The way we work has transformed in the last few years. Many people are now working fully remotely or are working from home and in the office on a hybrid schedule. Remote work offers many benefits. This can include flexibility, cutting out a tough commute, and may allow some to feel a deeper sense of agency in their work life. However, it’s also easy to feel disconnected from your coworkers or workplace when you’re not face to face daily.
KVC’s Chief Clinical Officer, Chad E. Anderson is here with some helpful insights. Follow his below tips to stay engaged, make and maintain connections, and support your work wellbeing all while working remotely.
Ten Tips to Stay Engaged While Working Remotely
- Make sure you have everything you need to do your work. According to Gallup, “having the materials and equipment you need to do your work right is fundamental to engagement.” Lacking the tools or technology to do your job well will lead to frustration and loss of productivity.
- Understand the difference between isolation and loneliness. Loneliness is an emotion felt when you lack connection to others. Isolation is a structural separation or lack of access. Is disconnection you feel caused by lacking access to information or lacking emotional connection? Knowing the difference can help you to resolve it more quickly.
- Intentionality has advantages. When you work remotely, opportunities for connection need to be more intentional. You’re not going to run into coworkers at the water cooler. You’re going to have to set up a time to meet in person, on a video call or over the phone. Because you had to approach this interaction with intention, it allows you to be more appreciative of the time you have together and maybe get more out of the interaction.
- Face time matters. Use video when possible, for both work and personal conversations. Research shows that we are more open and collaborative via video instead of phone or email.
- Take virtual lunch or coffee breaks to connect. Tsedal Neeley, a professor at Harvard Business School, says “structuring unstructured time” into team meetings is critical. Allow for relaxed and casual interactions during meetings. If that isn’t possible, schedule a time so team members can catch up and check in on one another. Casual conversations help teams feel more connected, it doesn’t have to fall to the wayside just because meetings are virtual.
- Innovate. Many find that working remotely allows them to bring out their more creative side. Use this as an opportunity to think out of the box and allow yourself to be inspired.
- Don’t forget to grow. Webinars are a budget-friendly option that will allow you to learn. Sharpen a current skill or try something new. Podcasts also offer a wealth of information.
- Carry on traditions. Celebrate milestones like birthdays and anniversaries, both at home and at work. Making an effort to celebrate achievements will help your team feel appreciated.
- Set boundaries. It’s easy to fall into patterns that enmesh your work life and your home life. This can make it feel like you are always working. Commit to non-work time to avoid burnout. Put the laptop, and even your phone, away for portions of the day. Focus on your family and yourself.
- Look after your mental health. Exercise regularly. Take screen time breaks and get outside for fresh air and a change of scenery. Make time for self-care.
Employee Engagement at KVC
At KVC, we prioritize employee wellbeing and have implemented a multi-year strategy to support and increase employee engagement. We’ve seen engagement rise from 35% to more than 57% as of January 2023. Both remote and in-person KVC employees belong to a close-knit team and feel the deep sense of meaning that comes from providing life-changing help to children and families.
They also enjoy great medical and dental insurance, a retirement savings match, paid time off, a parental leave plan, wellness support, and professional growth. Join a values-driven team that is passionate about transforming people’s experience of child welfare and mental health services.