Keeping Your Remote Workforce Engaged in 2021
January 4, 2021 / Employee Experience
The COVID-19 pandemic changed the way we worked in 2020, and for some organisations, these changes are (at least temporarily) here to stay. Many organisations (82%) are considering a hybrid model with a mix of remote and on-site work, while 47% plan to allow employees to work remotely full-time moving forward.1 While this flexibility is critical for business continuity right now, a key question many are grappling with persists: are remote workers physically logged on but mentally logged off?
While it’s true that offering flexibility can motivate employees, there are many other factors impacting engagement for your remote workforce. Stress and anxiety, distractions at home and the lack of support or clear direction from leadership can cause work quality and output to slip. And as we deal with social isolation stemming from social distancing, the lack of interactions between colleagues, along with feelings of loneliness and disconnection, put employees on a fast-track to disengagement.
Your people are craving social connection, but after months and months of Zoom meetings and happy hours, basic video chats just aren’t cutting it anymore. And when Zoom fatigue leads to detachment from work and poor communication, it’s time for employers to get creative.
Inspire your employees to communicate and work together on fun challenges and projects to improve collaboration skills on work-related tasks. Instead of asking your employees to add yet another video meeting to their calendar, consider launching a virtual challenge—the spirit of competition always creates excitement! Here are a few easy-to-implement ideas that your employees will be eager to participate in:
- Turn a Zoom team social hour into a virtual game hour. After more than 9 months of what feels like non-stop video meetings, asking employees to stay on video for another hour can fuel those feelings of burnout. Instead, mix things up with an actionable and fun team-building activity! Have employees form teams to compete in a virtual game of trivia, charades or an online version of beloved classics like Pictionary, Monopoly or Scattergories.
- Launch a virtual scavenger hunt. Everyone loves achieving a goal, especially when it’s fun and requires a bit of teamwork! Snacknation has 33 great concepts to help you get started.
- Create a team channel to share daily inspiration, memes, favorite recipes or at-home exercise activities, movie suggestions, gratitude and more. Encouraging light-hearted, casual conversation between coworkers can strength bonds and improve teamwork. Even more importantly, spreading positivity can boost moods and combat feelings of isolation, depression or anxiety.
- Schedule regular team wellbeing sessions. Start by asking employees what areas of wellbeing they’re most interested in, then set aside 30 minutes once a week (or more!) to voluntarily participate in wellness-related activities. If your people are feeling stressed and unfocused, try a mindfulness session with help from our virtual mindfulness dice or a guided meditation; get your workforce moving with a home-friendly virtual group workout; or keep your employees fueled up with a healthy lunch-time cooking class.
Get inspired to build an at-home group exercise routine with a little help from our work-from-home exercise videos and exercise dice.
- Kickstart a company-wide wellbeing challenge. Working with a team to reach milestones and hit wellbeing goals provides employees with the motivation to connect with their coworkers both in and outside of work-related tasks – and since stronger teams lead to better business results, it’s a win-win for employees and employers alike. Whether your organisation chooses to center VP GO challenges around physical activity, mindfulness, nutrition or sleep, your people will learn how to make small lifestyle changes that lead to big results. In fact, 87% of members increase exercise to 30 minutes or more per session and 74% of members report feeling more productive.
Your people are your most important asset and they need a remote workplace culture that is supportive, encouraging and engaging in order to thrive. Provide your dispersed workforce with the tools they need to be successful in all areas of work and life – it’s worth the investment.
Ready to help your employees start the new year strong – mentally and physically – while boosting your company culture? Learn more about how your organisation can build its Homebase for Health™ in 2021 by requesting a demo.