Remote working can be difficult, especially when a company and its employees are unfamiliar with balancing work with personal life. When working from home, people often spend long days with their work, even working after hours. More than that, isolation and disconnect can affect one’s motivation.
Lowering morale with an online work environment is much more popular. Still, you can do more for your remote employees as a manager or a leader. This article will tackle 10 ways to boost morale in an online work environment.
10 Ways to Boost Morale in an Online Work Environment
Today’s remote workers spend most of their time in front of a screen, with little opportunity to get up and move around. This can lead to increased stress, anxiety, and isolation. As a result, many organizations have looked at how they can make their employees happy and are implementing programs that help their workforce balance work with life. Here are 10 Ways to Boost Morale in an online work environment
1. Communicate like never before
As remote workers, communication is the key to a harmonious workplace. Employees need to reach out to their supervisors for issues. In return, managers need to approach their subordinates to provide help. In an office setting, communication is easier. But in a remote environment, you need extra steps to ensure smooth communication.
Thus, most remote employees often feel isolated and alone when facing an issue or problem. This can lead to disengagement, lowered morale, and eventual resignation. Likewise, project leaders and managers must often communicate with their remote workers.
Boosting morale through communication can be done in many ways, such as:
- Showing empathy through their problems
- Helping and guiding them on how to resolve issues
- Hosting events that can boost camaraderie
- Schedule huddles daily or weekly
2. Give new opportunities
When working from home, remote employees may feel like they are missing important events or opportunities when working from home. Some may feel stuck that their career is not improving, leading to depression, burnout, and lowered morale.
One way to improve morale remotely is by providing employees with opportunities for development and growth. This can be done by providing them with training and development opportunities and awarding them for their achievements.
3. Promote collaboration and collection
Working from home is not as easy as it sounds. Today’s remote teams are working harder than ever to make their digital workplaces succeed. Still, staying productive while being isolated from other team members takes a lot of effort and discipline.
Successful collaboration and communication remain the biggest challenges for many remote teams. Research shows that remote workers tend to feel less connected with their colleagues and less trustful of their manager than those working in-office full time. And when there is a lack of communication channels between managers and employees, it leads to low team spirit failing.
One way to boost morale is by promoting collaboration amongst staff members. And they can do this by creating effective collaboration tools that enable users to participate effectively within groups and communities on web platforms. In addition, the managers must encourage creativity among their employees rather than dictating strict policies.
4. Encourage employees to take a break
Remote workers often feel isolated from colleagues and family members. This can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression. A study published in The Journal of Occupational Health Psychology found that taking breaks away from the office helps improve employee productivity and reduce stress.
5. Show trust and allow independence
Let’s face it: remote work can tax team members and managers. Virtual teams often face trust issues, frequent communication difficulties, and strained relationships due to working remotely. Recognizing these potential pitfalls is one of the most important steps to overcoming them in a way that helps your team thrive.
Moreover, we’re all well aware that remote employees need productive company partners who trust them and give them the independence to do their best work. That’s why it is no surprise that remote workers who feel trusted and have freedom have better morale than those who don’t.
As such, one way to boost morale between your team members is by showing trust and allowing independence. This can help them create a systematic way of finishing their tasks and harness creativity. It can lead to lower stress levels and higher productivity. But the downsides might be even greater for some people.
6. Promote work-life balance
Work-life balance is a hot topic these days. It’s not surprising since we live in an age where technology has made it possible to do more things at home and less time working outside the house. Studies show that many people are spending more time on their computers than they are with their family or friends. This puts pressure on employees to be productive during office hours.
Likewise, you can make your employees happier by giving them more opportunities to spend time doing something else and their families. To do this, try limiting overtime with your remote employees. Make sure that they are taking a break after working hours.
7. Establishing an “Open Door Policy.”
Establishing an open-door policy is another great way to boost morale in an online work environment. As mentioned earlier, communication is harder for remote employees. Setting this policy can encourage employees to come to their managers with questions, issues, and concerns.
This can help your team communicate faster and more efficiently.
8. Have routine 1 on 1 meeting
In an online work environment, 1 on 1 meeting is a miracle worker in boosting morale. This type of meeting gives managers and employees satisfaction and connection like no others. For managers, it gives them an avenue to stay in loop for frequent issues their employees face and solve them accordingly. This can help workflow stay smooth. For employees, 1 on 1 meeting is a rare chance to voice their opinions without feeling judged by others.
Routine 1 on 1 meetings can be done in multiple ways, such as performance reviews, confidential discussions, and more.
9. Give employee feedback
As mentioned above, communication is hard in a remote setting. Likewise, remote managers often face challenges in helping remote employees improve. And while some companies offer training and seminars, there’s no better way to strengthen your capabilities than through coaching.
Managers giving employees frequent feedback can help them be more efficient and productive in their work. In addition, it is a great way to boost morale and foster healthy communication between managers and their teams.
10. Talk about mental health
Remote employees often struggle with depression as they spend more time at home and feel isolated. And often, some remote employees face better mental health care issues. This stigma is still a major issue in most work in the world.
As such, it’s important to cover mental health awareness when boosting morale in an online work environment. Talking about mental health can encourage remote employees to seek help, learn to cope, and get on the road to recovery.
While hiring remote employees may feel arduous to some companies. They might think it is better to employ onsite employees in their business.
However, this is not the case today. In fact, since the pandemic, many employers are indicating resignation if they are forced to work back in the office. According to the study by The Workforce Institute in New York and HR firm Adecco, 65% of professionals will work remotely or as freelancers by 2020.
So, as a business, you need to follow this trend and step up your remote employee retention game!