The COVID-19 pandemic has prompted many companies to shift the vast majority of their staff to remote work to avoid virus transmission in the office. While some companies are eager to get employees back on-site, others are seeing the benefits of remote work for their teams in terms of morale, productivity, and reduced overhead costs.
Companies seeing these benefits—or at least not seeing a significant downside—are likely considering extending remote work beyond the period during which it’s necessary from a health standpoint.
The initial move to remote work was abrupt for many organizations, meaning there was little time to prepare staff for the transition. For long-term remote work arrangements, though, companies should consider training focused on the skills to help staff thrive in a remote working environment. In this post, we identify key areas of focus for such training.
Staying organized at home shouldn’t be inherently different from staying organized in an office, but many employees struggle with this. The key is often to designate a clearly defined workspace and avoid the temptation to work on the couch or in bed.
With a designated workspace, one’s organizational office habits can be more easily translated to the home.
Note that we say “managing distractions” instead of “avoiding distractions.” While part of managing distractions certainly includes avoiding them, it’s really impossible to avoid all distractions. Focusing solely on avoiding distractions fails to address the distractions that can’t be avoided.
Managing Mental Health and Well-Being
One of the biggest challenges many employees face when working remotely is the sense of isolation. Managing mental health and well-being often starts with simply identifying potential issues people face in isolation.
For example, that subtle anxiety an employee is facing might be due to missing face-to-face chats with coworkers. Encouraging remote coffee breaks and happy hours, as well as regular face time in the office, can help address this.
Additionally, encouraging staff to take breaks for exercise and even walks around their neighborhood can be a big boost to mental health and well-being.
Whether they implement them part time or full time, many companies may find strong incentives for maintaining remote work arrangements long term even after the pandemic subsides. In order to experience the maximum benefit, it’s crucial to give employees the skills they need to thrive when working remotely.