Working from home may seem like a dream come true. But many employees struggle with loneliness, isolation, and maintaining a healthy work-life balance.
Over time, employees may feel a lack of motivation and drive to complete their tasks during the day. They may also experience anxiety, depression, and other mental health challenges.
We want to be clear and say that a drop in productivity doesn't always mean that your remote team is slacking. Rather, it's that people often aren't prepared for the mental stress of working from home.
It's a big lifestyle change, which is why it's important that you set up you and your team for success.
Create a Space to Work from Home
Having a home office is a luxury, especially if you live in a small apartment or live with other people. As a result, it can be difficult to create an impromptu office and defend your boundaries. For this reason, many people resort to working on the couch or in bed.
The only problem with this is that it can blur the mental boundaries between work and home. This can make relaxing difficult in the evening because your brain is still in work-mode.
We recommend setting up a dedicated space for work, even if it's just one side of the dining room table.
Set Clear Boundaries
The evening commute creates a clear boundary between work and home. The physical distance and the act of driving away help you leave your worries at the office. But this is harder to achieve when you're commuting from the dining room into the kitchen.
We recommend clearing your desk at the end of the workday and turning off your computer. You may also try changing into your casual clothes or pajamas for the evening. That way, it's easier for your brain to distinguish between home and work.
Send Daily and/or Weekly Updates
Communication is always essential. But it's especially important when your employees are working from home. Sending regular updates helps your employees structure their days. It also helps their bosses organize and rank tasks in order of priority for their teams.
A daily update should include what the employee plans on doing today and tomorrow. A weekly update may be a recap of current and future goals.
Ultimately, you'll know what type of reporting is best for your team.
Make Video Meetings Mandatory
Conference calls and emails may lead to misunderstandings among members of your team. They can also feel impersonal when they become the default mode of communication.
So much of communication is non-verbal, from facial expressions to gestures. That's why we recommend making video meetings mandatory for you and your team.
With a video call, people are able to ask follow-up questions right away. This eliminates the back-and-forth you may experience with long email chains.
The result is better communication and a happier team.