What Can Employers Do to Help Employees Thrive WFH?

You may have seen our recent blog posts on introverts and extroverts in the office, and how personality types approach the office environment differently; a factor made even more poignant now that many companies have ditched the office in favour of working from home.

As we outlined in our exploration of introverts vs. extroverts in the office, the new WFH situation may have been perceived completely differently by different members of the same team. Whilst those with more introverted personalities may have thrived during this time, given the personal, quiet space to recharge their batteries and concentrate on the task at hand, those with more extroverted personalities may have found working at home a real challenge; a lack of energy that interacting with colleagues gives them.

It’s for this reason that companies and employers are faced with the dilemma of what to do as the Covid situation continues and many question the need for an office at all in the future.  How do you keep all employees happy, when they’re likely to feel completely differently about the type of “working life” that working from home brings?  How do we maintain a team morale when working physically apart?

I thought I’d share four simple things that we at Qozo have done during lockdown to try and ensure that everyone’s social needs in the team are looked after and to maintain our feeling of being part of a team, even when we aren’t together:

  1. Ask.  Sounds simple?  That’s because it is.  We sent round a short, anonymous questionnaire asking 6 questions to understand how people were feeling about working from home and how they felt about coming back to the office.  Simples!
  1. Use Technology.  Of course, a technology company would say that, but we found a variety of useful apps and tools that work for both our introverts and our extroverts.  We use Slack for weekly virtual coffee breaks, where there’s an option to come off the automated scheduler one week, and back in the next, meaning we all get a chance to regularly catch up with our team mates, and it’s a great reason to take a break and enjoy a cup of coffee.  We use Google Meets for a weekly town hall meeting, which is a fantastic way to hear about what everyone else is working on and for our CEO, CTO & senior managers to keep us updated and for questions to be asked.  We still have emails, phone calls, instant messaging etc. so there’s a tool to help everyone feel included.
  1. Acceptance.  Culturing a mindset of understanding and curiosity is important to us at Qozo.  We value differences.  I remember reading an online article where a young man was explaining how useful it was doing a Myers Briggs test, as it meant he could use the outcome to say no to his colleagues when they asked him out to the pub.  I thought this was sad and wondered why he couldn’t just say, ‘Thanks for asking, but it’s not my kind of thing.’  Remember, that doing nothing can be as equally energising as spending time with people, and we all need to recharge at some point.
  1. CommunicateWorking from home can mean we’re not obviously visible to our colleagues and managers, and someone who is more extroverted may need reassurance that they can be seen, whereas those nearer the introverted end might feel left out or forgotten about. 

Each of the above points have enabled all of us at Qozo to continue working as a team, to share our successes and to support each other with any challenges.  Importantly, we feel we’ve created a great space for both introverts and extroverts to thrive and succeed, entirely virtually!

Sam Southey, Customer Onboarding and Success @ Qozo