Managing Better from Home – Part 2: Coping with the 3 M’s (Motivation, Morale & Mental Health)

There are a lot of stressed and tired people out there right now, pacing their homes wondering when this will all end. When you’re so used to having routine and random chatter in the office, and now you only hear birds chirping through the same walls you face every day, it is only a matter of time before you go a little cuckoo at home. Symptoms of burnout are not easy to recognize. Most of the time, we brush it off thinking that we had a bad sleep or today just wasn’t our day. Yet, the lack of motivation implies a much greater threat to both the health and performance of your employees.

COVID-19’s Impact on Motivation, Morale, and Mental Health

1. Poorly defined boundaries between work and home, both physically and psychologically, can lead to difficulties in ‘unplugging’.

While some may celebrate the fact that they no longer have to commute an hour to work, the time spent between your home and the office is also what keeps your personal and professional life well-separated. A recent study relating to the coronavirus crisis shows that there has already been a 34% increase in average work hours, along with a 23% increase in the number of emails sent after-hours.

2. Higher levels of autonomy at home also come with heavier operational workload in terms of time-management, task prioritization, IT troubleshooting, etc.

Many employees are working from home for the first time – and like a puppy without a leash – though it may feel liberating at first, the pressure to keep your work and yourself in check can be demanding in the long run. Group-oriented and spontaneous individuals, in particular, are ones to keep an eye on during these unpredictable times.

3. The lack of external markers in career development can take a toll on employee morale.

There’s a logical chance that Millennials and Gen Z are struggling more with working from home than their predecessors. As culture is often prioritized among younger talents who seek physical rewards and recognition, switching to a virtual setting may take away these external attributes they need to succeed and feel good at work.

Managing with Team-Fit

The key to building a great team lies in your people, rather than the process. This means we have to be very clear with what we expect from our employees, and what they expect in return. For example, individuals who are highly task-focused may benefit from an organized timetable or variety in their workload. On the other hand, relationship-focused members will thrive best with regular check-ins, feedback, and projects that involve interacting with others.

With the effect of COVID-19, we understand how difficult it is to keep our spirits up. As companies work to deal with a morale-depleted team, our team-fit tool could very well offer some assistance in managing better from home. Watch our Occupational Psychologists explain about the role of team-fit in boosting motivation and morale here.