Remote working is not the future but the new normal. Before the Covid-19 outbreak, 50% of the country’s population already worked online. Now with things taking on a new curve, this percentage is even higher. In a perfect world, this paradigm shift would be much-welcomed. But the truth is very few businesses were ready.
Most businesses implemented remote working policies without any degree of preparedness, leaving employees unable to strike a balance between new work environments and personal life. Unfortunately, this negatively impacts performance. If this describes your enterprise’s current situation, here’s how to optimize remote worker and employee productivity.
1. Encourage Employees to Set Up Dedicated Work Stations
For most, if not all, businesses the move to remote operations was more of a Covid-19 coping mechanism than a well-thought-out strategy. This means, much like management, employees weren’t ready for the changes and the challenges that came with their newly found work-from-home freedom, such as distractions from kids and family members.
In that light, business managers and supervisors can optimize employee productivity by encouraging staff members to set up dedicated spaces where they’ll be free from distractions and comfortable to focus on their work. They can do this by offering incentives that’ll motivate employees to set up home offices. For instance, if an employee cannot afford office supplies, a supervisor can encourage them to work towards it by giving the green-light to use some of their office supplies, for example, office desk and chair at home.
2. Set and Clarify Goals
One of the biggest challenges for most remote working employees is lack of structure. Before remote working arrangements, most employees were used to waking up early, getting ready, commuting to work, then back home at four or five. Sure, remote working is convenient, but this routine, even though hectic, gave structure to an employee’s day. Now with routine out of the way, it can be difficult for your team to strike a balance between home and work-life. To create this balance, set goals with specific deadlines for your teams to have something to look towards every working day. Make sure you clarify the role of each employee in each goal, so everyone can know their role and work towards achieving it.
3. Equip Teams with Efficient Communication and Collaboration Tools
Another common challenge for remote working teams is the lack of efficient communication and collaboration tools. With such tools, it takes ages for an employee to get feedback to questions or issues that would typically take a few minutes to address in ordinary office settings. This dramatically slows down teamwork, causes frustration, and consequently negatively impacts employees’ productivity.
The best way to close this communication gap is by equipping your teams with smart and intelligent tools that simplify connectivity. For instance, a collaboration tool like Intermedia Unite offers tools such as video conferencing, file collaboration, messaging, team chat, and screen sharing under one roof so both employees and management can seamlessly stay up to date.
Ensuring your teams have efficient collaboration tools is critical but keep in mind employees from different teams don’t need to receive the same information. If you want to enhance employee productivity, use personalized communication and collaboration tools so staff members from separate teams can receive information relevant to their work. Otherwise, they may miss out on or take time finding essential updates because they have to wade through tons of unnecessary emails, chats, files, or messages before finding the relevant material.
5. Create Social Experiences
Remote working comes with lots of perks, but it also has a string of downsides, and loneliness tops the list. Employees miss out on the fun discussions by the office’s printer, lunch with colleagues, and in general, the informal social aspect they enjoy while in an office setting. Even introverted employees tend to feel socially isolated after working remotely for a long time, which, unfortunately, impacts productivity.
Creating social experiences is the key to ensuring your employees don’t feel isolated. If, before remote working, your team used to hang out for drinks every Friday after work, maintain this culture by arranging a virtual hangout every Friday at the same time. If your team used to have office-sponsored lunches every Tuesday, arrange virtual lunches and work with a local caterer so every employee can get their lunch just in time. If your operations are entirely remote, plan physical team hangouts once in a while. This will help maintain the social aspect which your remote employees need to stay productive.
Ready to enhance the efficiency of your remote working teams? Get in touch with our team to learn more about our cloud communication solutions.
February 25, 2021
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