Until we can all go back to the office and follow our normal routines from pre-Covid-19, employee engagement and stress management when working remotely will be of great importance.
The “new normal” is a phrase that many are already tired of hearing about. However, it is undeniable that, before we go back to our normal hours Monday to Friday at the office, most of us will still be working from home most of the time.
Working from home has many advantages, from time-saving to work-life balance, but there are also some elements to be aware of, especially when it comes to employee engagement and productivity.
How to improve employee engagement
Keeping a team focused and motivated might be harder than usual when everyone is working from home. A good way to encourage them is to have regular catch-ups. If you haven’t done it yet, make sure you put a daily meeting on the calendar with the whole team.
No one like useless meetings, but an early morning catch-up doesn’t have to be long, and can actually be very useful – just 15 minutes to go through everyone’s to-do list for that day can help the members of the team to put their priorities in order and keep them informed on what the rest are doing that day. This is a great way of improving collaboration and avoiding any overlaps.
Using task planners or a practice management solution like Onvio Firm Management will also allow you to keep track of all your tasks in one place and have complete visibility of your practice while everyone works from different locations.
Setting aside a bit of time to socialise is also important, and organising team activities is a great way of promoting cohesiveness in the team. There are various ways to achieve this, from regular online coffee breaks a couple of times per week to having lunch together online. However, now that we can also meet outside while social distancing, meeting once a month in small groups for a drink could also be a great way of staying in touch with everyone.
Stress and burnout management will also be especially important during this period. Team leaders are not able to see the rest of the employees every day, which means they might miss some of the early warning signs of stress in the workplace.
Just as with employee engagement, speaking regularly with the team will allow managers and practice owners to identify these signs.
Whenever possible, schedule regular one-on-one meetings. Then try asking direct questions about how they are coping with this new way of working, whether there are any areas for improvement and offer to provide help whenever they need it. All these actions will make employees feel valued and appreciated, and will likely prevent burnout.
To help you better understand how to navigate the disruption and challenges faced by accountancy firms and professionals, download the free ebook, Accountancy on demand: Optimising the customer experience.