The ongoing global pandemic has given rise to remote work; however, working remoting isn't anything new. With the world accepting remote work as a norm, people have struggled with the transition and are still learning to create a smooth work-life balance. People higher up in the management agree that in this new normal, we have to create better ways to enhance productivity in a remote team.
Amidst the pandemic, companies around the world have opted for remote working, and without much preparation. However, as the world slowly returns to normal, many employees want work from home to become standard practice.
Had the coronavirus hit us a decade ago, the landscape would've been different due to the limited technology at hand. But thanks to the advanced technologies of this day and age, we've been able to maintain our working lives without much hassle.
Researchers found that working from home is beneficial for both employers and employees likewise — employees don't have to commute, they're choosing a healthier lifestyle, are more productive while employers save up on infrastructure, and more.
However, there is a catch. Employee productivity is impacted when employees have more distractions at home, no interactions with their colleagues, and in some cases, are isolated from the world. Maintaining employee productivity is a major challenge faced by management worldwide, and searching for better ways to collaborate and connect with employees to increase their outcomes.
Here are some ways you can enhance employee productivity while working from home:
A dedicated workstation leads to better productivity, especially in remote work. Since work from home has become a norm, managers must insist and encourage their employees to dedicate a portion of their homes to work. Offering stipends to employees to build home offices is a good start where they can use any comfortable area in their home to work.
These dedicated workstations also work wonders; they keep employees away from home distractions, resulting in better productivity.
Now that you're all working from home, it's necessary to stay connected. The management should ensure the use of efficient technology to communicate with employees so that everyone stays on the same page when working from home.
To ensure employee productivity in a remote working situation, it's crucial to set reasonable expectations and guidelines from the start to avoid any misunderstandings or clashes later on. This is because, without physical proximity, it's easy to misunderstand each other's natures, tones, and work patterns.
Set up rules and expectations; relay to them what is accepted and what isn't, ranging from time tracking, late work, communication, and more.
Maintaining regular check-ins is important; create daily check-ins using team groups, video-cats, calls, messages, or whatever works better for your team. This creates a sense of normalcy among the employees and also lets them know the workday has started. Since there are no face-to-face meetings anymore, daily check-ins foster connections. There need to be virtual office hours where employees should be available.
Communication is key, always! When working remotely, it's easy to misunderstand one another or to grow distant. It's important to hold better communications via chats so the team can communicate with one another.
Regular contact with all your employees is important, too; you should ensure all your employees respond to all work-related messages and emails during work hours. It's always a good idea to have each other's personal contact numbers in case of emergencies.
When working remotely, it's necessary to trust your employees to take care of their responsibilities and duties. This trust is built by the management and employer's behavior. Communicating with your team is important, but you don't need to breathe down their necks. It needs to be subtle and not like they're being monitored all the time.
Setting goals is a great way to achieve your targets; it also boosts employee productivity! Set long-term and short-term goals with each of your employees and regularly check in with them to discuss their progress.
They should report to you about any issues they're facing or how their work is going regarding their goals. Help them resolve their issues so they can achieve their goals. It's also a good habit to report directly to you using emails about daily work progress; this keeps you in the loop and lets them know that you're there as well.
Giving flexibility isn't just allowing your team to work from home; it means you trust them to complete their work on time, reach their targets, and ensure everything gets done within the designated work hours.
Don't focus on the time they're spending on work each day, but look at how often they're achieving their targets. This allows the employees to complete tasks in their productive hours when they're in the right headspace. They should be allowed to work outside of standard office hours, as long as you're getting a productive employee that gets their work done on time.
Workspaces are supposed to provide growth and upgrades for their employees to enhance their current skill sets, and if you're not doing that, you're going to miss out on a good employee. By providing them with opportunities, you'll foster a learning and working culture while also retaining good employees.
Regular feedbacks go a long way; encourage your employees by providing them feedback on their skills, performance, productivity, whether positive or negative. This way, they'll be in the loop and strive hard.
Of course, it's not necessary to dress well for remote working, but being well dressed has a great effect on workers psychologically. So, whenever you're up for a video call with clients, co-workers, or employees, make sure you're dressed appropriately to convey the seriousness of the work you're doing. Power dressing also kicks in the productivity levels!
Sometimes working from home results in negative emotions such as loneliness and depression. As an employer, you should regularly ask employees about their difficulties in managing tasks, encourage self-care, and keep the tone of your office calm. People should be relaxed when approaching you, not overwhelmed.
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