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A woman sits at a kitchen table with her laptop in front of her. She rests her head in her hand and appears frustrated. feature :: Five Tips Business Owners Need To Know To Keep WFH Morale High

Natalie was delighted to contribute to and chat about how to keep morale high as employees continue to work-from-home. Check out some of her suggestions below.

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Five Tips Business Owners Need To Know To Keep WFH Morale High

While the country is slowly reopening, there have been several setbacks and for those working in counties in level three, a lot of people have had to return to work from home.

A lot of us have been getting used to not being in the office but we know that it can be difficult when we don’t get to see our work friends and enjoy lunch chats with them.

We spoke to award-winning business consultant, Natalie Cooke about keeping morale high in businesses around the country.

Natalie Garland-Cooke - founder of ncco
Natalie Garland-Cooke – founder of ncco

The founder of NCCO told us that while we may feel that we have been in lockdown for years now, we’re only in the early stages of relocating our workspace.

‘Remember — it feels like we’ve been dealing with this pandemic for a lifetime but in terms of the size of change for your team, there may still be teething issues,’ she told us.

1. Have a Work From Home Toolkit

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‘Many businesses may have a WFH Toolkit already but it may be time to refine it as we move into possibly working from home long-term,’ she explained to us about the very basics of WFH etiquette.

‘Once completed, it should be shared with all employees, both in-office and remote, and should detail how working from home will continue to be rolled out and the expectations on employees availing of the initiative.’

But what exactly are those expectations? Well, these may be how regularly people need to attend in-office meetings, how will staff report IT issues, how will workers be expected to communicate with colleagues and managers.

2. Communication is Key

Pic : Getty Images

A big issue with working from home is communication. We don’t get to have our daily gossip and if your work is collaborative, being able to chat with your co-workers is important.

Natalie explains: ‘You may have to invest in software improvements that allow for better processes throughout the business. Tools that integrate together, built on API platforms such as using CRM and an internal comms plug-in such as Slack, Teams etc. are excellent options and work well with Google Suite and Microsoft services.

‘This creates effective workflows whilst also removing the dreaded silo effect (a pet hate of mine) that often happens in WFH/Office scenarios when teams can’t communicate quickly and effectively with one another.’

3. Keep Connected

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Internal communications are key, now more than ever, as we are physically separated due to restrictions.

‘Ensure all employees are aware of the goings-on company-wide — the things they might normally find out in the kitchen from a colleague. The second is to make sure all employees feel connected to their colleagues and part of the team. This will create efficiency, security and a deeper sense of connection amongst team members,’ Natalie tells us.

‘Happy, well-introduced and well-connected team members perform better in teams — which is good news for you.’

This doesn’t just have to be work focused as because we are separated from our friends, we want a social aspect, so Natalie thinks that a social team is a must-have to boost morale!

‘Appoint a work-from-home team member as the social team leads to organise all the distanced or virtual meet-ups. Another idea might be to encourage teams to set weekly virtual meet-ups for coffee so that they are connecting face-to-face regularly and encourage these meet-ups to be casual and focus solely on fun.’

4. Beware of Zoom Fatigue

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Remember at the start of lockdown when we were having weekly Zoom quizzes and virtual pub nights over video call?

We think if someone suggested a virtual get together now we would cut them out of our life. It’s the same in the office world and Natalie warns not to get too reliant on video link.

‘It’s worth being aware that while Zoom, Teams and Hangouts are all fantastic tools, Zoom Fatigue is very much a real thing, so be careful not to rely on this as your main form of communication and reporting,’ she explained.

‘If working from home is truly going to work for your business, video link can’t become your bedrock. Video is a great complementary tool but you have to invest in reporting systems that can be accessed by all at any time.’

5. Appoint a WFH Team Lead

Pic: Getty Images

Many hands make light work! As a boss, you don’t have to do everything so make sure to delegate especially now in these unprecedented times.

Natalie explains that you can appoint someone to deal with employee grievances and check-in on all employees, both in-office and at-home, to ensure they are happy with how the system is working.

‘The WFH Team Lead will also play a role in creating the content of your WFH Toolkit and updating it as the initiative develops. They should be pro-active about exploring ways to make working from home more positive for your business outcomes,’ she added.

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