8 Ways to Stay Productive During Remote Work
Remote work is no longer a hypothetical future of the global work culture but is now a reality for many organizations. Before the COVID-19 outbreak, only 17% of the US employees worked remotely for at least 5 days a week. This number drastically increased to 44% when the Coronavirus hit.
Admittedly, remote work comes with benefits such as increased employee talent pool, high retention rate, and savings on equipment and office space. There’s just one problem; most employers lack the infrastructure to sustain a remote working environment. Those that do are having a hard time boosting employee productivity.
Here are 8 practical ways you can increase your worker’s output as they work remotely.
1. Use the Right Communication Channels During Remote Work
Communication is the foundation of a thriving remote working environment.
Since most of your employees are dispersed, you may be tempted to use a singular communication channel. While this is the easiest way to keep in touch with your entire workforce, it won’t work. Keep in mind that you’re dealing with a multi-generational workforce that prefers different communication channels. Let your employees decide the medium that works best for them!
The same applies to the content you send out. In fact, a one-size-fits-all approach won’t work if you’re trying to engage with your employees. Refrain from sending generic newsletters and emails, and adapt the content you send out to the intended recipients.
2. Invest in the Right Technology Infrastructure
Equip your remote workers with efficient tech and productivity tools. Working from home may eliminate time spent on commutes, but it also comes with distractions and unprecedented downtimes. Help your teams succeed by purchasing the necessary technology tools to keep them connected and productive.
- Purchasing project management tools like Microsoft Office.
- Ensuring all software is updated on time.
- Equipping your employees with functional hardware.
- Sustaining a stable internet connection.
You should also encourage your remote workers to invest in dedicated workspaces as they minimize distractions and enhance productivity.
3. Connect Your Remote Workers With the Rest of the Team
The McKinsey Global Institute conducted a study that revealed that office productivity increases by up to 25% when employees are connected. If your remote workers feel more connected with the entire team, their work morale will increase. The problem with remote working, however, is that your employees can’t have lunch or take breaks together. This makes it difficult for them to make personal connections.
Establish a virtual space where all employees can communicate and share business trends, best practices, insights, etc. Indeed, this will bring your entire team together, which will ultimately increase productivity.
4. Acknowledge All Accomplishments
Your remote workers need confirmation that their work is making a difference. Chances are, they’re already feeling disconnected from the company, and an occasional pat on the back will do the trick. Thus, let them seem supported by highlighting their accomplishments to the rest of the team. This will encourage them to do better and motivate the rest of the remote workforce to up their game.
A great way of doing this would be to establish an employee of the week forum where you appreciate the most productive worker.
5. Align Both Internal and External Communications for Remote Work
All major organizational announcements should be aligned for the internal and external teams. If your remote workers realize that their communication is different from that of the office employees, they’ll begin to feel left out. This is especially so if they notice that the other employees are more updated regarding your latest corporate decisions.
Ensure that all major decisions are disseminated to both teams and that your remote workers are always updated with company news. This will prevent them from feeling disengaged and eliminate confusion in the workplace.
6. Provide Steady Emotional Support
Contrary to popular belief, remote workers don’t have it easy. Yes, they don’t spend on daily commutes, but they don’t have the kind of facilities that the rest of your employees enjoy. They are also more prone to loneliness, distractions, and connectivity problems.
You need to be more available for your remote workers and provide them with the support they need. Create some sort of hotline where all their problems immediately resolve. Keep in mind that they are still trying to adapt to an unfamiliar work environment, and steady support could go a long way.
7. Set Goals and Targets
It’s essential that you set expectations and guidelines for your remote workers to prevent misunderstandings. Further, the beauty of working in an office is that employees already know what is expected of them. They are aware of the expected work ethic, working hours, and their deliverables. Such intangible cues are unavailable in a working environment, and without mutually agreed-upon guidelines, productivity can take a nosedive.
Set the goals and target beforehand so that your remote workers know what to expect. Let them also know what’s acceptable and what’s not, including communication policies, time tracking, and levels of flexibility.
8. Establish Regular Check-Ins for Remote Work
Keep in touch with your remote employees through predetermined, daily, or weekly check-ins. You no longer have the luxury of personal interactions, and these check-ins allow you to foster connections and keep up with employees’ affairs.
Use tech tools that instill the most essential of normalcy. For example, if you previously held face-to-face meetings, you could opt for video conferencing. Complete these check-ins on a one-on-one basis or as a group.
Don’t forget to plan for non-work interaction and team-building activity for all your employees to interact. This is a great stress reliever, builds bridges between the company & employees, and boosts productivity.
Implementing the Best Practices for Your Remote Employees
When the coronavirus pandemic hit, most of the companies that couldn’t sustain a remote working arrangement had to shut down. This is why you need to think of your remote workers as strategic business partners; they helped you carry on business operations at a time when you couldn’t sustain an office working environment.
The above tips and best practices will help you boost employee morale and productivity, which will ultimately reflect on your bottom line. Are you looking for reliable IT services for your remote workers? We’re here to help! Contact us today for effective IT solutions in the San Jose area!