How to Support Team Morale While Working from Home

Working from home can be challenging and demotivating, especially if you’re used to working from the office. However, the pandemic has forced us to make changes, causing a shift to working remotely for many companies.

While there are benefits for remote work, long hours toiling away alone from home can cause a feeling of disconnect and isolation, often robbing employees of their morale and harming your company culture.

Culture is a primary driver of engagement and productivity. When morale is high among employees, it translates into company success. Therefore, it’s vital that you nurture team morale within your employees working from home. 

Below are five ways to support team morale while working in a remote environment.   

1. Stay Connected

Now is the time to communicate like never before. When employees know that their boss and senior leaders are there for them, they feel better knowing when issues arise, they have someone to turn to for help.

Dedicate more of your time toward virtual communication with your staff. Make more video calls than voice calls. This is more reassuring as employees can see your facial expressions and body language.

Your schedule may be tight, but finding time for your team will make them feel valued, connected, and more comfortable working remotely.   

2. Organize Remote Team Building Activities

Employees shouldn’t have to feel tethered to work all day, 24/7. In fact, when a remote worker doesn’t feel like they have the time to unwind and decompress, their mood and drive may start to waver. 

Remember, in most offices, it’s common to have a lunch area, tea break room, or just a place where people can mingle and chat, de-stressing themselves, which keeps morale high.

Maintain this while working remotely. How? As an example, host some virtual games over lunchtime or make a group video call where everyone can talk about their day over coffee. You’ll be surprised how much your staff will love it.   

3. Recognition, Appreciation, and Celebration

People feel valued when their hard work is recognised. Anytime you acknowledge your staff’s efforts, celebrate their contributions, and tell them how much you appreciate what they’re doing, you go a long way to boosting your team’s morale.

The fact they’re working from home doesn’t mean they need to hear words like “thank you” any less. With this in mind, consider meaningful gestures and validation whenever possible, such as during video calls while the rest of the team is present. Publicly let them know how valuable their work is to your company. 

4. Let the Company Vision Remain Clear

When you don’t spend the whole day working from the office, it can leave you feeling a bit detached from the business. To maintain team morale, it’s a good idea to remind your staff how their work fits into the bigger picture.

Don’t shield your remote workers from bad news. Tempting as that may be, transparency can actually keep employees feeling connected and motivated. Of course, when you do tell them the not-so-good, try to sprinkle in some good news along the way.   

5. Consider the Whole Person

Working from home isn’t as easy as it may sound. We can learn a lot from those running businesses in Victoria Australia, the most locked-down city in the world. Kristen McLean from Team McClean Fitness Club believes it’s easy to make excuses and put things off. During the pandemic, many of us haven’t looked after our personal health like we normally do.

Your remote team may not be eating healthy and drinking far more than they usually would. As a leader you may not have the authority or relationship to tell people what they should or should not do in their personal lives however, you do have the power to be a positive influence. Think creatively! Maybe you could hire an online personal trainer for your remote team or organise other health activities to encourage your team to live healthy lives.

Maintaining a positive mindset is so important. Sometimes your team may feel like their careers are stagnating. They may feel like opportunities are just bypassing them due to the isolation they are working in.

To support team morale, give opportunities to your employees to learn and develop constantly. With e-learning, your workforce can access training sessions at their convenience. Find options they can easily integrate this into their home-working schedules.

For great team members, there’s no better morale booster than gaining new skills and knowing your boss values you as an individual.   

Take Away

Statistics suggest remote working will continue to become more mainstream in the years ahead. Supporting your team morale is essential in this transition, and even more so when they’re working from home during stressful times. As you identify new ways of boosting team morale, integrate them into your team’s remote working plan.

Work towards helping each remote worker develop a positive mindset while working at home. A pumped-up team of employees will help you drive your company to success, even in challenging times.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.