Keeping remote workers happy, healthy and engaged

Published: 18 Dec 2020

Although the first steps in the roll out of a Coronavirus vaccine give us all great cause for optimism, it’s unlikely that we’ll see home workers flocking back to the office any time soon. If 2020 was the year of homeworking, 2021 is set to be the year of hybrid working – with employees spending some of their time in the office and some working from home. 

In the long term, how can business leaders keep employees happy, healthy and engaged in this new world of hybrid working? Here are top five tips from business leaders and remote working experts.

Top 5 tips for better hybrid working

1. Watch out for overworking

Sonia Blizzard of Beaming, said: “Without clear boundaries, work will spill over into the beginning and end of the day. The tendency for many employees when removed from the structure of an office routine is to overwork. This can lead to inefficiency and burnout, so overwork needs to be addressed.”

2. Accept that there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution

Annemie Ress of PurpleBeach, said: “Policies that were set up to address the needs of the ‘workforce’ now need to address the needs of the individual. Despite being connected online, the work environment and the needs that come with it varies so drastically from person to person that employers can no longer resort to a blanket approach.”

3. Draw boundaries for your employees

Dr Heejung Chung from the University of Kent, said: “Working long hours has been shown to decrease per-hour productivity, lower motivation and loyalty, and affect health which can cause sickness and absenteeism. Keep the message very clear – ‘We don’t want you to be working all the time’. Because that isn’t beneficial for anyone.”

4. Keep everyone in the loop

Andrea Derler at the NeuroLeadership Institute, said: “Leaders need to be open and transparent about decision-making processes. Rather than cascading information from the top, hoping it trickles down to everyone through layers of management, share it with the entire organisation at the same time.”

5. Protect the workplace chatter

Sonia Blizzard of Beaming, said: “If your only interaction with colleagues is in a corporate setting you’re going to feel burnt out. Allow employees time during the week for quick, impromptu chats with workmates. Hearing about everyone’s shared experiences is reassuring and motivating, and can prevent feelings of isolation.”

Beaming, alongside people and innovation consultancy Purple Beach, has recently launched The Changing Workplace, a new guide for SME leaders offering advice to help keep businesses and employees healthy, productive and engaged in the new world of hybrid working. 

In the Changing Workplace Report you’ll find: 

- Leaders of some of the UK's best places to work explain how they've adjusted working practices during lockdown and beyond. 

- Dr Heejung Chung from The University of Kent explains how to set boundaries that benefit everyone.

- Andrea Derler of the NeuroLeadership Institute shares strategies for building teamwork and developing a growth mindset. 

- The Purple Beach team help you reset employee engagement and bounce back better. 

- Beaming's MD has practical advice on the tech you'll need for better remote working and gives tips that boost homeworking productivity. 

The Changing Workplace Report is available to download at beaming.co.uk/changingworkplace

 

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