We’re all aware of the fact that remote working is the new normal, especially since the times of COVID-19 pandemic have been going on to ensure social distancing and safety for all. Remote working, in other words, is defined as any type of work that doesn’t have to be performed in a traditional company office. Remote workers can do their jobs anywhere in the world—including their home, a co-working space, etc.
Some companies have adopted the culture of remote working permanently, which has turned out to be an interesting and a new concept for many, but nothing is perfect, as they say. There are a lot of challenges of remote working for employers at the same time. For instance, irregular employee engagement, productivity, acquisition and retention are some of the common work from home challenges in India.
It is because, struggling with the stresses and strains of life during a pandemic is not an easy task as we are living and working like we have never been before, as Indians. Under the pressure of rolling lockdowns, juggling work-life balance is one of the obstacles that many of us face with remote working unlike the working hours spent solely in the office which results into inconsistent employee engagement and productivity.
To prevent such conditions and increase employee retention and growth in the business, helping remote workers and supporting their wellbeing is one of the best solutions.
Here are some of the best tips for managing remote employees, which can also help support their wellbeing:
How can employers support remote employees?
- Provide employee healthcare subscriptions/plans:
Health is the first priority for everyone before anything else, indeed. Providing employee healthcare plans are not only at no extra cost to employees, but also give employers the best way to help their remote employees cope up with any health problems they are experiencing.
Offering healthcare plans to remote employees makes them have a sense of belongingness and shows the caring attitude of an employer towards their employees’ health. Healthcare plans are a much-needed ear to remote employees, who may feel that they don’t have another place to turn to, when it comes to dealing with a medical emergency. In that case, health insurance plays an important role as one of the benefits of an employee healthcare plan, which helps avoid extra loans and provide enough financial aid.
Also, when it comes to healthcare, it is much more than just insurance. There are other ways to take care of our health, in general, like focusing on having an active lifestyle to prevent many medical conditions in the future and stay in shape. Without the daily commute and running around from A-to-B in the office, it can be difficult for remote workers to stay active. A sedentary routine not only affects our physical health but also mental health too. Exercising has been proven to reduce anxiety and depression.
Employers can offer employees access to free online fitness classes or mental wellbeing sessions, discounted or free gym memberships or activity monitors to ensure the remote working set up is as conducive to good health as possible.
In that case, the best option is to go for a healthcare subscription which is all-rounder in nature like Onsurity’s comprehensive healthcare plan which covers multiple benefits like group health insurance, free doctor teleconsultations, discounted medicines and health check-ups, fitness webinars, gym memberships, mental wellbeing sessions, fitness tracking and much more.
This plan is not just comprehensive but also inclusive and affordable, especially designed for SMEs, start-ups and growing business. It gives your team members all the possible health benefits, which can easily boost their morale.
- Provide access to helpful remote working tools:
Modern culture requires modern hacks. Providing remote workers access to some important and latest digital tools is one of the best tips for managing remote employees which can help enhance their learning skills, research process, get new ideas to grow a business they are working for and increase their productivity overall. Such tools can help your remote workers add on to their working experience and focus on their personality development as well, even while working from home.
Such tools include a CRM software, business communication platforms, AI tools, video editing software, graphic designing tools, campaign execution tools and the list goes on.
How can managers support remote employees?
- Help your remote co-workers create a balance between work and personal time:
Remote working is way too different from working traditionally in the office. There is no long physical break after leaving the office and commuting home at the end of the working day – it can be difficult to separate work and personal time. The very first strategy is to schedule the same working hours even at home and sign off from the work after job hours as usual.
However, technology means that work is always right there and handy. Remote workers often want to be responsive at any time to prove they are working just as hard at home. But, in the long term, it can lead to exhaustion and rising stress levels.
Remote employees need to be encouraged by their managers to create boundaries between their work and their personal life. Managers can do this by showing that they trust their employees and encourage limits to their work. This way, your remote employees will feel better about themselves and free enough to switch off at the end of the working day and spend that time for themselves to recharge.
Similarly, your remote working employees should be given some flexibility on working days too. Like, they should be given lunch breaks just like on site employees allow frequent breaks in between.
- Ensure active communication and listen to your remote employees:
As a manager, you should keep a regular check on your remote employees to ensure if everything is going well at work or if they are facing some obstacles in the tasks they are assigned to do. Be gentle while communicating with them. Ask other teammates to help your remote employees, leave them emails with complete details of a task, actively respond to their doubts, take care of their bandwidth and timeline.
Apart from just getting regular updates from your remote employees, you should schedule some brainstorming sessions with them to get their ideas, feedbacks and suggestions to improve work strategies at least once in a week. This way, you can maintain active communication with them and also be able to solve issues simultaneously. A healthy communication is one of the best tips for managing remote employees.
How can HR support remote employees?
- Keep a regular check on your remote employees’ mental wellbeing:
Remote employees may feel under the weather or go through a period of lowered mental wellbeing sometimes, but feel like a sick day isn’t justified as they’re already at home. Many employees may be reluctant or nervous to express if they feel that something in the business is negatively affecting their wellbeing.
An HR should implement some confidential and automated pulse surveys, which is a great way to check in with remote employees and find out what is wrong, ask for their feedback and suggestions for improvement in the business. This way, you can identify any problems that may be impacting the employee healthcare and allows you to execute solutions quickly and effectively.
- Organize virtual office fun activities:
An HR should plan virtual activities for the remote workers at least once in a week. This should include games, fun team meetings, highlighting accomplishments and appreciations for the team members and some virtual events to give a chance to every team member to showcase their extra skills and talents.
The purpose of these virtual activities is to build relationships, improve communication, and boost employee morale. These activities are also called “remote team building activities” and “virtual team bonding activities.” These activities support virtual employee engagement and is by far one of the most useful tips for managing remote employees.
- Plan Off Sites:
Off sites are not just limited to the ones working from the office traditionally. Inviting remote workers to go out for an off-site is one of the best ways to have fun, build bonds and connections with the team. It is also a great opportunity to have communications with each other in person and discuss new business strategies. An HR should plan such off sites occasionally for the team, including remote workers.
- Surprise your remote employees:
Surprising remote employees with some gift hampers on big festivals or their birthdays can be an effective way to show compassion and care. Such gifts can be customized as per the company’s budget and employees’ interests.
Here we conclude with some of the helpful tips for managing remote employees at the workplace. If you found this helpful, please share it across on social media.