One of the biggest changes initiated by the Covid-19 pandemic was the adoption of remote work. According to a recent study, about 16% of companies around the globe are now fully remote.
While working from home comes with a lot of advantages, it also has its challenges especially in impacting employee productivity.
In this post, we take a look at five simple strategies on how you can help your workers remain productive even as they work from home. Let’s dive straight in!
Access to Information
Getting information from co-workers when working from the office is pretty easy. However, when working remotely, you quickly realize that information collection is a whole lot different and harder. This goes beyond task-related work and interpersonal issues.
For example, it is harder to know what your co-worker is going through when you hardly see each other. This makes it more difficult to give them the benefit of the doubt when faced with challenging situations.
Having daily (or at least weekly) check-ins with your employees will help you better understand what is going on with most of them despite not seeing them physically. You can choose to have 1-on-1 calls if your employees work independently or have group calls if their work is highly dependent on one another.
Just make sure that the calls are consistent and predictable and make your employees feel at ease to raise any concerns they may be having during these calls.
Being able to efficiently monitor employees is easily the greatest challenge organizations face with the transition from working from the office to working remotely. The most vital thing a lot of employers struggle with is monitoring employee performance.
Luckily, the emergence of reliable employee monitoring tools has made the process a lot easier. Indeed, this is the reason thousands of companies are now using them to measure the productivity of their remote workers.
Before rolling this system though, ensure that your employees are aware they are being monitored and that you have in place a good monitoring policy to prevent any feelings of privacy intrusion or loss of sensitive data.
Remote Social Interactions
Working from home can be very lonely. A lot of employees working remotely say that they miss the informal social interactions with coworkers in an office setup. Indeed, research shows that isolation can erase employees' sense of belonging to the organizations they work for hence making them less productive. In extreme cases, isolation can increase employees' intention to leave the organization.
Providing opportunities for social interactions for your employees is therefore very crucial. One of the simplest ways to do this is to allocate some time during work calls for informal conversations. This could be as simple as asking your employees to share how their weekend was or asking them how working from home is going for them.
Another way to do this is by having virtual work parties where packages are sent out to employees beforehand.
Seamless communication is vital for any organization to thrive. Remote work has proven this to be very true. Relying on email alone will leave you and your employees frustrated and at their worst in terms of productivity.
Embracing technology can be immensely beneficial to your remote workers as it allows them to use a wide range of tools for communication.
For example, video conferencing is a better way to communicate with your remote employees compared to voice or written forms of communication. Alongside facilitating communication, it also provides an opportunity for visual cues which reduce social isolation.
Establish Clear Rules of Engagement
Setting clear expectations with your employees will save you a lot of time and prevent misunderstanding. Agree with them on the best means of communication and also let them know the best time to reach you.
If you are just transitioning to remote work, it is best to have these expectations set as soon as possible. For example, you can decide to use video conferencing for daily check-ins and IM if something is extremely urgent.
While at it, be sure to keep tabs on communication among employees while still respecting their privacy to ensure that the right information is being shared.
Transitioning from an office setup to remote working can be challenging for any organization regardless of size or resources. If done right, it can lead to increased productivity among employees. But if miscalculated, it can quickly demoralize your workforce and lead to your company’s downfall.
We hope that this guide will prove beneficial to your organization as you maneuver remote working. All the best.