The ability to work from home has been a wonderful way for many businesses to be able to continue to operate during this challenging time. In fact, due to the success of the shift in the work environment, many businesses going forward plan to adopt a more flexible approach to remote working because of its range of benefits, such as increasing productivity, and engagement.
However, there are downsides to remote working, with one of the biggest issues being that it can be quite isolating as you are separated from the rest of your team. Through this isolation and separation, relationships between management and employees can begin to suffer and falter. Thankfully, there are ways to protect your employee relationships when one or both are working from home for a significant amount of time. Here’s how.
Invest in Employee Management Software
There is a plethora of software and solutions available to HR departments to help with managing the relations and fulfillment of employees. These types of employee relations software are brilliant when dealing with people working from home as it can create a deeper sense of belonging, which can make them feel more attached to the company.
Be sure to opt for cloud-based employee relations software, as this will mean that the service will be accessible from any location, which suits home working. This allows employees to manage their own data and helps provide a personal level of service which sometimes is all people need to maintain a good employee relationship.
Add a Bit Of Personality to Your Correspondence
When working from home, there is going to be a lot of communication that isn’t going to be audio-based, such as emails and instant messages. It’s important to put in a bit of effort into these types of messages to help ensure that you don’t quickly become just another name in an email chain. You may think it’s more efficient to go straight into setting tasks or talking strictly business, but it can come off as cold so it’s very beneficial to your working relationships to simply take the time to add a bit of personality.
Simple things such as asking about someone’s day, cracking a joke, or even sending relevant work links can break the ice and build a strong digital connection. It’s also helpful to keep things informal and be sure to remember your co-worker’s birthdays so that you can always send a nice message. Just take the time to show that you care.
Set and Respect Boundaries
When working from home, it can be extremely easy to feel like you have to be constantly available, just because your office is now down the hallway. However, to maintain good relationships, it’s important to set boundaries so that your co-workers know when it is best to contact you. That way, they don’t have to feel nervous about disturbing you.
It’s best practice to set your hours of availability to match that of the standard working day, but also allow up to an hour before and after these official times for people to make contact, as people will appreciate the availability. Furthermore, respecting other people’s boundaries and not demanding things from them outside their working hours is a great way to maintain a good relationship and keep yourself from annoying others.
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