Even before COVID-19, traditional shops were already experiencing a decline in sales brought about by online shopping's growing popularity. When consumers were put under lockdown, the situation became even more challenging for physical stores.
This led to a logical shift to ecommerce. In 2020, the ecommerce industry crossed the $2 trillion threshold, and it's the only industry winning amid the pandemic.
This shift from physical to digital stores comes alongside businesses opting to let their team work remotely, or at least those staff members who can do their job from home. Such a work arrangement yields new challenges for managers and HR personnel to solve.
One legitimate concern is how managers can boost the morale of remote staff. After all, unhappy employees lead to unhappy customers, and that's not something you'd want to risk. To make sure your team's working at their best, you may want to try the following strategies:
Go the extra mile with wages and benefits
Giving your employees fair wages and benefits is, well, fair enough. But if you want to make your employees happy, you can go beyond what's appropriate and aim for wages and benefits that allow your staff to actually live their lives to the full.
Should your profit margin disallow increasing your employees' remuneration packages, you can always look for other sources of funding. For example, why not redistribute the savings you make from remote work arrangements to the rest of your team?
Encourage a healthy work-life balance
Happy employees get to enjoy their lives outside of their job. A staff member who never gets the chance to pursue their passions because their whole life revolves around work is at a high risk of eventually experiencing burnout.
Burnout is one of the primary reasons why employees quit. Remember that high employee turnover costs significant money, so it must be avoided by any means possible.
Thankfully, remote work is quite conducive to the achievement of a positive work-life balance. As a manager or HR leader, your goal is to inspire your staff to make the most of this work arrangement. Refrain from micromanaging and trust your people to do their job.
Offer a clear career pathway
Even when your staff work from home, they should still feel that they belong to an organization with fixed systems in place, including a clear career pathway. There's nothing more draining than realizing you’re in a dead-end job.
For your employees not to feel that, let them know that their career growth is given the utmost importance by the company. Don’t stop here - your words should come alongside scheduled training and development programs.
Provide perks and privileges
Is there a holiday coming up? Why not give out home-service massage coupons to the rest of your team so they can all enjoy a relaxing day off work? Or organize a virtual movie streaming event for your staff with free popcorn, hotdogs and soda.
The idea here is to make your employees feel valued and appreciated. Simple gestures of generosity can do that. It won't cost your company much, and the rewards you’ll reap may even exceed the investment you made.
Once it's safe to go outside again without masks and social distancing, you can throw a party. That way, even if they’re now working from home, they can still catch up with each other in person.
Inspire a culture of collaboration and community
Lack of communication in a workplace is one of the culprits for misunderstandings between team members. These misunderstandings can easily exacerbate and fester. Once that happens, the result is toxic workplace culture. This is why you need to inspire and improve team collaboration.
Encourage your staff to talk with each other often, even when they're working remotely. Communication channels should always be open between departments and across organizational levels.
Experts believe that even post-pandemic, remote work will be the new normal, at least for white-collar workers. If there's one thing we've learned the past months labor-wise, it's how job delivery isn’t restricted within a physical workplace.
With remote work, your employees get to achieve a semblance of work-life balance and have more time with their loved ones. Meanwhile, your business can reduce operating expenses—no need for a big office that comes with high utility costs.