Since the declaration of the state of alarm by the COVID-19, the forced introduction of remote working has become a fact in most companies. All this has led to less interaction between team members, since all communications are now done through electronic devices. So how can we promote employee engagement when doing remote work, encouraging relationships within the team in a virtual way? Here are some recommendations:
Face to face interactions with the team
Making daily and weekly virtual meetings make it possible for the team to share the progress and make it visible to the rest of the group. However, it is important to respect other colleagues’ times and we have to be careful that these meetings don’t take too long of their time as they probably have other things to do.
Even a gesture as simple as saying hello at the start and end of the day via instant messaging can be something that reinforces team commitment and helps define the availability of members.
Empathize with work-life balance
Workers should be encouraged to manage their time well and to respect schedules. In addition, as a manager or team member, it is advisable not to contact colleagues outside working hours, let alone expect a response from them. If this limit is exceeded, it may affect the commitment levels of the employees in both the company and the team. It could also cause an increase in their stress levels.
Recreate a work ‘atmosphere’ to promote employee engagement when doing remote work
One of the pillars is the human factor, meaning that work is a place where we also socialize and satisfaction is found through creativity and common effort. An example of how this can be done, is setting moments through the day where people can just have informal chats with their coworkers, as they would on a normal day.
Also, setting weekly or biweekly activities where all coworkers can have bonding activities, and get to know each other better will help communication and collaboration flow within the teams.
If we mix empathy with objectives, a greater group cohesion or belonging of the team members is developed. In other words, when an objective is achieved at a group level and in difficult times, the team feels more attracted to it and is loyal to its members. In addition, trust grows and a well-established and relaxed working relationship is encouraged.
Encourage confidence and autonomy in the team
One of the problems that managers face is trust. Just because we are now working virtually does not mean that we have to constantly make sure that our team is working. Excessive control can become a concern for the employee and an impediment to the performance of their tasks. That is why it is important to define those objectives and to trust that the team members will succeed in doing so and that they will meet their goals.
‘If we mix empathy with purpose, a greater group cohesion or belonging of the team members is developed.
Although this teleworking thing has suddenly taken hold in many companies, it is a work environment that is here to stay. For this reason, we will have to continue to make the company’s organisational culture more flexible and adapt to these changes in the working environment. This can help to develop an effective team virtually and to promote employee engagement with both the team and the company when doing remote work.
At Erudit we want to help you taking care of your workers in these challenging times, monitoring their levels of engagement, burn out and friction (without the need of applying a single survey) and finding ways to maintain a healthy and productive team of collaborators.