Since the pandemic began, employers across the globe have taken the step to create fully, or partly, remote workforces as part of their long-term plan.
Remote working has been hugely beneficial for allowing businesses to keep themselves running over the past year but it has also highlighted just how much can be done online from home. The world had the ultimate crash course in video team meetings, cloudcomputing and online management. However, there are some things that haven’t been as easy. One of which is recognizing staff for their hard work.
Behind that computer screen, you have a team of hard-working individuals managing both work and home life simultaneously. Between getting the kids ready for school and answering last week’s emails, the pressure for employees just starting out in the remote working environment can be high.
There’s a sense that you need to be constantly productive while working from home or that breaks are a thing ofthe past. While in the office you might nip for a 15-minute break with a coffee, at home in your comfy workwear, it feels as if the whole day is more relaxed, and therefore you have to work extra hard to prove yourself.
This is simply not the case. As an employer, it’s essential that you ensure your employees know that there is no added pressure while working from home, and that their hard work is being recognized and appreciated.
Unlike in the office, where you could give thanks in person or show your appreciation with after-work drinks, rewarding remote staff is much more difficult. Which is why this guide will dive into how you can recognize remote staff for their efforts, and how you can adapt to a more streamlined, remote working structure that suits everyone.
The benefits of remote working
There are a vast number of benefits for remote working.
To start, it saves both you and your employees a little money. More money at the end of the month, means a little more to spend on the things that matter.
Staff can enjoy no longer having to pay for gas or public transport for their commute, while business owners can significantly reduce their overhead costs for utilities, office rent and more. You could even save money by outsourcing certain work like marketing or HR. Using HR consulting Denver enables you to simply pay for the work you need, when you need it – rather than paying a full department of staff full-time.
As people won’t have the stress of the morning commute to process, many people end up feeling more ready to work when office hours start. That means, you might find your staffare more productive when working remotely.
Working remotely also allows staff to manage their own work life balance – especially if you’re open to your employees working at different times of day to suit their own priorities.
As for the business, you can take advantage of a wider recruitment pool to find the best of the best for your company. You could even recruit people from different countries in order to find the best person for the job, at a salary that works for your budget.
Adapting to a remote working structure
Adapting to a remote working structure has its ups and downs, that’s inevitable. However, with the right processes in place, you can make the transition easy and pain-free for everyone.
Revisit old policies
The first thing to do is to revisit old policies to make sure everything still works for the new set up. If things need changing, make sure to get staff involved to ensure the new policies work for the whole team.
Reconsider what constitutes as working hours
One major change for the remote workforce is working hours and expectations. While you might want to stick to the standard 9-5 office hours, there may be room to create a flexible window. Providing a flexible work schedule means staff are accountable for managing their own time, and balancing work around other life admin. Staff who have young families will certainly appreciate the leeway of being able to start work later after dropping the kids off or working in an evening once the kids are asleep.
If your business isn’t restricted to the standard day time, you may need to change your policies about punctuality and working times to fit.
Help those struggling with the transition
Tech savvy individuals and self-motivators will have no problem adapting to a remote working structure. However, there are plenty of staff who could be silently struggling. Others might be taking advantage of the lack of supervision and need to be put back in their place before your business is affected.
If you suspect someone is having a hard time with the transition, schedule in a 1-to-1 via video, and check in. They might be open and honest about their difficulties, or you may need to have a frank conversation with them. Don’t be afraid to pick up the phone (or video) to check how your staff are doing.
Recognizing and rewarding staff
Keep team meetings in place
Even if your team is scattered across the globe, you should always try to maintain regular team meetings. These meetings can be serious or fun but should really be about checking in with the whole workforce. Whether that’s to celebrate a birthday or to discuss objectives for the new financial year. Team meetings are a great place to show praise and single out workers to make them feel special and appreciated, too.
Maintain fun traditions
If your staff usually have drinks on a Friday lunch, how can you turn this into a virtual occasion? For businesses with the budget and capacity, it might be nice to send staff a bottle of their favorite wine or beer, so that you can all drink together on a no-business-talk video call. For some people, remote working can be incredibly isolating – especially if they live alone. Maintaining the fun aspects of office life is integral and you should do what you can to make sure that social element is kept intact.
Other traditions like Christmas parties or employee of the month can still be maintained too. In fact, a Christmas party is a great way to bring the whole team back together again for an evening of fun, food and festivities.
Acknowledge the small stuff
While it might be simple to use your standard email signature, it’s a lot nicer to really acknowledge the small stuff whenever you can. If you’re sending over an email to a staff member who’s clearly been working hard on a project or has seriously helped you, make sure to give thanks or show your appreciation – rather than a simple ‘kind regards’.
Appreciating and rewarding staff is easier than you first think. It just takes a little thought and consideration.