Due to various reasons, remote staffing services have taken off in a big way. However, remote work, whether it is due to virtual employee outsourcing benefits or the Covid 19 outbreak, presents some unique challenges. Lack of socialization is one of the biggest challenges that can lead to a host of problems such as miscommunication, reduced motivation, lack of trust, lack of camaraderie and loneliness. Here are some best practices you can adopt to make virtual workplaces safer and more connected – and digital tools play a key role in this new set-up.
Establish Daily Rituals to Set Up Routine
Remote staffing services allow businesses to hire skilled employees for lower prices. These services help companies save money and promote work flexibility. Workers are no longer required to be located where physical offices are – they can work remotely from wherever they are. However, without physical office space, team leaders and managers may find it difficult to build a full employee experience and effectively manage time. To establish a routine and align the team, managers can set up daily rituals such as morning video calls. Every employee, including managers, can improve productivity by preparing a to-do list for the day ahead.
Use Digital Platforms for Frequent Communication
When you have remote staff, it’s important to communicate effectively, even if that means over communicating. It’s not enough to have just one scheduled weekly meeting – you need daily meets and frequent one-on-one conversations with team members using digital platforms such as Zoom or Google Meet to stay connected. It’s vital to set expectations upfront, involve remote staff in key conversations and recognize their work so that remote staff do not feel socially isolated. These measures can go a long way in promoting a sense of belonging, trust and productivity.
Managers Can Lead from Front
Even in a remote work set-up, managers can build teams, positive work culture and camaraderie between team members. With an appropriate mix of audio and video conversations, they can facilitate effective communication. Managers can empower team members by allowing them to lead meetings, encouraging their goals and ambitions, taking team members’ during key conversations and accommodating their needs and schedules. Now is the time for managers to show their leadership skills and lead from the front in building teams.
Promote Non-Work Online Activities
In a remote work culture, you miss out on the little things – gossip at the cafeteria, banter by the water cooler and so on. These little things help employees de-stress and help in the development of healthy work relationships. In virtually-driven workplaces, casual conversations can be encouraged by setting aside some time for socializing. Managers can hold a virtual social hour every Friday via a video conferencing platform where team members can talk about anything without fear of judgment or penalty. Another idea is to play virtual games – this can also become a team-building activity. Zoom has an interesting feature called ‘breakout rooms’ that remote staff can use to carry out personal conversations.
Encourage One-On-One Conversations
Most employees, including remote employees, sorely miss face-to-face conversations in virtual work spaces. This can lead to workers feeling lonely and frustrated. Simple solutions like an employee calling a co-worker to discuss ideas or personal activities that cannot be discussed in larger team meetings can be a way out. Again, executives and managers can take the lead in encouraging these conversations. Also, managers can also encourage co-workers to check up on each other from time to time to make sure they are doing well. Managers themselves can take up this task – the move is sure to make team members feel cared for. In this way, you can easily meet the challenges while managing remote teams or staff.
Safety in the Post-Covid 19 Workplace
As for safety in the post-Covid 19 world, it can be ensured by taking lots of precautions. It’s very easy for the infection to spread in offices, hence the need to pay more attention to safety. Be prepared for features like hand sanitizers, face masks and virus testing kits to become regular fixtures at offices. Social distancing in conference rooms and elevators can do a lot to prevent the spread of infection. You may want to consider closed office plans instead of open office plans. Futuristic solutions such as wellness apps for employees and robots that can disinfect rooms or perform the work of low-skilled employees can also be considered. In the future, automation is going to play a huge role in make physical workplaces safer and more cost-effective.
When the Covid 19 crisis blows over, companies will get back to working in physical offices. In the post-Covid 19 world, many companies are likely to continue with remote staffing and virtual workplaces. Why not become a trail-blazer and set yourself up for future success by implementing the above-mentioned best practices?