An increasing number of organizations are rapidly moving towards remote work, whether that’s for a set period of time or, like at GiftCard Partners, it’s all of the time for employees.
For many employers currently making the transition, there are many variables that need to be figured out. Some of the biggest unknowns are often centered around company culture. How can organizations maintain their culture while everyone is at home? What do employee incentive and rewards programs look like in a remote workplace? How do you keep employees engaged, productive, and connected when working in a fully remote environment?
There are a variety of ways employers can manage the transition to remote work. Here are some best practices for helping employees feel connected and engaged while working from home.
Keep Employees Connected.
Technology is ingrained in our lives, both at work and at home. Making sure that all employees are empowered with online communication software will help maintain a virtual office community while everyone works remotely.
Vendors like Slack, Zoom, and Skype (among others) all have free or low-cost options for organizations to get up and running using their solutions. Many of these software platforms include video conferencing as well, enabling employers to establish a “video-first” culture that helps employees feel connected and social throughout the day.
Normalize Office Hours.
Working remotely can be tough on employees because it removes an element of structure in their day. The routine of a commute, or simply getting dressed in the morning can ensure employees get their day started on the right foot. In an all-remote work environment, encourage employees to maintain a normal schedule. For some individuals, that could mean continuing to schedule their daily workouts at their regular time of day. For others, it could mean scheduling their lunch break or going for a midday walk to give themselves a chance to re-charge. Mimic the same routines that employees would be doing in an office environment.
Take Care of the Whole Family.
A remote work transition can also be disruptive to employees’ home lives if it hasn’t been typical for the organization. This change can affect partners and children who aren’t used to employees being home at certain times of the day. To keep employees on track and avoid disruptions at home (which can affect productivity and performance, especially in a remote environment), make sure you take care of your employees’ whole family. As you look to extend employee reward and incentive programs, make sure that those extra rewards can help with a smooth transition and adjustment in their personal lives.
Gift cards are an easy way to deliver rewards to a remote workforce. They’re flexible, can appeal to a diverse audience, and can be delivered electronically. Some brands worth considering for employees working remotely would be:
- Home Chef: Getting a whole family involved in cooking a meal is a great way to maintain stability and dedicated family time.
- 1-800-PetSupplies: Pets can also be affected by changes in employees’ coming and going from the house. Giving employees the flexibility to treat their pets to a little something extra could go a long way.
- HBO Now, Hulu, SlingTV or Showtime: Employees of all ages love streaming TV. Endless content on-demand can help bring families and bring calm to a full house.
- CVS Pharmacy RxReload Card: Whether you help employees’ budget for their prescription medication or give them access to special perks and delivery options, these CVS Pharmacy programs help keep employees healthy and happy while at home.
The bottom line when motivating a remote workforce, especially in times of uncertainty, is to make employees feel like their employer has their back. This not only applies to employees’ day-to-day work activities but also their adjusting to remote work and the subsequent changes in their home environment.
As your organization makes the transition to remote operations, share tips with employees to help them ease into the change, preventing them from losing a sense of normalcy and maintaining organizational motivation and productivity. Employees who feel calm and secure in their workspace, whether that’s physical or remote, will maintain productivity, uphold retention rates, and often come to appreciate the benefits and flexibility of working remotely.