By Jordin Voss
The pandemic has upended the modern workforce — from making remote work a norm, to revealing the importance of work/life balance. It’s up to management and HR professionals to ensure that teams are working efficiently amid these difficult times. Of course, part of this includes keeping employees happy and cultivating a positive work environment. Not only does this improve productivity and reduce burnout, but it also shows that you care enough for your team.
That being said, here are some tips to get you started.
Have regular check-ins
Remote work is new for many employees, and some may be having trouble achieving a healthy work-life balance or getting used to working at home. Check-ins are not just for providing feedback on work, it also gives employees an avenue to talk about their health and well-being. With blurry lines between work and personal life, employees may want to feel more support and motivation during this time. It can be as simple as shooting employees a quick message asking them how they’re doing.
Organize non-work hangouts
If it is safe for you to do so, you can hold company events that don’t involve work — such as dinners or hiking trips. Of course, the current safest option is keeping it virtual for now, using platforms like Zoom or Google Meet. If you want to help cultivate healthy habits too, you can schedule regular online workout sessions to ensure your employees get some exercise. Or you can also play some games such as Codenames, Mafia, and Jackbox Games. All in all, it’s a good way for employees to get to know each other and relax.
Encourage an ergonomic workspace
Remote working entails hours of sitting in front of the computer doing repetitive movements, such as typing. This could lead to health complications like back and neck pain, which certainly isn’t good for their mood or productivity. As such, it’s a good idea to have an allowance to set up remote work stations. If that’s not possible, at least provide suggestions and guide employees on how they can optimize their new home office. For instance, you can suggest they get lumbar support pillows to encourage good posture. This leads to better circulation and less digestive problems. To address typing strain, an ergonomic keyboard prevents arm, wrist, and hand alignment issues while you type in a more natural position. It’s important to address these before they become problems.
Give positive reinforcement
Positive reinforcement makes employees feel seen and appreciated — like they’re making a difference in the company. Remember to be sincere when you give them positive reinforcement, and do it immediately after their actions — whether it’s a successful presentation or a great pitch. Things like “I’m impressed with the proposal you made” or “You’re really good at writing reports” seem simple, but they go a long way in motivating your employees. When all else fails, even a simple “Thank you” can make their day.
Making a positive work environment for your employees may take some work, but it will surely make a difference in the long run.