We don’t know when we are going back to normal and therefore you should prepare for the following months. A remote workforce, especially under these circumstances, has its own challenges that you need to understand and address. By collecting feedback, you can communicate with your employees, ease their concerns and uncertainty, and stay connected with the state of engagement and well-being amongst them. Reading time: 3 min.
Remote working has always been part of Enalyzer’s DNA. It provides our employees with flexibility that helps them balance their life with their work. This is, of course, common within our industry but we are in unprecedented times and we have found ourselves, together with many others, with a remote workforce in the blink of an eye.
In light of this crisis, we had to take into consideration how working from home for extended periods of time and without preparation can impact our people and therefore our company. We, like others, are making sure that we stay connected while physically distancing. However, we are in untested waters and therefore we are continuously measuring employee engagement and well-being to make sure that employees have the tools they need and feel taken care of during this crisis.
Barriers and challenges
Many organizations have the tech and possibility to enable employees to work remotely, however, home offices are not for everyone. Especially when this reality was implemented without any notice and for an extended period of time.
Not all employees can be equipped mentally or technologically to work from home. Some employees might not have the appropriate space or set up to work productively at home. This can be anything from not having the correct tools, such as a strong Wi-Fi connection or space to having to balance children or housemates. The simple act of finding office space can be a stress factor.
Now more than ever, employees are looking at their managers for advice and sources of motivation. However, even some of the most experienced managers might find it difficult to lead from a distance. As a blessing in disguise, managers can use this as a learning opportunity by leaning toward other managers that have more experience with remote working or are more naturally equipped to do the job.
Maintaining a healthy work-life balance can be a struggle without a pandemic. Remote workers can struggle with juggling these two, especially with a home filled with distractions making it impossible for them to switch to ‘work mode’.
Working remotely within this crisis can bring many challenges but you can use this as a chance to reimagine the way we work, which can only happen by actively listening, showing empathy and acknowledging employee concerns.
Communication and clarity are vital
Your employees are working from home, potentially for the first time, potentially with a partner and/or child, mix that with financial stress, the uncertainty of long-term employment and a global pandemic and you find yourself with the perfect recipe for anxiety and stress. It’s a lot to handle.
Humans can power through change but uncertainty brings stress and anxiety. During these times, workers are looking to their managers to lead, even more than governments or other organizations. Your workers need you to communicate clearly with them and they need you to tackle their issues head-on. They need to be informed of the health and goals of the organization. Now more than ever, your entire workforce needs to know what is happening and what they need to focus on, so you can all work together towards one goal.
Once you start sharing, your employees will follow suit. Make sure they feel supported and encourage them to connect with each other so you can keep up morale.
Listen and adapt
Managers need to overcommunicate with their employees to stay connected. Frequent online meetings, remote lunches, and coffee, as well as chit chat, are magnificent ideas. The same goes for online surveys.
At the start of every week, top management can send a survey that starts with a short video greeting or weekly newsletter and a one-pager that updates everyone on the current situation and state of the organization, and most importantly the goals and priorities everyone needs to follow.
Your survey should be short but address the six challenges remote workers face:
- Work-life balance
- Lack of sense of belonging
- Lack of communication
- Lower reliability and accountability
- Increased security challenges
The collected feedback can be visualized and analyzed using online reports to get a thorough understanding of not only the current state of the organization but how it develops through time. With aggregated data and online check-ins, managers can actively listen and adapt to the new normal.
We don’t know when we are going back to normal and therefore you should prepare for the following months with a remote workforce. By collecting feedback, you can communicate with your employees, ease their concerns and uncertainty, and stay connected with the state of engagement and well-being amongst them.
How do we stay connected at Enalyzer?
We are more than surveys. With a quick and easy Enalyzer-Airtable integration via Zapier, we decided to create a little spin-off of our employee board and make a remote working edition. Check out our home offices.