Yet, even before the recent COVID-19 outbreak, remote working can be a challenge for many organizations looking to engage their teams and employees effectively. On-Demand – 60 min Working from home is becoming a necessity in today’s modern workplace. Increased engagement and loyalty. Whether you have just started working from home with a new remote job or you’ve been working remotely for years, it’s true that there can be psychological effects of working from home. I help leaders drive revenue growth. Instead of defaulting to email when communicating with employees working remotely, consider more effective alternatives. As an employer, you need to ensure that your employees are passionate about their jobs, and that they come to the office everyday eager and enthusiastic to start their work. At the same time, individual workers save between $2,000 and $4,000 annually by working at home. I am also the author of The Washington Post Bestseller, The Hidden Leader: Discover And Develop Greatness Within Your Company. Improve your onboarding process with Engagedly set of tool to make employee onboarding a delightful experience. Work from home goals Working from home means less time commuting to the office and less time getting ready to go to work. You may opt-out by. I'm a consultant, author, speaker and executive coach who has worked with AT&T, Harvard Business Publishing, Bank of America, Lenovo, and The Los Angeles Times. Increasing your employee engagement in the workplace can be a tricky situation. No matter how your employee engagement efforts are faring, chances are you can do more. Setting clear expectations is the first thing you need to do if you want to ensure high engagement among your employees who are working from home. With this, organizations are met with the increasing challenge of maintaining transparency and team collaboration while working on projects together remotely. How to increase engagement when everybody is working from home. We all expected that employees who worked in close proximity to each other would record higher scores for everything from clear communication to teamwork and camaraderie. Remote working can be difficult when you’re used to being surrounded by your teammates every day and have the buzz of the office to keep you going. It's time for working from home to formally find a home in your company's portfolio of engagement tools. Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own. Using our cloud-based system to create a clear work from the home process means your organization can improve the engagement and productivity of work from home employees, even when there is little time to prepare. 1. Engaging with your employees and your teams is easier in a face-to-face situation. Encourage learning and development on the daily with feedback The key to managing remote teams successfully is a meaningful goal-setting. Employees with friends or social connections at work tend to be more engaged and loyal workers. While people work from home all over the world, leaders need to understand that there is a tremendous opportunity to increase employee engagement and commitment right now. Increasing employee engagement at work has been shown to directly relate to organisational success – profitability, productivity, customer loyalty and reduced levels of absenteeism and turnover. So how can you … These moments provide a chance to talk about something other than work itself and strengthen your connection with team members, peers, and even your boss. Working from home is still a somewhat new concept for many employers, so data on remote work is still quite limited. Yet, even before the recent COVID-19 outbreak, remote working can be a challenge for many organizations looking to engage their teams and employees effectively. However, these 15 working from home productivity statistics all seem to suggest there’s significant value in allowing employees to work from home, or in working from home yourself: 1. If you normally work from home, you may find yourself with family members in your precious workspace. Understanding how to manage and engage employees can yield the same, if not better, results than when employees are in the office. In the world of glossy stock photos, working from home means rolling out of bed and sitting down at your computer in your pyjamas with a cup of coffee. Feeling safe, supported and appreciated at work can go a long way to improve performance and productivity but social interactions also release oxytocin, referred to as the love drug. I'm a consultant, author, speaker and executive coach who has worked with AT&T, Harvard Business Publishing, Bank of America, Lenovo. Remote work has experienced more than 159% growth over the past 15 years, but many Americans are working from home exclusively for the first time due to COVID-19. And most people, even seasoned executives, aren’t as good at communicating off the cuff as they believe. Do your employees know exactly what is expected of them while they work from home? Here are some suggestions for how to boost your engagement, both on your own, and tapping into other people when you are working from home. 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It requires preparation and thought, to ensure your message is coming through loud and clear. When delegating a task or asking a group to take on a project, define the work to be done in detail. Offer Work-life Balance. Discipline is a prime factor to make work-from-home effective. 2. Mind your manners. The Manifest surveyed 365 American workers on how they stay productive while working from home. Working from home is a convenient trend that's gaining traction. People often spend 45 minutes or more composing an email that takes 2-3 minutes to read. As technology changes the way the world works, remote workforce engagement is growing in importance. Working from home is not a “set it and forget it” change. You can also improve engagement by increasing the option of working from home. I've authored or co-authored dozens of other articles, and am a frequent contributor for Forbes and the Harvard Business Review. In the previous article How to increase community engagement, we focused on in-person communities. Working from home during the coronavirus pandemic: How to cope How to prevent depression, reduce stress, and increase energy levels while working from home … Building Interdependence and Trust. For those of you thinking to yourself, “I don’t have time for this,” I’d suggest that you will if you become more focused and efficient with the rest of your time by using the approaches suggested in points 1 and 2. Remote working isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. Be intentional about topics you can bring up to get your team talking about what's happening in their lives and how they are handling the unique circumstances imposed by Covid-19. Firstly, it leads to an increase in productivity and efficiency in the workplace. Even as companies have some employees returning to the office, nothing about our current circumstances is optimal. Staying connected while working from home should come naturally – whether it’s speaking with clients, vendors, coworkers, managers or direct reports. Make it easy for your listeners to discern what’s important. As telework becomes increasingly widespread, managers will need to adjust their leadership styles to ensure employee engagement out of the office. Set boundaries and manage expectations of anyone who demands your time. Remote workers also report better work-life balance (91 percent), stronger focus/productivity (79 percent), and less stress (78 percent). Here are 15 ways you can improve engagement at your company — and grow your bottom line as a result: 1. When employees genuinely enjoy the work atmosphere, they are pushed to work more efficiently and productively. Work-from-home employees also reported improved work satisfaction, and their attrition rate halved. Watch out for ambiguous language and trim the corporate speak. You don’t have to make it a big production, but consider making a quick call or sending a text message to an employee to say, “I was thinking of you and wanted to see how you are.” Or, “I just thought of something funny and wanted to share it with you.” This happens naturally when you interact with people at the office, but it won’t happen at all right now unless you proactively try to connect at the metaphorical water cooler. In another research study out of Stanford, Does Working from Home Work?, the authors found that working from home led to a 13% performance increase. The virtual happy hour has gained some popularity in recent months (though I’d opt for a “happy half-hour”), and you can use it as more than just a perfunctory gathering. Get the advice you need to … I’ve worked in offices where a group of people sitting within a stone’s throw of each other spend most of the day trading emails, when a quick conversation could have provided instant understanding. Share these goals with your colleagues, and see if anyone wants to join in as your accountability buddy. Practicing flexibility as one an employee engagement ideas for work from home has the following benefits – It allows remote workers to understand and inculcate a feeling of responsibility. Especially those who may be juggling childcare and school expectations, negotiating work-from-home schedules and spaces with a spouse, partner or roommates, or simply overwhelmed by the stress of today's reality. And while videoconferencing isn’t quite 3D, we’ll call it 2.5D – it adds facial expressions, body language and the nuances of conversation. While giving employees the answers and doing the work yourself might be quicker in the short term, coaching your team and giving them autonomy will help improve your team’s overall engagement levels and save you time in the long run as they build their expertise. 10. Since walking down the hall to chat with an employee is out, the old-school phone is a decent substitute. Powerful communication doesn’t happen by chance. Be intentional and precise in your communication. There is no hidden secret for increasing employee engagement. Your employees won’t exactly be inspired to do their best work if their managers never compliment them on a job well done. Updated: May 4. There is real evidence that leaders have a powerful impact on the attitudes and output of their employees, especially when they are working remotely. Working from home is becoming a necessity in today’s modern workplace. LumApps > Assets > Webinars > 10 Tips to Boost Employee Engagement while Working From Home, LumApps recognized as a Leader in The Forrester Wave™: Intranet Platforms, Q2 2020 Report. Check out our free, on-demand webinar with LumApps’ Human Resources Manager, Robbie Harris, and Morgan McDowell, Human Resources Generalist, on 10 best practices to keep employees engaged and productive while working from home. I help leaders drive revenue growth. I advise my clients to think about key messages in bite-size chunks. At work, we often take time to chat about our lives outside the office, but when everyone is working remotely, it’s even more important to check in with colleagues on a personal level. Their answers can help leaders today improve three critical behaviors that will move the needle on employee engagement while their workers are quarantined: 1. The world of traditional, 9-to-5 work is slipping away, according to Global Workplace Analytics and numerous other studies: 5 million employees (3.6% of the workforce) currently work-at-home half-time or more. This is because quality work relationships help build a … Only 2 years ago, a Gallup study showed that 68% of employees were still not engaged and 21% were actually actively disengaged from work. Morale is the driver for productivity and engagement. In my HBR article about leveraging the power of videoconferences, I emphasize the productivity gained in convening 20-minute, highly focused videoconferences. This also means setting boundaries for kids, pets, family members, or roommates. What’s more, they rated the same leaders higher – as stronger communicators, better strategically, and even more inspiring — than team members who were sitting in offices just down the hall from those leaders. However, if you need them to work from home, as is the case with the coronavirus outbreak, then maintaining that engagement can be trickier. Being efficient while working from home is all about boundaries, as we have previously discussed. All Rights Reserved, This is a BETA experience. Try to encourage them to leave you alone while you are working so you can stay focused. In addition, I'm a co-author of The Inspiring Leader: Unlocking the Secrets of How Extraordinary Leaders Motivate, and the Harvard Business Review article Making Yourself Indispensable. Even as companies have some employees returning to the office, nothing about our current circumstances is optimal. Download the report, 10 Tips to Boost Employee Engagement while Working From Home. As it turned out, our results (published in this Harvard Business Review article) showed that team members who worked from home were actually more engaged and committed than their counterparts in the office. Set clear deliverables and specific metrics that will enable you to track outcomes and measure results effectively. If you want to retain your employees and motivate them to produce great work, first take a good look at how you are performing as you lead from home. Leaders who communicate effectively and efficiently, and who are compassionate and concerned about their employees’ well-being are going to get much better performance out of people working from home. Providing these facilities will result in more engaged employees than unhappy employees working in cubicles from 9 to 5. Consider writing down key ideas in order to refine your message, communicate efficiently, and increase the likelihood that you will be understood. According to a recent Gallup survey on the State of the American Workplace, the number of employees working remotely has increased from 39% to 43% from 2012 to 2016.. Not only is the number of employees working remotely increasing, but also the amount of time these workers spend off-site … Promote transparency and collaboration The modern workplace is evolving quickly as office locations expand and work-from-home becomes more normal. Employee engagement is at an all-time low and one way to encourage employees to care more about their job–encourage them to foster friendships. However, especially these days, when everybody is working remotely due to coronavirus, it’s important to engage your community online. This should free up some personal time to work on personal goals, like taking an online course or learning a new language. 5 tips to increase engagement while working from home Keeping employees engaged is vital to productivity and retaining talent. But in general, email is highly inefficient and ineffective. I write about strategy, leadership and revenue growth. Inc. helps entrepreneurs change the world. There are many ways to keep your remote employees engaged, such as encouraging wellness and … It provides at least a 2-dimensional perspective, adding tone and color to your message or conversation, and it’s quick. © 2021 Forbes Media LLC. Whether you are among this group, or if you’re an experienced telecommuter but you’re not well-versed at working from home during a pandemic (spoiler: none of us are), you may have begun to experience some serious cabin fever. Work-from-home options and flexible timings provide freedom to employees to work from anywhere at any time. Of course, none of this research was conducted within the context of a Global Pandemic forcing people to work remotely, but in speaking with the employees  who worked from home in my client survey, I gleaned several insights into what drove their higher levels of engagement and satisfaction, and why they thought more highly of their leaders. Effective communication is an essential factor while working from home, HR, as well as the employees, must make sure to communicate daily, as it will keep everyone in the loop about the current state of the company. Make an extra effort to connect on a personal level. The first days of a new employee leaves an indelible mark on them and sets the stage for their overall engagement with the organization. I share this, not as a theory or some Pollyanna plea to make lemonade from lemons. Employees will thank you for respecting their time and helping them work more efficiently. Several years ago, I worked with an investment firm and measured the levels of engagement and work satisfaction of employees in the office versus those who worked from home. It also allows you to be task-focused and direct in other moments when you only have two minutes to share something and can’t spare any time for pleasantries. Give employees the freedom to work from a more comfortable environment, help save travel and traffic time, and improve accountability as well. 3. In the real world, employees have to put effort into working effectively from home and creating an appropriate “WFH environment”. If you need to problem solve, discuss larger volumes of content or generate an idea, make the effort to jump on a phone call or videoconference. Take advantage of different mediums and technology for different messages. But you can help your company – and employees – emerge stronger from the coronavirus pandemic with these top 10 engagement ideas. Some 24% of workers report they are equally productive working from home and in an office. If you need to share a file, ask a quick question or answer one, email is fine. Long days spent at home can lead to feelings of isolation and disconnect, which often lead to a sharp drop in staff morale. Your employees will perform infinitely better when they don’t have to guess at what you’re asking for. Remote work is not easy to manage, but communication can sort things for everyone. Gives the freedom to work as per their schedule, time and productivity levels It … The primary savings are the result of increased productivity and reduced turnover to name a few. There will be a lot of distractions in their homes and work may suffer. This is exponentially more important for leaders to practice when they’re speaking to employees who are working remotely. If you are proposing a new course of action, consider the “what” and the “why” of that action, and be explicit. (Just like an elementary school composition – topic sentence and supporting evidence.) Begin with a clear headline topic and 2-4 key points, each of which can be expressed in a single sentence. Editor’s Note: This article was updated on July 19, 2017 with updated statistics and research. Find your Facebook tribe. Down the hall to chat with an employee is out, the old-school phone is a goal-setting. If anyone wants to join in as your accountability buddy these facilities will result more! 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