Are members of your team working out of the office? With office shutdowns common and return-to-work dates growing increasingly distant for many workers across the country, you might start to feel like you’re losing touch with your teams.
We’ve outlined strategies for keeping company culture vibrant in other blog posts, but what about some quick, fun tactics you can implement right now to appreciate your employees? Here are five ways you can show your remote workers they’re still valued members of your organization, even if they feel far away from the team. Use these tips with your own team, and send them out to your partners in other departments so everyone shares the love.
Cover a company lunch
Remember going out to lunch with the team? The gesture of sending a gift card for lunch delivery is a simple way to send a quick “thank you” to your remote employees. Choose a delivery company which operates in your employee’s area and let them know you’d love to go out to lunch in the future, but for today, delivery’s on you!
This is an especially nice gesture for employees working against a deadline, since prepping, cooking, and eating a decent lunch might not be high on their priority list.
Send out a virtual lunch invitation – kids and pets included
A midday break used to be a high point of many workers’ day—a chance to kick back, chat, and laugh over a meal. Now, it might just feel like one more chore to push back from the desk, go to the kitchen and fix food, and clean up afterwards… especially if there are kids in the house clamoring to be fed.
You can try to bring back the fun part of lunch hour—the socializing—with a casual lunch date. Let employees know they can join your video-chat during lunch hour, complete with kids and pets! Everyone can have a break to laugh together, and you might learn a lot about your teams while you’re at it.
Suggest an exercise hour
Some companies are putting together exercise and fitness hours, using instructors and apps to lead group sessions. A simple, quick version of this? Suggest exercise and wellness time during the workday. Help your employees take time away from their desks (which can be a real challenge for remote workers) by making them feel empowered to get up, take a walk, or engage in other wellness activities.
Send a card
A real card—not an e-greeting! In this digital world, tangibles are taking on a whole new meaning. And you don’t have to save them for birthdays and holidays. If you have to send out physical checks or company materials, consider dropping in a handwritten note, doodling a happy picture on a post-it note, or writing a few lines of appreciation on a card. It’s a fun surprise and adds a personal touch back to the remote workplace.
Give every project a little extra time
The gift of time is often the most precious. Many of the best practices for keeping remote workers from burning themselves out and working nonstop include implementing office hours—don’t answer emails after six p.m., for example. But with people’s lives turned upside-down, due to extra caregiving responsibilities, homeschooling, and general anxiety, it’s also important to be flexible and realize some people can’t do their best work between nine and five. Pad your projects with extra time, making space for that night owl who can’t fall asleep until late, or the parent who can’t get uninterrupted time until after the kids have gone to bed, to get their projects completed.
There are so many ways companies are altering day-to-day business in order to support long-term remote work, but all of these new policies and strategies take time to implement. In the meantime, use these quick suggestions to keep your employees feeling cared for, motivated, and mentally able to do their best work.