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How To Keep Work-From-Home Teams Engaged

work from home teams

Working from home is more than a temporary trend. Given that economists at the University of Chicago estimate 37% of jobs in the United States can be performed entirely at home, most experts believe it’s here to stay. Here is how to keep work-from-home teams engaged.

NatureBox assembled an All-Star panel of speakers for a webinar.

The estimates keep rolling in that tell us the work-from-hom (WFH) trend will continue — at least through the next year. NatureBox assembled an All-Star panel of speakers from some of the most progressive companies to answer questions, share best practices, and offer insights about how to keep work-from-home teams engaged and address the most pressing topics and challenges facing managers and employees working from home today.

The topics we covered in this webinar include:

  • Concerns about managing teams remotely
  • Decreased employee morale
  • False reads on productivity
  • Home/life distractions
  • Keeping an eye on sustainability, thought leadership, and the new impacts on the environment

Startling statistics

According to Global Workplace Analytics, 80% of employees want to work from home. The trouble with this? 85% of managers are concerned about their ability to manage their teams remotely.

Check out the graphic below for specific managerial concerns.

  • 81% of managers are concerned about decreased employee morale
  • 76% of managers are concerned about a false read on productivity
  • 75% of managers are concerned about home/life distractions
  • 74% of managers are concerned about the lack of visibility on employees

That’s a lot of concern. So, what’s the solution? We asked our panel of experts and here’s what they said.

Employee and management engagement during COVID

Distractions at home are rampant. Productivity is getting harder to manage. We’re finding it harder to take breaks and sign off at a decent hour while working from home. A great question from our audience was what guidance do you have for leadership to encourage boundaries?

Roni Sternberg from Lyra Health said when it comes to her company, 12 PM is blocked for employees. It’s their time – no meetings, no outgoing emails, no scheduled anything. “It’s coming from our leadership. He’s encouraging everyone to take that break, to take that pause,â€� she said.

John Ruhlin from Giftology spoke about using thoughtful, personalized gifts as a way managers could engage with employees. “I think there are opportunities to surprise and delight your teams at scale… but the details have to be dialed in.� He also spoke about how leaders set the tone, echoing Sternberg.

Practical tips

While all companies are learning to manage engagement online the best they can, large companies have their work cut out for them. An interesting question from our audience was for companies with over 1,000 employees, what are some ideas for rolling out coffee nights, movie nights, etc.?

What is the main question on everyone’s mind about WFH employees?

The main question on everyone’s mind is: How do you engage with employees virtually on a grand scale? Lynne Oldham from Zoom chimed in first: “We use Zoom, obviously.â€�

Oldham suggested leveraging “Breakout Rooms� of 2-3 people, which makes for a more rich experience. She said that at Zoom, they send people a movie coupon, let people watch it on their own, and will get together to have a discussion after.

This virtual experience is similar to what NatureBox put together a few months ago – a book club about social justice. “We wanted to educate ourselves about it. It was a meaningful conversation on Zoom and showed we cared as a team about what we were doing,â€� John Occhipinti, CEO of NatureBox, said.

How to manage Zoom fatigue

Understanding that we’re on Zoom much more now than ever before, it’s also important to know how to manage “Zoom fatigue.� We heard from Oldham first. “By taking some degree of control and figuring out how you can set aside time. Are there things we can do, like block 12 PM off?

Breaks

The importance of taking breaks, even if you had to schedule them in, was repeated time and time again throughout this webinar. And not only that, but how it’s up to managers to set the tone and lead by example.

Predictions for the future

Out of all the great questions from the audience, the most pressing question of them all was this: Will we ever go back to normal? Are there systemic changes in the workforce we should look out for?

“Based on the statistics you shared, people are saying they’re enjoying working from home. We’re making it work and finding some success in it. That’s why it’s important we identify the challenges before they become large challenges. I think we’ll have a good mix of in-office and remote working when the world changes,� Sternberg said.

Ruhlin had a similar thought about there being a mix of remote and in-person working because “companies are realizing, ‘Do I really need all of that space or could I cut it in half, by quarter and have times we’re getting together as a team?’� Where he disagreed was that as human beings, we still want to interact with people. We’re all craving that. So going fully remote? Ruhlin wasn’t convinced

Lynne Oldham thinks the winners of the future are going to be the companies that adapt, we agree.

The ones that think long and hard about what work has to happen in person and then think long and hard about how to make that happen. Instead of returning to work as normal, they’re going to rethink work as a whole. “This is one grand experiment,� she said.

Occhipinti closed out the discussion on the future with these final thoughts: “As leaders, it’s about authentic leadership and how we remain engaged with our employees.�

Right now, NatureBox is in the business of helping companies keep their employees engaged while they work from home. That’s what it’s all about. Our mission to change the way people think about snacking – from an unconscious effort to a mindful snacking experience – is why we created the largest collection of great-tasting adaptogenic snacks. And made them accessible in-office and at home.

NatureBox Snacks

Our snacks work great as employee morale boosters, one-time gifts, tasty treats for events, and ongoing micro-kitchen snacks. If your in-person or remote teams are looking to stock up on healthy, flavorful snacks that taste as good as they’ll make them feel, head to www.naturebox.com/office

The post How To Keep Work-From-Home Teams Engaged appeared first on ReadWrite.

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Startups

The New Normal For Office Snacks

Simple-office-snacks

With the CDC’s newly released COVID-19 Employer Information of Office Building guidelines, returning to the office will be a challenge for managers and employees alike.

It starts with the commute to work. The recommendation for people to not carpool or congregate heavily on public transit is bound to make commutes longer and more hectic. Once you arrive at the office (which likely needs a new HVAC system), you need to prepare for a discrete thermometer check. Then when you enter the building, be sure to stay behind a mask and not meet in groups. Don’t forget there will be no communing when you get to the common areas. And by all means, don’t touch the coffee pot without gloves.

This all sounds so daunting. One thing that shouldn’t be? Office Snacks. That’s why I want to announce NatureBox’s new approach to corporate snacking: Corporate Snacking 3.0.

With Snacking 3.0, we’re catering to this new normal with a focus on delivering customized, CDC-compliant snack boxes to everyone on your team… whether they’re in the office or at home. For those of you who do make it back to the office, the kitchen setups will look different going forward. You know and love NatureBox for our bulk snack options pre-pandemic, but right now, single-serve is safer for you and your team. So what can you expect? Single-serve and individual-serve kitchen setups rather than communal snacks.

Your team deserves to have plenty of tasty snack options no matter if they are fully remote employees, in-office teams, or employees who work from home some days and in the office on others. That’s why we have an automated online system that allows each employee to pick their own snacks and choose if they want snacks delivered to their home office or their desk at the corporate office. We make it simple to get the snacks you and your team needs, without leaving your home or having to enter the office kitchen.

And let’s be honest. The new CDC guidelines are signaling a shift to our new normal – remote working. If you can work from home, you will (and your employer will want you too as well). By now most of us have grown accustomed to this new way of working and living at home. We’ve formed new habits in our new offices. And given that habits typically take at least 30 days to form, and we’ve had over three months to adjust, it doesn’t seem like this new way of working is going away anytime soon.

While working from home has its perks – more family time, fewer distractions, no commute – two of the biggest drawbacks are the blurred lines between work and life and burnout. While Snacking 3.0 is about customized, CDC-compliant snacking whether you’re in the office or at home, it’s also about wellness.

Our purpose is to develop and maintain wellness through creating high-quality, great-tasting snacks with functional benefits

The wellness part of Snacking 3.0 is about preventing burnout and finding a new way to unplug and take breaks from our workday. Since the core of NatureBox’s mission is helping people live well, we have to ask the question: How can we take a break and truly bring our bodies and minds into balance? NatureBox’s answer is through delicious, functional snacks.

We want to change snacking from an unconscious behavior that we do to soothe our bodies to a conscious behavior where we can step away from our work and have a snack with functional benefits – lower cortisol levels, more focus, less pain – bringing you back into balance.

In the end, Snacking 3.0 is about being present when we snack, anytime anywhere.

To learn more about Corporate Snacking 3.0, visit https://naturebox.com/office

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