'We can’t pay the full salaries and benefits of our employees during the lock-down unlike major corporations. We applied for a government subsidy and we’re still waiting for its release. This has affected 85% of our workforce. The other 15% were paid their usual compensation because the nature of their tasks allow them to work from home. I’m worried about the repercussions of this. It looks like there’s a storm brewing out there that could adversely affect the motivation of our people. How would you propose to handle our demotivated workforce as soon as they report for work?' — Very Anxious
The above is probably the concerns of all employers, all over the world who are looking for solutions to make sure that staff feel safe, appreciated, and remain healthy and motivated, whilst working from home and finally once they return to work.
Care packs for those employees who need to go back to work, either to the office, back on the road or flying to meet with clients, when the lock-down is eased, need to be kept safe. Let them know you care enough & understand their concerns by giving them a tailor-made care pack. Ideas to include could be,
Vitamin C Booster • Power-bank • USB Car charger • Air freshener • Mints • Re-usable mask or buffs • Surface spray • Wet wipes • Screen cleaners • Tissues • Hand sanitizer • Coffee sachets in a Mug with Marshmallow treats.
For those employees who are working remotely it is a lovely idea to provide each person with a care box to show support and solidarity. Maybe a “coffee break in a box” with a company branded coffee mug, some coffee or hot chocolate, some treats and a lovely heart felt note of thanks. It is something small, but the recipient will feel closer to the team and appreciated.
You can also go for the non-food option and make a self-care survival pack, that is full of niceties to let someone have some me-time. Load the package up with lovely scented candles, a facial mask, lotion, bubble bath, and some soothing aromatherapy oils sure to inspire blissful vibes that will have your team fighting off that home-all-day anxiety. A lovely little USB humidifier is a lovely touch too.
Do not forget about those students who are working remotely until colleges, universities or schools can return, a care pack will be so well received. A few ideas to relieve the stress and bring a bit of fun into the mix,
Webcam cover & screen cleaner • LED USB light • Earbuds & Pouch • Stationery Packs • Kooshty non-spill cup • 3-in-1 Connector Cable • USB Hub • Wireless chargers • Power banks • Pre-loaded USB • Hand sanitizer
VIRTUAL HAPPY HOURS
If you are missing that face-to-face interaction with the team, then you can find ways in which to still have that personal connection, just virtually. Look for ways to stay connected, have some fun and get everyone’s mind off the stress of being stuck at home and having limited access to those you love and enjoy being around. Why not jump into the world of Virtual Happy Hours!
How to do it? It is easy! Just send out a Zoom invite to your team. Plan some fun activities or offer a prize, anything to keep the conversation moving and the emphasis on fun. There are so many ideas out there to loosen everyone up and keep everyone engaged. Here are a few ideas to try.
Virtual Fun and Games: Ask employees to send a photo of their workspace and get the others to guess whose photo is appearing on the screen. You may get to see who eats what whilst working, who is the neat freak and who has the most well-organized living and workspace of all. This is quite a good way to figure out who is coping and who is seriously battling too. After this, employers can send out work from home packs, directly tailored to the employee’s needs. Maybe if one of the staff members lost power during the session, a nice power bank and connector cable set would be appreciated. For the employee who was on the last page of her notebook and had a half-eaten pencil lying around, maybe a stunning notebook and pen and pencil set would show you care. A non-spill glass mug for all the employees, with a lovely #wecare branding, can make all the difference and bring them closer to one another. At the next virtual meet up, take a photo of them all saying “cheers” with their new mugs and celebrate how awesome they all are.
THINGS WE HAVE LEARNED FROM THIS PANDEMIC
• We remain connected, even if we are physically apart.
• Our parents were right… We MUST wash our hands.
• It is good to listen to data and take note of figures.
• We are generally super-social creatures who long for human contact.
• Life may never be the same, but it is OK as we can adapt to change.
Thanks for engaging. Stay safe, stay strong and positive.