How to Enhance Team Wellbeing in Remote Working: The Field Guide

 The Field Guide

Remote working is rising, and the demand for remote teams is also growing. However, it's not always easy to reach team wellness with remote workers. By collaborating remotely, you are forced to work with software and technology solutions that are not always ideal for fostering a sense of community and cohesion within your team. 

Remote working can come with its own set of challenges. Not everyone can handle the isolation and lack of face-to-face interaction, which may lead to team wellbeing issues. If you're considering embracing remote working in your team, there are a number of factors you should consider before making the switch to creating an environment conducive to high-efficiency work and collaboration.

This blog post outlines how you can enhance team wellbeing in remote working environments. You'll discover practical insights and resources that can help you implement strategies supporting remote workers.

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What are the Key Wellbeing Ideas for Working From Home?

In remote working environments, employees must work from numerous locations to align their activities and coordinate with other team members. With the right strategies, you can encourage team collaboration, employee engagement, and a sense of camaraderie. Let's explore some key remote working tips to help make your team feel happier, more productive, and less stressed. 

1. Build a Culture of Remote Working

It can be a great way to increase productivity and collaboration, but building a culture that embraces remote working is also essential. When employees feel comfortable talking about and accepting the benefits of remote working, they'll be more likely to get and appreciate the changes that come with it. 

Additionally, building a culture of remote working will reduce the stigma and negative connotation that remote work can have. This can help to make remote working a more accepted and positive experience for everyone. 

To help build a remote working culture, start by having open discussions with your team members about their perspectives on working remotely and how it impacts their lives. You may be surprised that many employees are open to making changes in their lives to accommodate working remotely but may be hesitant due to stigmas around the practice.

2. Set up a flexible work week

One of the key ways to boost team wellbeing in a remote working environment is to ensure your company's flexible work week. Remote working is an excellent way to reduce the travel time necessary for an office location, but it doesn't replace the need for a physical office space to help employees get work done. 

A flexible work week allows remote team members to work from wherever they have an internet connection, which makes it easier for teams to work remotely. Flexible work weeks also make it easier for employees to get work done when they have to work from other locations due to travel or shift work.

 

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3. Create a Remote Working Policy

While flexible work weeks and remote working culture can benefit your remote team, it's also essential to have company policies in place to help keep everyone on track. For example, you may consider creating a remote working policy that outlines what is allowed and prohibited when working remotely. 

This policy may also outline procedures around telecommuting hours, guidelines for virtual meetings, and how to handle situations in the remote set-up. These policies can help keep the remote working environment running smoothly while letting team members know what will be expected.

4. Hold Regular Team Retreats

Another great way to boost team wellbeing in remote working environments is to hold regular team retreats. Remote teams can often feel more isolated than those in an office setting, which can lead to feelings of loneliness and depression in some cases. Team retreats can help combat this by bringing together remote team members and also can also provide an excellent opportunity to share best practices and discuss challenges that remote teams face.

Team bonding events and team building exercises can help remote team members feel connected to one another and can also help to reduce stress in some employees who may be feeling isolated or alone.

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5. Decrease Email Frequency 

Another way to help boost team wellbeing in remote working environments is to decrease the frequency of email communication. Because email is a one-to-one communication tool, it can be overwhelming for employees to email colleagues to get work done consistently. Additionally, email can be a source of stress for some employees when it's used too often. Encourage employees to use email when they need to, but also to communicate with colleagues in other ways of communication such as video conferencing, usage of the asymmetric mode of communication, such as project management tools, so that email isn't used too frequently.

6. Don't Forget to Play

Many employees feel stressed and overwhelmed as urgent issues like climate change, social inequality, and a growing economy impact their daily lives. In addition, the remote working trend is also increasing the time employees need to spend on their jobs, which may cause them to feel like they're working more than they're enjoying. 

To combat this, you can encourage your team to have some fun once in a while. Remote working environments often lack social activities and fun events, which can contribute to feelings of isolation and depression for some employees. To combat this, you can encourage your team to join a co-working fitness group, sign up for a co-working yoga class or host a team-building event once in a while. These activities can help break up the remote working monotony and help keep your employees happier and more connected.

What are Remote Team Management Challenges for HR?

The biggest challenge for HR is creating a remote team that can deliver high-quality products and services. It may be challenging to build morale and trust due to the distance. People may be more prone to distractions because they aren't in the same physical space. Having a problematic phone or video conference can also be frustrating.

Despite the challenges, a remote team can be incredibly productive and contribute to great products and services. It's always worth it to try out this type of team structure if it makes sense for your company.

There are different kinds of challenges HR will face when working in a remote team, such as -

  • Constant and reliable communication is vital to managing a remote team.
  • Creating trust and understanding between team members are challenging for remote people and in the office.
  • Managing time differences is a challenge. It is important to be close and flexible with team members.
  • Dealing with emotional ups and downs is challenging, both from home and from the office, with people's lack of empathy.
  • Managing change is challenging when you are remote, and people are used to their daily routines in the home.

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The following are some of the additional challenges HR faces in managing a remote team:

  • High Turnover: Employees who move to remote offices experience high turnover due to a lack of face-to-face interaction. This makes it difficult for HR to build rapport with employees.
  • Lack Of Trust: Due to a lack of face-to-face interaction, employees don't trust HR and are reluctant to share their concerns. This can make it difficult for HR to provide support and assistance.
  • Communication Issues: Due to high turnover and lack of trust between employees, communication suffers, which reduces the efficiency and effectiveness of the team.
  • Loss Of Team Morale: Employees who spend less time with the team lose their morale which can impact work output and productivity.

The number of terminals as a solution is misleading. The nature of the problem requires a proper solution.

HR has a significant role in remote teams. Notable that retention of remote team members is much higher than the traditional team members and employees with more autonomy. HR can improve the working culture and engagement in the remote team by implementing the following tips:

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Activity

  • Adaptive leadership
  • Leaders must be flexible and adapt to changing circumstances. They must also understand that not everyone will agree with their decisions.
  • Team building
  • Building strong relationships among team members is vital for remote working success. Each member needs to feel accountable for their work and accepted and valued by their colleagues.
  • Communication
  • Effective communication is crucial for any team, but it's even more important in a remote setting. Team members need to be able to reach out and ask questions when they have difficulties or want to talk through a problem.
  • Balancing work and life
  • Everyone has their personal life, and finding a balance between work and life outside of work can be difficult. Working remotely can make this more difficult, as finding time for personal and social activities disconnected from work can be difficult.
  • Flexible hours
  • Creating a flexible work environment is vital for employee and employer health benefits. This allows employees to come and go from work as they please, which can help them find time for both personal and social activities disconnected from work.

Conclusion

Remote working can be a great way to boost productivity and collaboration, but it's also important to build a culture that embraces remote working. When employees feel comfortable talking about and accepting the benefits of remote working, they'll be more likely to get and appreciate the changes that come with it. Additionally, building a culture of remote working reduces the stigma and negative connotation that remote work can have. To build a more inclusive culture and streamline the work in the remote setup, you can leverage a flexible HR system like Lanteria based on Microsoft SharePoint & Office 365.


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