With the New Year nearing its end, every organization will naturally reflect on the lessons learned in the past 12 months.
From what we learned in 2021, the pandemic has increased the demand for remote working. It possibly changes the office culture to be more fluid and dynamic than ever.
The statistics suggest that remote work is here to stay beyond the pandemic.
It’s about time to set remote work resolutions and contemplate the challenges and opportunities that revolve around remote working.
Whether you lead a fully remote staff or find your business operating well in a hybrid state, a different approach to support, reward and encourage your employees may be required. We believe that employees are happiest when they are valued and recognized. And this is where an inclusive work environment comes to support.
“An inclusive workplace is defined as a work environment that makes every employee feel valued while also acknowledging their differences and how these differences contribute to the organization’s culture and business outcomes.” – Toolbox
Creating an inclusive work environment can help you foster a culture of high performance. It can reduce healthcare expenses, increase employee retention and attract new talents.
Here we’ve gathered up a list of 15 actionable steps, to help you create and support an inclusive work environment as a part of your remote work resolutions in 2022:
An inclusive workplace celebrates diversity. They recognize differences and systemic differentiation, taking responsibility to provide equal opportunities for all.
The key success of a more diverse workforce is the experience that creates a sense of belonging for all employees. There’s no one-size-fits-all method to build diverse and inclusive teams. That’s why team leaders must see workplace diversity and inclusion as long-term projects, ones that will need constant nurturing and dedication.
Workplace communication can be challenging in any office setting, but it becomes even more difficult when employees work remotely. Especially, if you are accustomed to seeing and interacting with your coworkers on a daily basis.
Aside from the daily check-ins, make an intentional effort to communicate on a regular basis in 2022.
This will make your coworkers feel more comfortable with you. Better communication ensures that you are on the same page with your team, develops trust and connection within the remote circle despite the physical distances.
Be More Compassionate and Understanding
The pandemic has a significant impact on how we work. Despite the flexibility that ‘work from home’ has offered to us, the challenges are still inevitable for some employees.
Many are sharing a workspace with their family, learning to work while being interrupted by children, and juggling household chores in between work tasks. Those who always follow the social distancing measures might be dealing with feelings of isolation and economic uncertainty.
The best way to deal with the circumstance is to empathize and acknowledge that everyone is coping with the situation in the best way they can. Working with your team will be more enjoyable if you show care for one another.
Strengthen The Work-Life Balance
Before the Pandemic, the home was a place to relax and rest for most people. Now, it is also used as a workplace for many. This blurs the line between work and rests that it might lead to people working longer and harder than they did in the office. Especially, if the organization doesn’t have an effective remote workflow and rules. Without a work-life balance, employees are prone to burnout.
Take your power back by setting the remote work resolutions to rest mindfully. Create healthy boundaries in your schedule for work, rest and fun by dividing your day into a balanced portion of productivity and downtime. Unplug yourself from the temptation of working outside office hours.
Participate in Team Building Experience
Virtual team building has become an important tool for employees and the workforce to keep connected. Thanks to virtual team-building activities, remote teams can have a solid sense of togetherness, better communication, boosted productivity, and most importantly a friendship at work.
Statistics say that conducting shared activities at work can create positive social atmospheres that make employees feel happier. It is more impactful for both employees and organizations if they can experience the activities that encourage problem-solving, creative thinking, and communication skills.
Support Employees With the Right Collaboration Tools
The right collaboration tools will support communication and improve engagement with your remote teams. It’s important that you have the best collaborative software that goes in line with your business needs. Maintain a close relationship with your remote team, regardless of where their IP address is tuned in from. Whether you have 20 employees in one city or 2000 around the world, keeping your teams connected is an invaluable investment.
Create a Culture of Recognition
With a peer recognition program, your team can celebrate their successes in a fun and rewarding way. Provide your employees the opportunity to recognize their coworkers at all levels of the organization, and watch them take gratitude to greater levels. When employees feel valued at work, it fosters an inspiring and empowering company culture.
Here’s an employee recognition platform to help you manage the activities in a strategic, consistent, and measurable way.
Celebrate Employee Milestone
Employee milestones are important — really important — and should be treated as such. It takes a lot of effort to achieve goals, and that deserves a lot of applause. An employee milestone celebration shows your employees or coworkers how much you value their efforts and accomplishments.
Start with an employee care package to celebrate your employee milestone.
Invest in Continued Learning
Providing opportunities for growth and improvement to your employees encourages a supportive and inclusive company culture. Learning is an ongoing process and investment that lasts a lifetime. The technologies at work are advancing at a rapid pace and the trends are changing rapidly as well.
To remain relevant in your industry, keep up with and adapt to these changes. By staying knowledgeable and updated on current trends and technological advancements, you will always have something valuable to contribute to your career.
Incorporate Mindfulness in the Workplace
When you’re intentionally present at work, you’re aware of two aspects of your situation—what’s happening around you and what’s happening within you. Mindful work means to be intentionally present in what you’re doing, while you’re doing it, as well as managing your mental and emotional state.
To get started, practice a short mindfulness exercise at work, be a single-tasker and use mindfulness reminders.
Here are more guides on being mindful at work.
Prioritize Employee Health and Wellness
It is more critical than ever to prioritize your employees’ wellness. By implementing an effective wellness program, you can help minimize health risks and healthcare expenses while increasing productivity and morale.
Employees who are in good health are happier, less worried, and more engaged.
Have Fun at Work
Allowing employees to have fun at work has been shown to improve employee performance. A study published in the Journal of Vocational Behavior discovered a link between informal learning, which is a common method for employees to acquire new skills that improve their job performance, and having fun at work. Create fun at work by encouraging socialization.
Arrange virtual team-building games, happy hours, corporate fun days, and pizza nights for your employees.
Create a Culture of Feedback
Many organizations acknowledge the benefits of giving and receiving feedback on a regular basis. Building a feedback culture begins with providing meaningful feedback – feedback that is behavior-based (rather than trait-based), forward-looking (rather than backward-looking), objective, continuous, in real-time, and direct. It’s also important to provide feedback tools and make it a routine by holding employees accountable. Giving your employees a voice drives supportive and inclusive company culture.
Navigate Your Long-term Remote Strategy
Where would you be a year from now?
Knowing which direction you want to take in pursuit of your career objectives can guide you in achieving your goals. Identify your goals for 2022 and revisit them on a regular basis as you progress and your direction matures.
This will help you in visualizing your progress toward your organization’s goals.
Conducting Debbie Millman’s 10-year plan exercise can be an awesome way to learn more about your team’s long-term goals.
Building a Culture of Trust
Micromanagement is ineffective in fostering a healthy and positive corporate culture. It’s crucial to trust your employees to perform their responsibilities without constant explanations and status updates. Having faith in your team’s abilities creates a supportive and inclusive workplace.
Despite the differences in your team’s educational background, acknowledge that you hired the best people for the jobs. Believe in your team’s skills and talents and let them know that you trust them.
The purpose of remote work resolutions is to establish habits – not wishful thinking. 2021 taught us that many things are beyond our control and that our health and wellbeing come above all else. Remote work resolutions help you to move forward with a fresh way of thinking in 2022. As we head into the new year, take time to list down your remote work resolutions and set your new year to become a terrific one.