Only five years ago, working from home was one of the most privileged benefits in many people’s eyes. But nowadays, it has quickly become one of the main working styles for many companies around the globe.
According to the Future Workforce Report, the number of remote workers is expected to double the pre-pandemic level in the next three years. The number of remote workers counted at 16.8 million in 2021 since employers were forced to adopt the remote working culture due to COVID-19. The same report estimated that 36.2 million Americans will be working remotely by 2025, meaning more than 10% of the workforce in the United States will be remote.
As remote working culture is growing at such a fast pace, it is inevitable that challenges will come along. These challenges may affect employee morale, productivity, and satisfaction. This is also one of the emerging topics for HR in many companies during the pandemic.
In this article, we will talk about the most influential challenge that remote workers and companies face, and talk about how sending gifts to work from home employees will be helpful in this situation.
Lack of Social Interaction Can Be the End of Your Business
The first step to resolving any issues or overcoming any challenges is understanding what is causing them to happen. After that, you can draw out a plan to optimize the situation and see if that helps.
If you are thinking about raising employee morale with WFH employees, you must first understand how they are feeling, what they are thinking, and what is causing them to think that way.
There are many reasons why your Work from home employees feel down or unmotivated. One of the most challenging things is the loss of social interaction. Most work from home employees are limited to the social circle of friends and family, who most of the time can't completely relate to their experience at work. Whether people admit it or not, everyone will, at a certain point in life, face challenges at work. When that happens, and they don’t have anyone to consult, the stress increases.
Working from home decreases employees’ chance to have social interaction. They are kept from the traditional close interaction they used to have with their colleagues. While many employees appreciate the isolation for a quiet working environment; however, being isolated will drive people nuts in the long term.
Effect of Lacking Social Interaction
Being social is part of being a human, and it makes people healthier! Many studies show that social interaction is great for mental and physical health. A particular study conducted by researchers at Duke University Medical Center found that social interactions can reduce death among people with severe health conditions. In this research, they concluded among 2001 adults with coronary artery disease, the mortality rate was 2.4 times higher than those who were socially isolated.
Aside from the effect on physical and mental well-being, it is also influential when it comes to working. It can help increase employee engagement, loyalty, and work stress reduction. Unfortunately, many companies underestimate this aspect. If companies take this more seriously, it will have an enormous impact on the employees and on the success of their businesses.
Employees isolated can also quickly lead to breakdowns in teamwork and unit cohesion, which will affect communication. Without good communication,it will be difficult for individuals and teams to excel in their overall performance. This will become a huge problem for the company and possibly lead to a business crisis.
How to Utilize Gifting to Help With This Situation
Employee gifting is conducted on various occasions, including celebrating a company milestone, appreciating employees’ efforts, welcoming new recruits, and more. But most employers do not notice that it is also one of the best ways to help raise employee morale and motivation, especially for your work from home employees.
As mentioned above in this article, employees working in their own homes lack human interaction. Most importantly, they lack interaction with their coworkers and managers, which isn't very helpful for business improvement.
What employers should do is understand that their remote employees crave social interaction, but not all employees are comfortable with addressing the issues and challenges aloud. Therefore, it is the employers’ responsibility to reach out to them and take care of their needs – namely, help them connect with their coworkers.
One thing that many companies do is to allot some budget to managers to let them send gifts to their teams. In addition, studies have found quantitative evidence that people feel a greater sense of happiness when spending money on others as opposed to spending money on themselves. As a result, some companies let all their employees participate in gift exchange activities, budget covered, to help them stay socially connected.
This helps with two important things: Creating connections with the employees and showing them appreciation for their efforts.
The next question is what gifts to send them. Here is an article you can refer to: 【6 Smart Gifts for Coworkers to Create an Efficient Workplace at Home】. These 6 gifts are recommendations from Giftpack for your employees to help them create an efficient workplace at home.
Work from home employees are most likely comfortable with their work environment and the flexibility. However, one thing people usually overlook is the downsides of not having enough interaction with other employees, which will affect their morale and productivity.
With gifing, this situation can be resolved, and even turn the tables if you find the perfect gifts that touch the heart of your employees’!