For lots of people, working from home (WFH) used to be the stuff of dreams. Almost every 9-5er was envious of their WFH counterparts. No early mornings, no long commute, no office small-talk, no strict uniform code, no long hours – what more could you want? Well, since COVID-19 hit and forced the majority of the workforce to set up shop in their homes, overwhelming numbers of people want nothing more than to return to the mundane reality of office life.
Working from home certainly does have its perks; comfy clothes, snacks on tap and the freedom to run errands during the day, but it also has one major flaw: maintaining motivation.
If you’re an employer, you may well have noticed a drop in your staff’s productivity levels. With the prospect of WFH being a reality for quite some time to come, you might be looking for ways to keep your team motivated and focused. Well, you’re in luck because we’ve got some tips that could benefit your business whilst your team are out of the office.
Office vs WFH
If you’ve noticed you employee productivity drop, they’ve probably noticed it, too. According to a study conducted by The Manifest, 45% of workers say they are more productive in the office, compared for 30% who said they work better from home and 24% who say there is no difference in their productivity at home or in the office.
It makes sense for productivity to spike in the office because it’s a formal environment (often deadline orientated), and as an employer, you’re able to keep an eye on your employees and ensure they’re doing what needs to be done in a timely manner.
The majority of people are quite open and honest about their lack of discipline, but potentially the biggest issue driving down productivity isn’t this, but rather lack of motivation.
For this reason, it’s important you do all your can to keep your team upbeat and driven whilst they’re away from the office.
To help better understand how to motivate your team, you need to ask them direct questions about how they’re feeling, what issues they’re struggling with and what they think could help them. Not only will this give you an idea as to common themes and issues faced by your employees, it will also make them feel more valued and like you’re properly invested in them. This could help boost engagement and/or motivation. The engaged your staff are, the happier they feel at work, the higher your staff retention rates are and the better quality of work they produce.
Everyone likes to be told they’re doing a good job, and in a time when there’s so much uncertainty and worry in everyone’s lives, receiving a little bit of praise could be the much-needed boost a person needs to keep going. It’s worth contacting your employees on a one-to-one basis if you can to tell them what they’ve done well, but if you can’t, make sure to bring it up in a group meeting. If someone thinks they’re doing a good job, they’re more likely to try harder and keep it up which is exactly the type of motivation many people are lacking at present.
Keep it Fun
If COVID-19 has taught us anything, it’s the importance of having fun. There’s no reason why this can’t be translated into a working environment once all the hard graft is done. Whether it’s taking the final working hour of the week off to have a chat and a laugh on Zoom with everyone, or if it’s having a dedicated virtual team building day, allowing your employees the time to let their hair down and socialize with each other could renew their spirit and contentment (which, as we know, boosts engagement and thus motivation).
These are just a few small changes you can implement to keep your staff motivated and productive whilst working remotely, but remember to always take the lead from them and ask questions in order to get the very best out of them. Just giving them your time and lending an ear could have the biggest impact of all.