You know there are perks to the WFH situation.
The commute is avoided. The unstructured time between work sessions has more potential, allowing for hobbies and family time. Formal wear is unnecessary. The space around you can be used as you see fit, avoiding the issue of self consciousness.
But there are a few misconceptions about this situation, that remote workers often fall for.
- The Home Environment Always Smoothens the Work Experience
As mentioned above, there are some obvious advantages to the WFH situation. But that can belie the fact there are factors that disturb the flow of work:
- Interruptions from family members and roommates: To remedy this, your remote employees could use door hangers with catchy-but-firm quotes like “Perish the thought of disturbing the monster behind this door.” Or they could just buy an immersive set of bluetooth headphones that drown out all disturbances.
- Too much comfort can undermine your workflow: Ever heard the saying “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone”? The comfort of a WFH situation can work against remote workers. They can get accustomed to the lack of supervision. They can take work for granted, missing deadlines.
- Working Continuously Improves Productivity
The ironic part about avoiding the office is that many remote workers fall prey to overworking. This does not necessarily increase productivity. Mental health and anxiety increase under these circumstances, which ultimately deprives the capacity of the workers.
Overworking can occur due to managers exploiting them or due to the impression of having extra time to use at home. How can employers remedy this? Adopt a more sympathetic tone. Encourage healthy and diverting work habits among your remote workers.
You could suggest they take multiple 20-minute breaks between sessions. Give away promo products like pet leashes to suggest they take the dog for more walks. Or you could give away gliders and frisbee flyers to suggest they get away from the computer screen to relax their eyes, move their arms, and keep their joints supple.
If not, make use of promotional products themed around fun and games. Help them to a game of chess over a cup of tea with a roommate, or some paddle ball with their children. This helps them maintain the work-life balance.
- Video Communication Makes Professional Relationships Easier
To the contrary. Loneliness is a large part of remote working. Technological amenities and tools cannot bridge the divide between real emotional relationships that are starved of face-to-face interaction.
What can you do to remedy this?
While videos can only accommodate these professional relationships to a certain extent, you can tweak them to help your lonely employees. Suggest “water cooler” video sessions among your employees to mimic those natural moments that happen in the office. These conversations should be about everything but work.
Discuss family life and hobbies. Break the formal patterns. You could even add a taste of spice with costume parties, jam sessions, and Happy Hours. For the latter, you could use the power of suggestion through alcohol-themed drinkware.
The mental health status of your remote employees is always of highest importance. Make sure their lives are in balance. Understand the new dynamics emerging from the WFH situation in the pandemic. This understanding will inform your company’s onboarding process, human resource management, and productivity.