9 Oct 2020

Staff Engagement in a New Homeworking Era

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There’s no doubt that the Covid-19 pandemic has thrust homeworking into the spotlight. Over the course of this year, 88% of businesses have adopted a work-from-home policy for their staff, regardless of whether they’ve been displaying virus symptoms or not.

The Future is Homeworking

Now that many businesses have got into the swing of homeworking, researchers conclude that it’s an arrangement that’s likely to stay put, even after the pandemic is over. According to a survey carried out by the Institute of Directors (IoD), 74% of firms intend to continue with homeworking. Interestingly, over half of those surveyed plan to reduce their use of external workplaces over the long-term. It seems that it’s not just business managers who are keen to keep homeworking on the agenda, either; 90% of workers surveyed were happy to continue with this arrangement, too.

Challenges of Homeworking

While remote working has saved the day for many businesses during the pandemic – and offers a raft of benefits to both managers and employees – it’s not without its challenges.

In particular, maintaining an engaged workforce when staff are working off-site and away from each other can prove difficult, and may lead to reduced performance, lowered morale and lack of self-esteem, if not managed appropriately.

The good news is that there are many effective ways to boost staff engagement and encourage a motivated workforce, even when working from home.

Increase Team Collaboration

Employee engagement can suffer when staff feel isolated from each other, which is a real risk from a homeworking set-up. Isolation isn’t good news for performance either, as it can reduce output by as much as 21%.

To keep isolation at bay, and ensure staff remain engaged, promote ways to increase online team collaboration. Host virtual team meetings a couple of times per week so that staff can catch-up on all-things work-related. Yet, virtual team building doesn’t just have to be about discussing work topics; you should give staff a platform for allowing them to share information about what they’ve been up to outside of work, such as through virtual coffee meetings, online lunch clubs or just sharing posts online of something fun or interesting that they’ve done.

The Role of Gamification

Another way to promote online team building is through gamification, which has been proving a real success story in recent months. By using fun, interactive programmes that let staff work together remotely to solve different challenges, this is an easy and highly effective way to boost remote teambuilding amongst all levels of staff.

Crucially, since gamification focuses on team building through fun and creative activities, it can prove a great stress relief in these challenging times. With lots of different interactive programmes to choose from, you can even select an online game to hone different skill-sets in staff.

Get in touch if you would like to boost staff engagement with our great choice of virtual game activities.

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