We are aware that numerous companies and organizations around the world have many more employees working from home’ than usual, due to the Corona Virus. There has never been a more relevant time for us to share some thoughts and suggestions on how best to navigate this unprecedented situation.
1. Show you understand the emotional side of these circumstances.
‘Working from home’ by choice is quite different from working from home through a necessity such as this. When we are ‘at choice’ we have intrinsic motivation to make what ever it is we have chosen work. When situations are imposed on us, our reactions can range from philosophical acceptance to outright resentment.
While everyone IS different, it is likely that the raw human emotions your newly remote employees are feeling are common ones, and we know it makes people feel better to know they are not the only one! How can you give permission for expression of difficult and negative emotions, yet at the same time maintain morale by encouraging people to notice that it may not be all bad?
2. Understand That Contact and Connection = Belonging (And Belonging is crucial!)
Right in the middle of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Human Needs is ‘Belonging’.
Once our basic physiological and safety needs are met, our psychological needs are our priority. ‘Work’ plays a pivotal role in this category of needs, and our need for Love and Belonging that is met by friendship, intimacy and sense of connection takes precedence over our need for Esteem that is met by respect, status and recognition. How can you meet this challenge now as an organization?
3. Share Tips and How To’s.
You may not realise it but you already have a wealth of wisdom about this! Most workforces have remote employees who work from home by choice. People who had the powerful motivation to negotiate this work-style for themselves possess highly relevant wisdom to share with others. So how can you harness their intrinsic motivation to support and be a source of inspiration to those who now unwittingly find themselves ‘working from home’?
4. A Few Suggestions
– give them the opportunity to share… eg ‘You are invited to share what is the ONE Worst Thing about working from home… the only condition is that next week at this time you agree to share the ONE Best Thing about working from home!
As no situation is all bad, you can also encourage your employees to notice what does work for them, and what they actually turn out to like about working from home. And if you can make all shares available for all to view, they will know they are not the only ones feeling how they are feeling!’
– organize a ‘Once A Day Check-In’… simple greetings such as these can have massive value :
– Hi X, how is it going today? You are not forgotten!
– Good afternoon X, how are you doing? Your friends at ABC are thinking of you!
– We miss you X! We look forward to welcoming you back soon
Providing an opportunity for recipients to respond will also deliver daily info for HR/Management about how everyone is doing.
Some check-ins could take the form of ‘Manager/Team-mate Calls’… all Managers could call their people at least once a week to see how they’re doing as people… ie separate from any work/task related calls. Or this can be undertaken by other team-mates, with a view to ensuring everyone is called at least once a week.
We recommend that some of these calls include video and are not only voice calls… while connection is enhanced to one level above messaging through real time audio, it is elevated even higher through real time visuals of people on screen.
– create a ‘Wisdom Center’… a forum where your employees who are experienced in working from home share their experience; saying how they meet the challenges and sharing top tips/secrets to making it work. Once this body of ‘wisdom’ is gathered, you can signpost/direct every newly remote employee to it.
We invite companies to connect with us to understand how we can help them engage and support their remote employees with personalized content through our platform.