In the U.K., almost a quarter (24%) of people are currently working remotely. And while a portion of the workforce has operated this way for years, for the most part, it is due to Covid-19.
We have all had to endure continual changes; from lockdown restrictions to adjustments in homeschooling and the tier system – so it is understandable that some remote employees are finding it hard to stay engaged.
While we have been living and working in a Covid-altered world for nearly a year now, many employers and employees alike have found it challenging to varying degrees and continue to do so – especially as we try to plan for the future.
Once we return to some form of ‘normal’ as the vaccines take effect, what will remote working look like in your organisation? Will select employees be working from home, while others return to the office?
Whatever your plan is, remote working is here to stay. Today, we look at different ways to keep your team engaged as they continue to work from home.
1. Striking the Right Balance with Video
Last year the term ‘Zoom fatigue’ was coined to describe a phenomenon that people experienced for the first time. Due to the upsurge in remote working, employees had to communicate over video like never before, and many of us discovered how draining it is to be on camera for large parts of the day.
Not only can being on video be tiring when you have back-to-back calls; in lots of cases, employees have also been reporting that they are required to attend Zoom meetings that are not necessary to them or their role.
How many video conferences are your remote team required to attend each week? It might be time to re-assess whether your schedule needs an update.
Ideally, people need to be involved in enough meetings to feel engaged with the rest of the team, but not so often that it distracts from their work.
Engagement and productivity will be different for all companies – talk to your employees about their thoughts on improving their productivity by attending fewer compulsory meetings. Always check that everyone required to attend is necessary – if not, this is wasted time and can lead to disengagement.
2. Introduce and Encourage Online Training
An integral part of feeling engaged at work is down to role progression. In your finance team, employees will be on their learning paths with objectives, goals and aims. With workers now dispersed, it is a likelihood that training files and programmes have been left in the office as employees are currently working from home.
But to maintain high levels of engagement, you need to be offering progression to each team member, which may be remote.
You could organise training sessions to be held by either management or your training department. Additionally, thanks to our new remote culture, your employees are part of various webinars and virtual classes.
They could focus on developing their skills, or learning something different, which will help them in their role, such as I.T. or online communication skills, maybe even a new accounting niche.
Offer your team time each week to dedicate to learning and development and talk to them to specify the type of training they will be undertaking.
3. Quirky Inspiration
Coming up with new inspiration to keep your team engaged can seem like an uphill struggle.
Some employers are thinking outside the box and are using quirky and novel ways to bring teams together. The following are some of the best ideas I have come across – have a look and see what you think.
Themed quizzes – Zoom quizzes have been one of the success stories of lockdown, and they continue to bring people together when we can’t physically see each other. Themed quizzes can be a light-hearted way to inject some fun into your day. Top tip: arrange the quiz during regular working hours, rather than asking employees to sacrifice their family time during the evening.
Online exercise – many of us are missing the opportunity to partake in a regular exercise routine, between lockdown restrictions and homeschooling it can be difficult to get your daily exercise in. Some teams with a penchant for keeping fit have been organising shared exercise classes where they follow an accessible YouTube video or similar. Not only is this great for keeping fit, exercise is proven to boost your mood too.
Baking challenges – Some offices take part in a bake-off inspired challenge in the summer months, but one employer I am aware of has extended this to lockdown, too. They sent their employees ingredients and instructions for a culinary challenge and met-up virtually to show (and taste) the results. If you are interested in doing similar, there is a virtual cooking framework available here.
Cheese and Wine Tasting – Just about everything has gone virtual this year, so it only seems apt that some employers have been treating their employees to virtual cheese and wine tasting nights. In the absence of annual staff parties, inviting employees to a virtual tasting night is a great way to bond and raise spirits.
Keeping your employees engaged can be hard, but it can be even more challenging when you have gaps in your team or if you are trying to juggle recruiting and onboarding new talent at the same time.
If you are currently looking to hire new accounting talent or have a vacancy coming up in the near future, and are wondering how you will recruit and onboard remotely – we can help.
We have been delivering expert financial recruitment services to clients like you since the start of the pandemic. In a period where your time is better spent keeping your team engaged – talk to us to find out how we can take away the stress and the uncertainty of recruiting in the Covid age. Call us on 01282 930930 or contact us via email by clicking here.
About Rebus Financial Recruitment
Rebus Financial Recruitment provides a specialist and focused recruitment service to its customers, which historically range from a wide variety of organisations including SME’s to large PLCs.
We strive to offer both the client and candidate a seamless recruitment experience. Using our expertise, we get to the heart of employer and employee needs; and, in doing so, we match the two perfectly. To find out more, get in contact with one of our team today, or you can call us on 01282 930930.