25 Oct 5 ways to keep your employees happy and motivated during the pandemic
Until recently, where you lived was where you worked. Over the past few years we’ve experienced a dramatic shift. Now it’s possible for employees to work anywhere they want across the country from the comfort of their own home.
The pandemic accelerated the adoption of remote work for the next foreseeable future. While there are benefits to working both in the office and at home, many employees are feeling more pressured from constant zoom meetings and screen time than before. In order to keep employees from burning out moving forward, companies must do things differently.
Here are five recommendations on how to harness employee productivity and keep them from burning out.
Save for sales, is a 9-5 workday required if your employee is available for meetings able to get all their tasks done on time?
Maybe your employee has a focus intensive job and works better in the evenings but can still make time throughout the day to attend meetings. Maybe some parents take care of their kids at home due to school lockdowns at the same time as working and require flexibility to help manage their kids schedule.
Or perhaps your employees decided to move to a different timezone by moving out of the city into a smaller community.
No matter the reason, workplace flexibility can give employees motivation to crush their goals and be productive employees. In Gartner’s 2021 Digital Worker Experience Survey, “43% of respondents said that flexibility in working hours helped them achieve greater productivity, and 30% of respondents said that less or no time commuting enabled them to be more productive.”
Nicholas Bloom, from the Department of Economics at Stadford University also did a study finding that “over a nine month period, flexible workers: achieved more, were sick less often, worked longer hours and were happier in their work”.
Equip your team with the right tools
It may seem expensive to get your employees set up remotely or in the office or however they most want to work at first, but it makes sense longterm. Investing in tech that allows employees to do their job efficiently and effectively significantly outweigh the upfront investment. These include hardware that works effectively like computers, VPNs to secure your data remotely, VOIP systems, and collaboration software like monday.com.
Three advantages include tech investments “are lower than overhead, software development can improve business and tech investments can help better interactions with customers”. Forbes lists out these advantages in more detail here.
Leverage geographic clusters
Consider a decentralized annual meeting approach. If your employees are working remotely around the country, leverage their geographic regions to provide local meetups instead of large gatherings at your headquarters. Funding periodic meetups in geographic clusters is a small investment that can bring employees together and provide for significant employee learning and culture building opportunities.
Use satellite offices
In addition to offering your employees flexibility at home, consider hybrid working models. Some employees prefer working in an office and are more productive this way. So why not support this? This allows you to not only lower your overhead by creating a smaller HQ. It also gives you the opportunity to create satellite offices in smaller towns which helps local economies.
Trust your employees
The final maybe most important recommendation outside of anything tangible is to trust your employees. Though it may seem like a daunting task it will significantly create a positive impact in your workplace. Your employees want to do a good job for your business, they want to succeed so why not trust them to do what’s right? You hired them after all.
Trusting employees promotes higher job satisfaction, a better place to work and low employee turnover. PwC found that employees felt 76% more engaged in a high trust workplace vs a low-trust workplace. Trust is money, give your people the power to do what’s right.