Is the “work from home” format getting dull with every passing day? Do you intend to bring back the old charm associated with working from the comforts of your home?
Well, as companies worldwide are shifting to the “work from home” model, employees have started getting jitters about losing the enjoyment and fun they had at their offices. Work was of importance but socializing with colleagues and small talk often helped employees blow off steam. Work from home was supposed to be an entirely new experience. However, within a few months, many employees have started experiencing Zoom fatigue, technical difficulties, and feelings of isolation. All this has majorly dampened the initial euphoria around the new work from home or WFH culture.
Companies are striving hard to build future workplaces while keeping the wellbeing of their employees in mind. Thus, they’re trying a new combination of technology and tools to keep their workforce adequately motivated and productive. Employees are being provided with every possible convenience to make them comfortable in their new workplace, which is often their couch.
Here’s a list of things that can make WFH more enjoyable.
Creating an Appropriate Setup and Ambience
Working from the comforts of your home can be difficult if you don’t have an appropriate setup and ambiance. You should choose a separate room away from noise and distractions to focus on your work better. Companies must encourage their employees to get a comfortable space, even if it’s impossible to get a separate room.
Managers must help their employees receive all the necessary setup for them to perform their daily tasks. However, team members have the liberty to choose a comfortable space. Creating the right ambiance by putting up pictures or an indoor plant is a great idea to make the workspace fun and comfortable.
Encouraging Video-First Policy
Employees working from home often complain of feeling isolated, especially when they cannot meet their colleagues and bosses. VCaaS and Video Conferencing is the best way to encourage interaction between team members and enhance team bonding. Communication holds the key to success, and video conferencing can go a long way in strengthening bonds among team members or employees.
Management has to ensure that all employees share video and that everyone is made comfortable in the natural setting. Moreover, adequate training must be provided to employees to maximize usage of advanced features like image touch-up and background blur.
Although video conferencing enhances human interaction, it’s equally important to offer personal space to employees. Studies have also emphasized that video chatting tools have unwittingly aggravated body image issues. Some refer to these as Zoom dysmorphia. So, while video chatting can have positive effects on mental health, it is a slippery slope. However, increased screen time also contributes to anxiety, stress, and body dissatisfaction. Thus, employees should have the option of turning off their cameras and not feel pressure to use them in cases when they feel uncomfortable.
Explore Video Features
Video calls have become an important part of the virtual collaboration environment, and vendors are rolling out advanced features like filters and backgrounds to increase the fun quotient. At times, employees need to relax after grueling sessions, and the advanced video conferencing features can be explored during informal chats.
The informal video should be casual sessions where team members can talk about anything under the sun except work. Using the appropriate video environments, workplace chats can be super fun.
Ensuring Privacy and Data Security
Employees working from home might not have the luxury of using their usual devices. Thus, team members might feel the pressure of accidentally violating company policies. In other cases, they might fear compromising information or revealing too much. Therefore, employers must educate their staff members about cybersecurity and the protection of confidential data. Frequently, it means reminding people about the tools they must have in place.
For example, employees will be much more comfortable if their personal computers (that they now use for work-related tasks) will have antivirus or anti-malware software. Additionally, they might already use tools like Atlas VPN to protect their connection to the internet. VPN tools are well-known for enhancing privacy and anonymity online. When working online, they will help protect all the interactions and data exchanges.
Maintain the Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance is hard to master and trickier to implement, especially when you’re working from the comforts of your home. Employees tend to spend more hours in front of their laptops and PCs, especially after the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. When you turn your home into an office, maintaining a work-life balance gets difficult.
Extra-working hours must be cut down because it can lead to burnout, and team leaders have to play an active role by delegating work accordingly. Encouraging employees to take a break from time to time is important to prevent chronic stress. According to Harvard Business Review, burnout is a big risk that employers need to address. While productivity might be a priority, it should not overshadow employees’ feelings and motivation.