How to Keep Workers Happy as We Move Back to WFH


A successful business relies on meeting the needs of its customers, of course, but also meeting the needs and taking care of its workers — and hopefully taking this a step further to not only meet the needs of its workers, but exceed their expectations.

As a society we’ve identified proven ways to keep our workers happy in traditional work settings, unfortunately, just as most companies started getting a grip on that, large-scale remote work became necessary. As our work environments and cultures have had to evolve, however, so have our methods of dealing with our moods. From giving corporate gifts meant for happy and healthy remote workers to creating open channels of communication and including them in the big picture, there’s a lot you can do for your employees’ wellbeing that you probably haven’t considered!

Why The Effort Is Worth It

Creating a company culture that has a focus on happiness can have a significant and positive impact on your company. Promoting happiness for your workers can boost engagement, productivity, creativity, innovation, strengthen team dynamics and much more. Most importantly, though, happy workers are more likely to induce happiness in others. Happiness spreads and affects the entire team for the better — so how do you initiate this chain reaction?

Increase Recognition

Critiques and feedback can guide your workers in the right direction and should always be welcomed when approached and presented properly. But you’ll want to make sure that it’s not always bad feedback. While it is necessary to guide your workers and correct mistakes, it’s equally important to acknowledge the good things they do in order to motivate them and to serve as a clear and relatable example of the behaviors that other workers should embrace.

Get To Know Your Workers

You undoubtedly have a lot to do, and it’s good to be objective — but one of those objectives should be getting to know your workers. Understanding your workers as individuals is essential in utilizing their skills to help them, as well as the company, grow. Not only that, but a worker that feels interested in and cared about is much more likely to show interest in and care about their position, as well as embrace the company. If nothing else, this will help you GREATLY when it comes to the next tip noted!

Be On The Lookout For Signs Of Distress

Even with our best friends and closest family members it can be hard to tell when something’s up, so at least watch for common red flags in your employees like missing deadlines because they’re unable to concentrate or make decisions, overworking or underperforming as a result of feeling overwhelmed, outbursts or off-brand reactions thanks to sensitive emotional states and even weight-loss or gain as an associated physical sign. Though your worker may experience any of these on any given day and for any given reason, if you can see that they’re experiencing them all in combination, or all the time, make sure to pay extra attention or take action if you feel it’s necessary.

Prioritize A Good Work-Life Balance

Give your workers guides to create good environments or tips to embrace healthy behaviors, along with resources to explain how important these things are and express that you care. Gifts are a great way to promote this balance as well, and they can be something small, fun and thoughtful (and cheap to ship) like a pair of socks that your remote workers will use on workdays and weekends alike. Or something hugely impactful but highly cost-effective like having a pet day where workers can show their pets off over a video conference!

Be Consistent

While it’s encouraged to connect with your employees on a personal level and to have fun with them, it’s also important to connect with your employees on a professional level as their boss or manager. Never leave your employees questioning where the “line” is, and never leave them unsure of what their role is within the company. Knowing what to expect from you, from the company and in their position creates a much more comfortable environment.

Offer Responsibility Before You Ever Assign It

By offering responsibilities and tasks to your employees, not only do you ensure you’ve got the best person on the job (which is almost always the one who WANTS to be doing it) but you can create an environment that encourages friendly competition and promotes productivity. Along with this, you’ll get opportunities to identify what your employees are drawn to and what roles they fit into best.

Paint Your Employees Into the Big Picture

Create an open and inclusive company culture while you showcase that your employees’ efforts are going toward the greater good and growth of the company by letting them in on what’s going on! Not only will this make them feel like an important and valued part of the team, but get them more engaged as well. Most people want the opportunity to make a difference through their work or to make an impact in a successful company, so show them that this is a place where that’s encouraged!

Celebrate Holidays And Special Occasions

Holidays and special occasions are a fun and joyous time, a good time to showcase your company culture and an important time when it comes to gathering the different areas of your business and allowing employees to make connections, have casual conversations and share collaborative or creative ideas. As a remote company, make sure to keep your celebrations light, inviting and effective — and consider small significant gifts when possible, too, like novelty gifts or unique desk accessories for your WFH employees.

Create Career Pathways To Pursue

Let new-hires know (and make sure that they really understand) the different career paths available within your company, no matter what role they are being hired for. Along with this, get into any developmental support you may offer right away too — if you don’t offer developmental support, consider implementing it in the form of training programs, career mentoring, internships, flexibility between roles or even tuition reimbursement, as soon as it’s feasible for your company.

Set The Example

Setting a good example as the boss or manager of a remote company means taking extra precautions when it comes to how your written text reads, being responsive to your employees’ preferences or requests and utilizing other proven strategies like those noted above — while wearing a smile! A good smile or good mood should never be underestimated, as they can be absolutely infectious. That being said, you can expect negative moods to rub off on others and affect them just as easily, so you’ll want to watch for any managers or employees who are always in a bad mood and put a little extra effort in to correct it!

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