How to keep your people engaged and connected while working remotely
22 March 2020 / Employee Engagement
Learn how to keep employees engaged and help them maintain social connections while working remotely.
To prevent illness of the latest Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, the World Health Organisation (WHO) is recommending maintaining distance from others if COVID-19 is spreading in your community or if you’re not feeling well. Whether your organisation regularly supports remote work or you’re allowing employees to work from home due to concerns over COVID-19, check out these short tips to keep your employees healthy, productive and in good spirits.
Maintain normal work hours
Remind your employees that whether they are working remotely or coming into the office, working hours have not changed. For employees who are working from home, gently remind them to stick to a normal morning routine and to ‘get ready’ for work. Set an alarm, eat a balanced breakfast, do a home workout, shower, and change into work-appropriate clothing to make each day feel more like a day in the office rather than a day spent on the couch answering emails.
Work ‘face-to-face’ in virtual meetings
Remember what we said about ‘getting ready’ for work? When your employees know that they will be meeting with their colleagues via video, they’ll be more motivated to maintain that daily routine before logging on for work. This also helps foster the social bonds between colleagues. Why is this so important? A Gallup poll revealed that having a friend at work makes you seven times as likely to produce better work, deliver a better customer experience and are prone to fewer on-the-job injuries.
Utilise your wellbeing platform
An employee health and wellbeing programme is a great way to educate and communicate with employees on how they can stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s also provides the perfect opportunity for social networking. Team-based corporate challenges improve social connections and create supportive, collaborative and fun cultures. Try launching a company-wide step challenge or healthy habit challenge—they can be done anywhere!
Recommend employees to socialise outside of work
Research shows that 91 percent of employees who don’t socialise at work are disengaged. Employees can support each other in times of high stress by setting aside time for a virtual lunch together to discuss topics that are not centred around work. Starting a team chat where employees can send motivational quotes or fun gifs to each other might help keep morale high. Other ideas include: a virtual book club, discussing favourite TV series, or a craft group.
Encourage work-life balance
When working from home, it can feel like you’re expected to be fully available at all hours. Reminding employees to take a lunch break and sign off at the end of the workday will help employees reduce their overall stress levels and increase engagement.
A great company culture depends on employee engagement and, more importantly, employee health. Supporting your workforce during times of stress by empowering employees, motivating them to prioritise personal wellbeing, and encouraging them to find work-life balance will help ease anxiety and maintain business performance. Technology can be isolating, but with the right strategy in place, you can keep your workforce feeling secure and motivated.
Get more tips on how to keep your employees engaged and connected while working from home with our Work From Home Toolkit.
 Gallup. Your Friend and Your Social Wellbeing. https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/127043/friends-social-wellbeing.aspx
 Wellbeing: The Five Essential Elements. Tom Rath. Jim Harter. Gallup, Inc. 2010.