With thousands of offices around the world having to work from the comfort of their homes, it’s important to keep employees in the loop. Find out how, here…
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to send their employees home to work which has created a myriad of challenges. One of the main challenges working from home has created is how to keep employees in the loop.
There is a risk that important information might be missed, and key staff might even be left out of important business decisions. In a worst-case scenario, this could lead to a commercial litigation, and this should be avoided at all costs.
To help you avoid that outcome, we’re going to help you keep your employees in the loop. After all, we want them to be as engaged with the business as they would be if they were still in the office. Take a look…
How Do You Keep Employees Engaged Whilst Working from Home?
Adjusting to working from home is difficult but, thankfully, you’re not in this position alone. In April 2020, more than 46.6 percent of people in the UK did some work from home and these trailblazers have paved the way for the office of the future.
Here are the ways employers have been keeping their employees in the loop throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
1. Start a newsletter
If you haven’t done so already, it might be time to start a weekly newsletter. Collecting information you need to share with your employees on a weekly basis and sending it in an email helps maintain communication with them.
However, the information you share doesn’t only have to be formal. You can include birthdays, funny videos, stories sent in by other employees, and anything else you feel will keep them engaged with the company whilst working from home.
2. Scheduled Zoom calls
Having a weekly newsletter is the bare minimum you should do to keep your employees in the loop. If you want some real working from home advice, try setting up Zoom calls with your staff.
You can have calls for specific teams, scheduled coffee breaks that people can jump in on, and company-wide meetings to share the sorts of information you’d share in a newsletter but with your actual face behind it.
It’s also important that meetings between shareholders, and other important individuals, still go ahead despite remote working. This allows everyone to have their say in how the business is run still, avoiding any disputes along the way.
There are tonnes of things you can do with Zoom to keep your employees in the loop, all of which are only a Google search away thanks to the people who’ve already spent a year working with it.
3. Share and collaborate
Just because everyone is working from home, doesn’t mean they have to work independently. Staff members still need ways to collaborate with each other and share ideas.
Slack is an incredibly useful piece of software that allows staff members to text chat with each other. It might sound like an excuse to natter at first, but it’s no different than employees chatting about work in the office or asking each other for help and advice.
The best thing about software like Slack is that you can create channels for various teams and projects. So, everyone who is involved will be able to see, and have a record of what needs to be done.
When it comes to creating spreadsheets and documents that everyone can have access to, Google Sheets and Google Docs provide most of what you need. All you need to do is share a link with a co-worker and they have access to the file in seconds. Then, any real-time edits go ahead all at once.
4. Ask employees what they need
One of the best pieces of working from home advice we can give you is to speak to your employees about what they need.
Having an open forum for them to voice what they do and don’t like about working from home can help you come up with ways to make their home office experience easier. To do this, you can ask for these issues to be submitted anonymously via email, or set up a poll in one of your scheduled Zoom sessions.
5. Talk strategy with your employees
Employees who aren’t in the loop about how the business is doing financially, and what targets they need to meet to keep it afloat, won’t be able to help you through this difficult period.
When you speak to your employees through Zoom, Slack or your newsletter make sure everyone knows what the business strategy is and what role they play in it. If you don’t do this, they might assume the worst and could even jump ship.
6. Keep calm and carry on
Just because your situation has changed dramatically, doesn’t mean your business has to.
The crux of all the working from home advice we’ve given you so far is to carry on doing what you were doing before. Just make sure any areas of the business where being together was important are replaced with digital alternatives.
However, if this change to working from home has shone a light on any glaring problems in your business, there’s no better time than now to fix them. This will truly help to bolster your business through this pandemic and beyond.
Are My Employees in the Loop Whilst Working from Home?
In this post, we’ve done our best to share the knowledge from businesses who have spent the last year with employees working from home.
The reality of the situation is the pandemic isn’t over yet. Naturally, some of your employees are going to want to continue working from home even when it is over; it could become a permanent part of your business.
The good news is, once things get back to normal, you might even find your business more efficient than it was before, especially with all the flashy new tech upgrades. Good luck keeping your employees engaged and keep on keeping on.