Appraising and evaluating employee perks is probably the first thing that pops in the mind of employers in order to set up a rather coherent environment among the workforce.
Ever since the pandemic came into the picture, remote work has become the norm, and is well-defined in this day and age, going mainstream much faster than expected across company cultures. The work from home trend was met with abundant skepticism at the beginning but eventually the benefits – boost in productivity, improved work-life balance, lowered business expenses, increased employee satisfaction – began to manifest.
However, there is a hunch. With everything newly introduced arrives a timeline that is required to learn and understand the complexity of how it functions and the same applies to remote working. Since there is no one-size-fits-all formula, one can get through by making use of some best practices to implement.
Focus should be channeled towards four main elements: productivity, wellbeing, performance and team morale. Best practices are all about implementing an effective strategy to muster the best out of independent employees and physically separate teams.
- Communication is priority
Nothing works without proper communication, whether you are an independent freelancer or the manager of a huge workforce. One way to overcome this is by using communication tools to help employees stay connected while working from different cities and countries. These tools could be anything from video conferencing applications such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, or messaging programs such as Slack. They help establish an open line of dialogue, removing barriers that would otherwise arise. Good communication is an extremely critical best practice and this can be achieved by establishing an effective strategy through which teams can express themselves.
- Establish work-life boundary
This point applies largely to people who are restricted to working from home rather from different locations as a digital nomad. Remote working can blur lines between work and personal life, making it essential to separate the two in order to keep one sane. Sometimes office work can get inescapable, and outlining the boundaries of work can help one become more productive i.e., able to achieve goals in a shorter space of time. At the same time, doing that will help allocate better time to family which is of utmost importance. One great example is Portugal, where it is now illegal for employers to contact workers outside of work hours.
- Peer support
Communication is empty without encouragement, positive talk and emotional support. When in large teams, it is truly important for managers to acknowledge stress, anxiety, and concerns, especially regarding work, but personal problems can also be approachable as long as an understanding rapport exists between the parties. Empathy is the name of the game as it showcases emotional intelligence which is extremely vital for a team to understand one another and grow.
- Mindfulness and meditation
The perks of practicing mindfulness is heavily underrated, as is the routine of meditation. It helps workers not only fight cognitive overload but also help calm nerves in times of distress. Mindfulness in particular can help employees mentally disconnect from work when required and allocate mindful energy for other productive things. Meditation and stoic practices on the other hand tend to increase focus on one particular task. These two are scientifically known to increase productivity by boosting concentration and reducing burnout.
- Socialize with teammates off screen
The comfort of sitting at home tends to make one rather sheltered and snug. The social benefits of going to office is understated and is one factor that comes as a drawback with remote working. Hence, it is important take time off work, get off the screen and go socialize along with co-workers. Whether it is going to the gym, enrolling yourself to play some sport, taking music classes or just head out for a beer or coffee, it is important to keep work behind and relax when needed. Recognize the need to leave tasks behind. Ditch the robe and head out.
Working remotely tends to offer free time by eliminating commute time, limiting workplace distractions, focusing on priority tasks etc. One can make use of this opportunity to learn a whole new set of skills, such as learning an instrument, a new language, or perhaps even indulging in something unique like sports betting.
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