Remote working has grown exponentially during COVID-19 and has become a normal way of life for over 5 million British employees.
Whilst many enjoy the reduction in commuting and ability to get more work done, they are losing the socialising and camaraderie that is often achieved whilst working in an office setting.
However, if you are creative, they are some clever things that you can do as an employer or manager to boost staff morale. If you are not paying for an office or equipment, you make quite the savings and this can be used in some very basic ways to keep staff engagement high.
Everyone is on Zoom anyway, so why not create a Zoom Social once a week? Even on a Friday as a way to catch up with the team, share some stories and share a drink.
You can also do themed socials, whether it is fancy dress or encouraging other staff to tell a joke or funny story to lighten the mood.
If people are working remotely, there is the risk that some staff members will not be talking to each other as much as often, or even at all. So having a social Zoom, whether it is just with individual teams or the whole office, it can be a great way to boost morale and still make you feel like you are part of a team even if you are just working from your bedroom or kitchen.
Managers should also consider doing monthly awards or competitions amongst staff and presenting them on Zoom and where possible, maintain the office feel in a virtual environment.
Drinks and Meal Kits
Although you might have taken your staff out for drinks once a week or the occasional meal, there is no reason why you still cannot share that experience.
Known as drink sets or meal kits, you can order a gin set for your staff member from MicroBarBox for less than £30 and you have a selection of meal kits from Plateaway which are less than £30 too.
With meal kits, you get a full set of ingredients from a well-known restaurant that your staff can prepare and enjoy. From sushi, middle eastern and even cookie dough, it is a nice fun treat which has become popular in the pandemic and something that your staff can do. You can make it even more sociable by doing it all together on Zoom. Something like the sushi could certainly be a fun experience.
Try make the work more interesting
It’s not easy to make your work more interesting, especially if you work in something like tax or law.
But try to find projects to make your work more engaging for your staff. Create projects and tasks that force different staff members to be creative or collaborate. You could look at cost-saving exercises, ways to make your systems more efficient or come up with a target to reach for the end of the year.
Living in lockdown can be very repetitive and unexciting, but creating interesting roles, tasks or competitions can liven up your workplace and make your staff excited to get up in the morning. So a message to managers: get your thinking caps on!
Look at employee benefits
If you need inspiration, look at some employee benefit schemes that specialise in motivating staff. You have the likes of YuLife and Equipsme offering health and life insurance and companies like Xexec, Perkbox and Rewards Gateaway providing discounts from high street brands.
If you want to look after the financial wellbeing of your staff, you can look at schemes available from Salary Finance, Hastee or other salary finance schemes.
Without walking to work, commuting on the train or going up and down the stairs at the office, the remote lifestyle is certainly a more sedentary lifestyle.
There are some ways that you can encourage exercise in the office. The quick one is sending your staff some resistance bands from John Lewis or Sports Direct for less than £10. Strengthen the arms, biceps and shoulders with this quick and space-efficient gym equipment.
Other fun opportunities include using FitBits, Track My Run or apps to monitor steps and miles run per week and creating competitions and prizes for participants.