by | Apr 2, 2020

Engaging work-from-home employees is always important, but the Coronavirus crisis is pushing it to the top of internal communications priorities. With so many employees suddenly working remotely, how do we replace that everyday camaraderie and face-to-face interaction? It can be difficult to recreate the sense of connectivity and vitality that employees are more likely to feel when they’re all showing up at the office.

Extroverts are perhaps less suited to working from home than the introverts in your company. Being with other people gives them energy, so we need to recreate those personal interactions remotely, as best as we’re able.

WFH employees need to see faces

We’re fortunate that we now have the technology to hold team meetings, collaboration sessions and town halls by video. This sort of mass exodus from offices to working from home would be a ton more difficult before Zoom and other video conferencing platforms were second nature. As far as you’re able, make video the default medium for meetings in your company.

Make leadership visible

This is a good time to increase the frequency of town halls and to make the company’s leadership visible to employees working from home in in any other ways you can. Show their faces in photography and video on the intranet, in digital newsletters, in whatever channels you’re using to keep employees working from home connected. Let employees hear updates from the executives on any company news, especially related to the coronavirus and plans to alleviate its economic impact.

Create human connection

To help recreate some of the social interaction of being together in office buildings, focus new attention on your online social venues like the intranet, Yammer or Microsoft Teams. Launch new groups that encourage sharing the work-from-home experience, like photos of employees’ home office set ups, the dogs and cats who serve as their new co-workers, or answering a weekly question about the TV shows employees are binging or how they’re working out at home without being able to get to the gym or Pilates classes.

Leverage your wellness programs

Getting used to the new normal of working from home is a great time to build new healthy habits. Employees who may not have used your wellness programs before may find them helpful now, so raise awareness of what’s available — from fitness and nutrition to meditation and sleep quality.

The social aspects of your fitness programs may be even more important for engaging work-from-home employees than the wellness benefits. If you have a fitness platform like Fitbit® or Virgin Pulse, activate one or more fitness challenges for employees to enter as individuals or teams.

You might find other ideas in this Ragan post titled 3 tactics for keeping remote staff connected. Engaging work-from-home employees is always important, but when the majority of your employees are shifted to remote work with little warning, many of us are looking for all the tips we can find.

Interested in more ways to engage your work-from-home employees? Tribe can help.

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