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Editor’s Question: How can business leaders keep employees engaged when working from home?

Editor’s Question: How can business leaders keep employees engaged when working from home?

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Cate Murden, Founder of Push, which aims to help make companies more human, explains how she thinks business leaders can help employees stay engaged while working remotely.

There are two major points to consider with regards to keeping employees engaged when at home – safety and optimum brain health.

Let’s start with safety. Without a doubt, the pandemic has made us feel unsafe; everyone has been affected in some way and that’s a scary and unbalancing notion.

Dan Rock created the SCARF model to understand the factors that make us feel unsafe and they seem especially pertinent now, with most of us trying to find our way in this ‘new normal’: Lack of control, lack of connection, lack of certainty, lack of fairness and lack of identity.

As a business leader, the best thing you can do is take these factors and ‘audit’ how they affect your team, looking for ways to increase the feeling of safety. Ask yourself the following questions:

How as a leader can you affect these for your people? What can you control – what can’t you?

How can you communicate to try and overcome uncertainty (as much as possible)?

How can you still bring people together even when they’re apart? (For a lot of our clients their ‘we’re in it together’ metric has increased over COVID)

How can you instil a sense of culture and team?

How can you consistently be transparent, fair and authentic when the team need it most?

What can you give the team control over?

The next step is to ensure optimum brain health for your employees.

When we started working from home, we were all blown away. Hold on, what? We can do our work and make calls around the world, all from the comfort of our own home? And, we can have our PJs on our bottom half while being around to put the kids to bed every night too? AMAZING!

However, as time has gone on, the fact that we have to work in the same place that we relax is relentless and the lack of mental stimulation and variety means that we all end up feeling constantly exhausted.

We have to be really careful to safeguard a healthy work-life brilliance, one which focuses on prioritising oneself and mentally draw a line between what is work and what is not. One of the ways to do that is by becoming acutely aware of how we’re splitting our time across the day. Dan Rock and David Seagal created the Healthy Mind Platter and said we need seven different components to get to optimum mental health: Focus, play, exercise, connection, reflection, sleep and relax.

Every person has their own perfect blend of these. Encourage your team to work out what their personal blend is, making sure they have a combination of all of these every day in order to optimise their mental health.

Finally, you can help boost engagement levels by providing the team with one to two hours per week for their wellbeing – and enforce that they take this time. Individuals that pursue brilliance in their work-life routines will nurture a much stronger mindset, which in turn will increase productivity.

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