Despite the ease of office restrictions for workers, allowing office staff to return to office up to half their working time, working from home still remains the default. It has been 6 months since the circuit breaker measure was first implemented and it ushered in the new norm of working from home.
Though there are many perks of working from home, such as no dress codes or time saved on commuting to squeeze in an extra session of yoga, we start to notice that the line drawn between work time and personal time get increasingly blurred. After long periods of work from home, one may start to feel the fatigue from the lack of social interaction or perhaps the noise disturbance from the renovation upstairs. More importantly, one might constantly check their phones or email in preparation for an incoming work-related message.
As employers and HR professionals, there is a dire need to acknowledge our employee’s efforts and struggles in this period of constant change. Working from home is no longer a privilege but a necessity. Ensuring that our employees have a positive experience working from home is an important way to address their mental and emotional well-being.
Here are some ways that one can boost employee experience amid COVID:
1) Adjust HR Priorities
As work from home becomes the norm, new challenges are bound to surface. HR professionals should identify the challenges that employees face such as:
- Difficulty coordinating response across teams
- Increase in asynchronous communication
- Not adjusting fast enough to help customers
- Lack the agility to respond to rapidly changing situations
Addressing such challenges allows the organisation to stay ahead and help employees adopt pre-emptive measures to respond to new challenges.
2) Communicate effectively
Streamline communication channels and keep the structures organised. Without face-to-face interaction, one might see an overall increase in email threads for even the simplest discussions. Avoid confusing employees with an overload of information for tasks that they are not related to and minimise redundant messages and inconsistent discussion so that employees can find the right content. One way is to create dedicated channels for each department on a work-dedicated messaging platform like Slack.
3) Allow employees to purchase ergonomic office equipment
Not all employees can afford a dedicated remote workstation at home. However, it is important that they are able to sit comfortably on an office chair which they will spend countless hours on. Healthcare providers, such as StarMed Specialist Centre, have stressed on the importance of ergonomic care and proper steps you should take. Therefore, employers should be willing to invest in their employees’ well being, giving them the opportunity to optimise the efficiency and comfort at work.
4) Celebrate every milestone
An organisation’s success is dependent on the efforts of the employees. Celebrating the achievements of the company is one way to express gratitude and reward employees for their hard work and perseverance amidst the pandemic. It is important to make employees feel valued in the organisation as it can boost their morale and productivity in the long run. In our previous post, we shared how you can hold virtual celebrations remotely with your organisation!
5) Bond through team online gaming or board game sessions
There’s no better way to bond with your colleagues than the old fashion way through online games or board games! There are a ton of free-to-play online party games that allow for private hosting. Here are some suggestions that can be played on PC or mobile.
- Among Us (Caution: This game requires lies and deceit!)
6) Adopt a flexi-benefits plan
Adopting a flexi-benefits plan would allow employees to take charge of their own well-being. Flexi-benefits plans allow for employees to decide on what they want to do with their budget - GP visits, dental, vision and even wellness services. It is an important way of showing that an organisation cares for their employees and amidst this period of remote working, the freedom which employees are given.
Mednefits is a free employee medical benefits platform that connects SMEs directly to health and wellness providers at lower costs. The platform works with any HR policy, any budget. Mednefits currently has over 550 providers located in Singapore and Malaysia. Request to join Mednefits for free.