Remote work is here to stay. For many companies, there are no longer opportunities for water cooler talk, casual conversations over lunch, or coworkers visiting each other at their cubicles. Thus, maintaining employee morale while working from home can be a huge challenge.
The gist is this: employee morale can be improved by helping employees feel that they are seen, heard, cared for, and recognized—and that they are contributing to the goals of the company.
Remote workers want to feel connected. The higher employee morale is, the more productive and happy employees are at work.
Is Remote Work A Good Idea in the First Place?
At Nivati, we are huge believers in remote work. The flexibility of remote work has enabled most of our team to work and raise a family.
There are many benefits to remote work. Remote workers are about 35 to 40% more productive than those that work in an office. On top of that, the quality of remote work is better than that of office work. And, remote workers have 41% lower absenteeism and are more likely to stay in their jobs.
With all these benefits come some downsides, such as struggles maintaining work-life balance, and—you guessed it—employee morale.
Here are 10+ ways you can boost employee morale while working from home.
1. Have company-wide meetings
And don’t just talk about business—truly get to know each other!
At Nivati, our team meets every Monday (across multiple time zones!). We kick the meeting off by having everyone answer a fun question.
Recently, some of our morale-boosting questions were…
- What is your guilty pleasure?
- What is your favorite TV show?
- What was the best part of your weekend?
Try to remember people’s answers—and bring it up in a conversation down the road! People love knowing that they’ve been heard.
2. Do group yoga or meditation sessions
Being stressed and sedentary is hard on the body.
It can be difficult for employees to carve out time to take care of themselves. Show your employees you care about their wellbeing. Give them permission to take the time for self-care!
3. Encourage employees to take a break
Taking breaks can help boost productivity and employee morale. Encourage employees to take lunch completely off—and tell them to let the company know when they are taking a break. This could mean setting yourself as “Away” on instant messengers or blocking break times off on your calendar.
Virtual coffee breaks are another great option for employees working from home. No business talk—just casual conversation with coworkers. This is great for relationship building and team building—helping to boost employee morale.
You can also create a channel, room, or group chat on your instant messaging platform that is all about non-business chat. At Nivati, we call it the Watercooler. It’s a place where we talk about books we’ve read recently, our weekend adventures, and anything else that comes to mind. It’s a great way to take a little moment away from work during the day.
Encourage employees to take vacations as well! Employees with unlimited vacation often take less time off than typical workers. Set the example and take at least a couple of weeks off every year.
You can also require employees to take time off. Some companies are even paying employees a small bonus for taking time off!
4. Talk about mental health
Employees that work from home are more vulnerable to isolation and work-life balance issues—leading to mental health struggles.
Talking about mental health can help fight the mental health stigma.
You can start by talking about your own mental health with your employees, and share what you do to take care of yourself.
Encourage your managers to meet with their direct reports and talk about mental health. Discuss ways you can cope with stress. Challenge employees to do a 5-minute meditation once per day or take a walk every morning before work.
This boosts employee morale by helping employees build a larger support system, showing employees you care about their mental health, and helping employees reduce stress.
5. Give employee feedback (and ask for theirs!)
Employees want to know how they are being perceived. Feedback helps employees get, or stay on, the right track.
Tell your employees what they’ve done well and what they can do better. Don’t be afraid to tell employees where they are falling short. It is so much better to be honest and upfront so employees have a chance to improve. Take it as a teaching opportunity.
Employees that respond positively will likely experience a boost in employee morale.
6. Give your employees praise
Sending a message along the lines of “You’re doing great, thanks for being here!” can make a huge difference in an employee’s day—and their overall employee morale.
Encourage all your employees to do the same. Employees need to hear that they are appreciated by their peers and their managers.
You can also use software like Bonusly to make recognition even more fun and engaging!
7. Be transparent
Transparency builds trust. When employees know what is going on behind the scenes and how decisions are being made, they are more likely to trust company leaders and work to support those decisions.
You can take this a step further and encourage employees to engage in decision-making. This opens the lines of communication even more and gives employees the sense that they are even more valuable contributors to the company. Slack found that 80% of employees want to know more about how decisions are made in their company, and 87% want to be part of a company that is transparent.
8. Provide employees professional massages
While onsite massage isn’t possible for most remote teams, you can still pay for employees to get a massage in the comfort of their home or in their hometown. Massage does wonders for mental and physical wellbeing—and is a great way to reduce stress and boost employee morale.
9. Offer virtual learning activities
Gaining skills helps employees build confidence. Encouraging virtual learning helps employees recognize that you (the employer) value them and want them to grow!
Have employees do some Linkedin Courses to learn a variety of skills. Challenge employees to take courses on the tools your company uses so they can use them to their full potential. Udemy also has tons of courses to choose from!
A recent trend is to dedicate one workday per year to virtual learning. You can even promote your Virtual Learning Day on social media, and encourage employees to share the certifications they gained or the things they learned on Linkedin.
10. Organize virtual team building activities
This is especially important for remote workers who feel disconnected from your organization. Virtual team building activities include virtual trivia, group cooking classes, group fitness classes, group online gaming sessions, and so much more!
Team building activities provide an opportunity to connect with coworkers that normally do not exist for remote teams.
Others Ways to Boost Employee Morale While Working From Home
Here are some more quick ways to boost employee morale!
- Provide employees 24/7 access to therapy through an EAP
- Provide company swag
- Have lunch together over Zoom
- Challenge each other to run a couple of times per week
- Encourage employees to eat healthy foods
If your company is in the office part of the time, check out our additional article on ideas to boost employee morale.
Improve Employee Morale with Nivati
Nivati provides employees the mental health support they want and need. From live counseling services to meditation to nutrition classes, Nivati has something for everyone.
We have 1000+ licensed practitioners from all over the world, and hundreds of pre-recorded video sessions starting at 2 minutes long for employees to watch anytime, anywhere.
We are the #Un-EAP. See why! Request a demo today.