Have you been working remotely? Or has it sometimes felt more like you’re remotely working?

While many people have adapted quickly to unusual circumstances, getting the most out of a new WFH workspace can still take some extra discipline.

If you are anything like #teamhackajob, we certainly were not prepared for the global lockdown and what the next 6 months were going to bring. However, as a company we quickly adapted to the ‘new normal’, found our feet and adapted to different ways of working. Given the current climate, it seems like remote working will be the norm for a while, so it's important to get everything set up correctly from the get-go. In our book, maintaining morale and overall happiness is the key to success when it comes to working from home. Don’t get us wrong, remote work can definitely have its ups and downs, but in this blog we’re going to talk about best practices to keep your teams motivated and company culture alive even when you’re not all under the same roof!

Pro tip: If you want your teams to be engaged in their work, you have to make their work engaging.

Get into the right mindset for work

As an employer or a leader of a team, it's important to set an example from the start and as hard as this can be, it's vital that you keep going!

We must remind ourselves that offices have all those subtle cues and associations that get us into a professional and productive mindset. Whilst working remotely has its perks, the WFH environment itself can be very distracting and lead to lack of structure which can potentially turn into overworking and forgetting those important screen breaks.  As an employer, ask yourself, are you keeping tabs on your team to make sure they don't burn out?

The solution? It seems simple enough, but ensure you keep regular contact with your teams. That way, you can guide them and help to make sure they’ve developed a WFH routine that will help set them up for success.

Fortunately, you can keep communication flowing with helpful habits and a healthy dose of technology. One thing we recommend is to not rely on emails, Slack or Microsoft Teams as your main form of conversation. Things can very easily get lost in translation and tone of voice isn’t always interpreted in the way you mean. Whilst the entire planet may be suffering from ‘Zoom fatigue’, we still think it’s a good idea to jump on a hangout or any form of call where you can see people’s faces as this is far more personal and more engaging. Your colleagues will appreciate it in the long run.

How do you motivate people who work from home?

If you leave everyone in your organisation to their own devices, you’ll inevitably find that communication will slowly break down. Of course, you don't want to chain people to their remote desks but at the same time, catch ups and virtual ‘stand up’ meetings are a must. Give your teams some structure by putting these regular catch ups into people's diaries and make sure that everyone is involved - no external calls or meetings are to be scheduled during these precious check-in times.

The most powerful way to motivate your employees is to allow for experimentation, but what do we mean by this? Remember that every person in your team is different (that's the beauty of a business), so if everyone is unique why would we expect that one way of working suits everyone? Most people’s lifestyles are not the same. You’ll have people who work with you that have kids, people who don’t, people who are married, people who live with family/friends, people with all-important hobbies… the possibilities are endless.

Instead of trying to fit everyone into the same box, we suggest asking the below questions to get a better understanding of how to motivate your team individually.

What’s not working for you and how can we fix it?

What do you think will drive company growth, even in a time of fear?

How is the current situation affecting you at the moment?

As an Employer you can measure progress with KPI’s, reporting or survey tools.  That way, you can have continued, honest discussions with your team about what might be driving their motivation up or down, and what would be helpful to maximise their motivation, experimentation and overall output in the weeks to come.

Our tried-and-tested top tips:

Promote normal working hours in your timezone

Get dressed and make an effort to set an example for your teams

Create a personal office environment if you haven't already done so, and encourage your colleagues to do the same

Promote setting a daily to-do list and schedule time slots for each activity. Trello boards are a big win for us at hackajob!

Make sure your teams are taking regular breaks to avoid burning out. Even if it’s a quick 10 minute walk for coffee, it’s better than feeling chained to a desk all day

Keep on top of employee wellbeing and always have honest conversations. Remember to keep HR in the loop and vice-versa!

Most importantly of all, stay connected!

Want to learn more about working remotely? Make sure to read our guide on hiring remote teams and see just how easy it is to increase employee engagement and productivity.

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