by WEX Health
Nearly half of all U.S. employees work from home at least one day per week. And that number has only increased today as more employers turn to a work-from-home model in response to the COVID-19 (coronavirus) pandemic. Taking your traditional office setting and adapting it for a work-from-home workforce does present a challenge in terms of company culture, which plays an important role in promoting a shared purpose and high retention rates. Here are four things you can do to keep your work-from-home employees connected and boost your company culture.
Collaboration through communication
Communicate, communicate, communicate. The value of effective communication and collaboration is clear no matter where your employees work, impacting your marketing efforts, employee satisfaction and customer service. This takes on even greater importance with a work-from-home employee who doesn’t have his/her co-workers just a few feet away. You can’t overdo communication for these employees. Encourage them to connect every time there’s an opportunity so the spirit of collaboration remains strong.
Encourage video conferencing
Face-to-face meetings are integral to building clarity and trust. And, fortunately, you can replicate some of the benefits of a face-to-face meeting by encouraging the use of video conferencing software. Meetings via video can be “a real game changer” when compared to their audio-only counterparts by making meetings feel more personal while also removing some of the sense of distance among the attendees.
Host virtual team social hours
Video conferencing shouldn’t be limited to just meetings. Socializing is a vital part of the workplace dynamic, and your organization benefits when your employees connect with each other on a more personal level through increased engagement, team building and retention. Structure takes on increased importance when your employees are working from home, so it’s important to build time into their calendars for those important connections to be made and sustained.
Create a community message board
When your employees have down time or are looking for ways to engage during their breaks, create and maintain a community message board or digital bulletin board that can serve as a replacement for their “water cooler” conversations. You could even insert a conversation starter each day, such as:
- What music or podcasts do you listen to while working from home?
- What’s the best recipe you’ve turned to this week?
- Who has the best “my pet joined my meeting” story?
Stay up to date on the latest regarding your employee benefits during the COVID-19 pandemic by visiting our COVID-19 information and resources page.
The information in this blog post is for educational purposes only. It is not legal or tax advice. For legal or tax advice, you should consult your own counsel.