challenge for all business owners, it simply becomes even more important when working from home.
Remote Team Building
For a more structured morale booster, consider investing in a dedicated service. There is a broad range of remote team building activities out there, it’s simply a matter of finding the right one for your business and needs.
One of the greatest benefits of remote or virtual team building is that it doesn’t just have to serve as a morale booster. Whilst many think of team building as focusing on fun and games, modern team building events tend to be tailored towards development through fun, rather than solely entertainment. This means that employers can use this to kill two birds with one stone. Not only can you boost morale and employee satisfaction, you can also train specific soft skills that the team might be lacking.
A great example of this is strategic thinking. Training strategic thinking in a workplace setting can seem daunting for business owners, as nobody wants to trial untested staff on key business projects, particularly during a global pandemic. Such games can provide a platform to put budding managers into strategic decision-making positions. Then, their performance can be evaluated and development progressed, helping prepare them for that move into management that you think they are capable of.
Simply identify where you want your team to improve and follow it up with some remote team building research and you’re sure to find a game suitable for your business.
Social Video Calls
Last but not least is the importance of maintaining social working relationships within your team alongside professional working relationships. Teams are built from individuals developing an understanding for one another and personal relationships. These bonds are what lead to trust and communication but distance and time apart can break positive relationships down.
With that in mind, creating a platform for staff to chat in a manner that isn’t necessarily work focused will help solidify these relationships. Social video calls are a great starting point for this, especially when combined with participation-driven virtual games and events. Whether it’s a quiz, a word game or a house tour, maintaining office cohesion should be a top priority for any business transitioning into remote working.
A key part of success here is using a high-quality video conference platform. Without video conferencing, you will find it very difficult to maintain those team bonds as seeing one another face-to-face is infinitely more effective than simply hearing someone’s voice over the phone.
With any luck, these tips will have given you some next steps to begin addressing any morale issues prevalent within your remote team. We are all human and we all have emotions. Understanding these emotions and counteracting the challenges of remote working can create a great system for everyone, and allows your team to work from anywhere in the world.
With the way the world is going, that adaptability is sure to be invaluable for any business.
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