Working from home isn’t a new concept, but it’s never been as wide-scale and encompassing as it is today. Companies need to be able to continue running operations when their employees are dealing with stress, children at home, noisy environments, distractions, lack of equipment, and of course – social isolation. HR professionals and community managers go out of their way to create engaging and empowering work environments for their employees, but how can they do that when they have no control over the actual work environment and every employee is in a different location?
It can be done, thanks to all of the technology we have at our disposal, such as social media and video conferencing tools. All you need to add is a little bit of creativity, and you can change employee morale and productivity for the better. At Wiv, we are here to support you with ideas, preparing courses and events, and giving you the backup you need, especially during times like these. Here are a few tips and ideas to get you started:
We’ll start with the most straightforward and basic challenge – managing employees. In most companies that don’t offer remote work options, managing employees is relatively simple; they clock in and out every day at the office. You see them when they arrive, they join staff meetings, and are there when you make your fourth cup of coffee in the kitchen. To manage employees remotely, you need to implement tools that allow task sharing, communication, and tracking hours.
WhatsApp groups and emails are particularly popular, but not that efficient when the entire company is working remotely. It is best to have all of the communication done from one place, but emails are not “conversation friendly” or group-friendly like WhatsApp. That’s why a lot of people end up using both, which can be frustrating, distracting, and lead to mistakes and missed information. At Wiv, we provide a place for one-on-one and group messaging, allowing you to create a place for different teams to communicate about the projects they’re working on from one place.
If you don’t already use something like this at your company, now’s a good time to start! There are a lot of different tools you can use to track and assign tasks to different employees. A few popular ones are Trello, Monday, AllThings, Asana, and Wrike among many others. It’s likely many of your employees have already used one of these, so ask around before choosing. They each have different interfaces, features, and prices, so take time to read comparisons and look at trials or free versions. These products will typically let managers upload, assign, and manage their team’s tasks as well as deadlines.
Time tracking apps are easy to use. Harvest and Toggl are the most popular options, priced at $10-$12 a month per user. Admins can create projects and clients, and employees can track their time per task, project, or client. For those that require tracking time, these websites and apps offer a simple solution and are used often by freelancers and experienced remote-workers. You can get reports by employee, project, or client, and can set alerts for specific tasks or projects when they reach a certain number of hours.
Just because everyone’s at home doesn’t mean the events and perks need to stop. Remember, we have all of the tools available to us in order to communicate remotely. Here are a few fun events you can try:
You can send employees pizzas and schedule a happy hour with a video call. Have everyone join with their pizza and a beer or a glass of wine for an hour. It’s a strange experience, but it’s fun and often hilarious, and your employees can use a few laughs and happy vibes.
At Wiv, you can schedule a yoga class for your teams, or create your own event with a specific fitness instructor you choose. Divide the event into small groups and offer it at different times. When we’re stuck at home, it’s hard to stay in shape and keep moving, and a 45-minute session of stretching and working out together can be fun, healthy, and uplifting.
We’re not the only ones stuck at home – our kids are here with us, which doesn’t make remote work easier. Consider creating events for young children. Events can be for specific age groups at different times, with interesting, fun, and interactive activities to keep the children entertained while the parents can get some work done.
Many companies offer employees concierge benefits, but remote work makes that more challenging. Check what they need and see if you can help out. For example, with WIV, you can give your employees the option to quickly get their groceries delivered to their doorstep. Consider sending care packages with hand sanitizer, soap, and even fun snacks.
When it comes to lectures, the options are limitless. You can create online events with professional lectures specific to the teams’ expertise, or interesting lectures about topics you feel could be helpful. In times like these, we recommend a lecture about this epidemic discussing what it is, how it spreads, and what precautions we can take. Another very successful lecture is about stress management and how to take care of your mental health during this difficult time.
Guided meditation sessions or lectures about mindfulness can really make a difference to morale. You can easily schedule pre-existing events or create your own by hosting professionals in the field or a pre-recorded video that others can join together for a shared experience.
The opportunities are endless, and you are limited only by your own imagination. We also offer support and guidance, as well as ready-made events you can just choose and share with employees to help you out during this challenging time.
Something scary is happening, and we all have to deal with it alone because staying away from each other is the only way to prevent things from getting worse. During times like these, it is important to bring people together, virtually of course. When you stay at home, you’re not only protecting yourself – you’re protecting me and my family. We’re all in this together, and we don’t have to face it alone. Communicate often with your teams and give them the tools to communicate with each other so that they can share their experiences and fears, encourage each other, and just lend an ear when needed.
HR professionals and community managers spend their time taking care of everyone else and making sure everyone is happy, but can easily forget about themselves. Without you, there won’t be anyone to lift everyone’s spirits while creating productive work environments. This is a stressful time for everyone, especially you, so make sure to take care of yourself too. This means joining the activities and lectures you’re creating for everyone and making sure you have a strong support network you can rely on.
Need help or just a shoulder to cry on? We know how hard it is to be the ones responsible for everyone else’s happiness! Get in touch, tell me about your experiences, and we’ll do our best to help.
We’d love to help you bring happiness to the heart of your organization.