Following a year of lockdown living, the WFH lifestyle appears to be here to stay.
If you’re a business with a small team, you’re able to check in and monitor how your team is coping on a regular basis while working from home.
In this article, we outline the following ways you can make the most of your tight-knit status and boost motivation while working remotely or as part of a hybrid setup.
- Getting the best from your team with flexible hours
- Keeping your team engaged with more natural collaboration tools
- Making your team comfy by upgrading their home office
Read on as we explore these ways of motivating your small team while working from home.
Get the best from your team with flexible working hours
Given flexible working hours are one of the most desired work perks for job searchers, it’s a surprise more companies haven’t adopted the scheme over this past year. After all, inviting work into your home should involve a bit of give and take.
Unfortunately, some companies haven’t taken the opportunity to explore a flexible way of working, instead opting to superimpose normal working conditions onto peoples already chaotic home life, which leads to employees’ motivation being crushed under the pressure.
As a smaller business, you can be more open-minded about offering your team the opportunity to work flexible hours — and by allowing employees to work to their own schedule, you maximize potential and set people up to do their best work.
Here are some benefits recruitment agency Robert Half say flexible working has on your small team:
- Increased productivity: more work, in less time
- Reduced stress and burnout: less pressure is better for mental health
- Healthy work-life balance: enjoy downtime while still working hard
- Better job satisfaction: employees are happier and more likely to stick around
Many small businesses think of their staff like family — this is because everyone knows each other and the business grows alongside their hard work. As such, managers like yourself are more inclined to offer flexible hours thanks to the trust your staff have earned over the years.
Some people work best in the early hours of the day; others like to burn the midnight oil. So long as there isn’t an important meeting to attend or a tight deadline to hit, then you should encourage flexible hours to keep people motivated and get the best from your team.
Keep your team engaged with more natural collaboration tools
While most businesses have got used to video conferencing software over the last year or so, many workers who choose to continue working from home are experiencing Zoom fatigue, stemming from a string of unnatural, often draining conversations that are common with the platform.
However, increasing social stimulation using a virtual event platform like Topia — a spatial video chat software that gamifies meetups using avatars in a sandbox-like environment — can prove to be a key tool that solves this problem…
Using software like these you can bring the team together in a more natural way to:
- Host meetings: gather the team for conversations
- Celebrate holidays: pick-up where the last office party left off
- Create a virtual office: work together to emulate your old work environment
This is especially important for your small business because you can make working from home feel more organic and get people more engaged in the collaborative process.
By establishing more online tools help you reconnect with your team and reclaim the social aspect of being in the office (something that’s sorely missed for any small business), but having this software in place is only the first step in promoting more natural collaboration across your remote team — it’s what you do with the space that matters…
You can book out your collaborative sessions with services like Headspace.com (a personal wellness and meditation website), which has a business program you can distribute across your team.
Knowing it’s more important than ever to plan activities and keep hold of the small business culture that makes you so successful, using wellness apps like Headspace you can host online meetups to bring the team together to take part in a meditation session.
Meditation is proven to be particularly effective for boosting motivation. Here’s why:
- You feel less stressed: lower the likelihood of burnout
- You feel more focused: increase productivity
- Your team works better together: notice more compassionate behaviour
By supporting natural collaboration and engaging in more team-based exercises you can look after your employees and set them up for a motivated, more fulfilled day at the home office.
Make your team comfortable by upgrading their home office
For some people, it has been a pleasure to work from home, especially in the summer when they could look out into their sun-trapped garden; for many others, however, working from home has proven to uncomfortable, particularly for those who work at the end of their beds, flanked by magazines and old laundry.
Having these makeshift setups across your team is harmful to motivation, plus you cannot expect everyone to be doing their best work when members of your team are having such contrasting experiences.
You should look to create a more equal setup across your team, after all, establishing a more office-like environment helps optimise what can otherwise be an uncomfortable, unproductive experience.
But what should be on your checklist? Though you might be able to source a few chairs and monitors from the old office block, you’ll still fall a little short of expectations. Here are a few gadgets, desk furniture, and ergonomic must-haves for upgrading your teams home offices:
- LED desk lamp: teams require a bright light, especially during dull winter months
- Laptop stands: improve your teams working position and help them feel comfortable
- Bluetooth keyboard: more flexibility when building a setup that works for everyone
While standardising your teams’ home office spaces might feel like a lot of hassle, it puts everyone on a level playing field, providing a platform for your people to do their best work. Plus, making home offices feel like the real deal isn’t such a bad thing, given your old office space was likely tailored to you and your team’s liking.
Boosting motivation across your small team when working from home is a task you have to manage with a compassionate and understanding hand. For many workers, adjusting to a remote environment hasn’t been easy and dealing with new pressures has put a strain on their professional performance.
But as a small team, you have the privilege of being a tight-knit group that’s able to keep tabs on how each of you is coping. Whether it’s being more open to flexible working, adopting new online tools to make communication more natural, or upgrading home offices to sit workers on a level playing field — use this ability to listen to what your team needs and keep everyone motivated.