Goodbye cubicle, hello home office. Looking to create a healthy culture for your remote employees without lowering productivity? Here are five friendly tips to help you succeed.
To truly create a healthy and ideal WFH (work from home) culture, you must first understand the value in remote work. There are benefits to allowing employees to work from home that would otherwise not be afforded by working in the office. One of these benefits, and arguably the most vital, is time.
Let’s be honest, when have you heard anyone say that sitting in a cubicle is the highlight of their work day? And how about their morning commute? Has anyone ever shared with you their love of traffic jams and Prius sized potholes? Many companies across the globe have seen an increase in productivity since allowing employees to work in a more familiar and comfortable environment. In addition to this, remote employees find that they are able to get ahead in their work due to no longer having to carve out drive time to the office.
If your company currently allows its employees to work from home, you’ve already taken the first step in creating a healthy WFH culture by putting time back into their day (and into your business). Below are five friendly tips found in the Harvard Business Review to help you strengthen remote culture, boost morale and maintain or increase company productivity.
Five friendly tips to create a healthy WFH culture:
- Update company policy. Make it official. Redesign company policies around your remote business model (hybrid or 100 percent remote) to fit the needs of a dispersed workforce and promote job security.
- Update HR guidelines. Provide incentives. Recruiting, compensation and benefits programs may need to be revised to properly implement WFH mandates. Adjusting salaries for working from home and scaling pay relative to geographic offices are important to consider in showing employees that you care.
- Train them up. Learning social and relational aspects of remote work is highly important. Enhance remote work by establishing work norms (like when employees are expected to be at their desk), building trust, training on effective virtual communication patterns and incorporating social elements (hello, happy hour!) into virtual work relationships. This approach reinforces the feeling of being a part of a team.
- Be a champion of working from home. Leaders should establish an organizational culture that is encouraging and positive for remote workers. Help your employees enact company policies to effectively balance work and life. Demonstrate that the goal may not be to strike that perfect work/life balance, but to instead find the rhythm that works best for them so they know you support them outside of the office.
- Engage openly. Speak up and speak out. Let your employees know that just because you no longer share a physical space, open dialogue can still exist. Employees need to feel they can speak up, ask for help and offer ideas without being punished or ostracized. Set a reminder to proactively check in on your employees to see how they are doing. Invite participation from all team members on virtual calls or meetings and give them an opportunity to be heard. This promotes psychological safety in a remote environment and is known to increase performance in employees that feel like their thoughts, feelings and opinions matter.
Nurturing the Work-From-Home Culture
Implementing these five strategies into your remote culture will help you succeed in maintaining a healthy environment for your employees. Encourage your employees to establish a work/life balance that works for them in their remote work environment. A healthy WFH culture is created when leaders implement and stick to new policies, offer proper training, make compensation adjustments and proactively engage their employees.
No doubt working from home is here to stay. If you can help make this transition positive for your team, you will put time and money back into the business and instill happiness in the lives of your employees.