Since the advent of the COVID-19 pandemic, more and more companies have adopted the work-from-home culture as their predominant style of work. Not only does this allow managers and business owners to cut back on operational expenditure, many workers are happier working remotely. It was reported in 2019 that 81% of on-site workers think that they`ll be happier working remotely.
Interestingly, reports from studies conducted during the pandemic and even more recently lend support to this claim. Working from home obviously creates room for more flexibility, which lots of workers say helps to boost their productivity. A recent study conducted by Airtasker shows that employees working from home spent less time trying to avoid work, took more breaks, and were more productive.
Overall, both employers and employees in many different industries, having seen the benefits of working from home, have either partially or fully switched to a remote work model.
But managing employees on-site is different from managing them remotely. And for some business owners, that is a big concern. In this post, you`ll find pro tips on how to maximize the productivity of your employees assuming you intend to adopt or have already adopted the remote work model for your company.
1. Empower Your Employees with the Resources They Need to Excel
Switching to a work-from-home or remote work setup means that employees no longer have access to in-office facilities, such as computers, communication gadgets, office wi-fi, etc. In other words, you need to arm them with these facilities so they can deliver as expected.
If, for instance, they're going to be handling lots of calls and regularly participating in videoconferences, it's important to provide them with the resources and tools that will make these activities as seamless as though they were working from the office. This might include investing in a quality headset, webcam, and laptop or desktop computer with the necessary processing power.
2. Encourage a Culture of Constant Communication
Since there won't be plenty of physical interactions as before, one of the best ways to track the progress of ongoing projects and everyday tasks is by effective communication. You`ll need to keep the channels of communication open always. Emails, texts, videoconferencing, and phone calls are just means by which you can promote effective communication among staff members.
Also, it is not enough to communicate, but it's very important to do so as promptly as possible. There`s a possibility that lack of communication or poor communication will lead to anxiety, especially when an employee needs to take care of an emergency.
Besides, constant communication will keep all employees on the same page and also afford you the insight you need to address operational issues as they arise and make informed decisions.
The team at work needs to be able to rely on each other even when they are not physically together and this can only be achieved through proper communication.
There are a few things you need to do to make sure that communication in your remote team is effective:
Define the purpose of each type of communication
Encourage employees to communicate frequently
Make sure all employees have access to the same tools and resources
Use a variety of communication methods
Be clear, concise, and consistent in your communications
Encourage feedback and open dialogue
Address issues promptly
Effective communication is key to the success of any remote team.
3. Delegate with Minimal Supervision
Everyone, including employees, needs some degree of autonomy to function optimally. The saying goes that micromanaging tends to kill productivity. What you need to know is that switching to a remote work model might also imply that you'll need to invest the same or higher level of trust in your employees as you would in an in-office set-up.
Research suggests that employee autonomy contributes to their being happy and more productive at work. Every successful business needs happy employees, so you must cultivate a culture of allowing your employees to carry out assigned tasks without bugging them with too many check-ups. While follow-up is very much advised, it should not smother creativity and productivity.
If possible, you can set up a daily reporting system to monitor their progress at work. Also, keep in mind that it's a work-from-home arrangement, so you need to understand that people will likely have different approaches to getting things done. As such, you might want to focus more on results and overall productivity, and less on processes and procedures.
The bottom line is, trust is very important in any working arrangement, but it's even more crucial in a remote work set-up. If you can't trust your employees to get the job done, then maybe a remote work model is not for you.
4. Boost Employee Morale By Recognizing Their Effort
If you want to boost employee morale, then we must recognize the efforts of those who are doing very well and encourage those who need a little help. Performance evaluation is also an opportunity for managers or leaders in a company to hear what challenges employees are facing while conducting their daily responsibilities.
Our goal is to identify potential improvements and also appraise the successes of our employees so that we can ensure maximum effort and productivity.
It is essential that employees feel like their work is valued and that their career growth is a priority for the company. Providing feedback is one way to do this, and performance evaluations are an excellent forum for giving employees the feedback they need to improve their work and advance in their careers.
When done correctly, performance evaluations can be a valuable tool for boosting employee morale and ensuring a productive workplace.
5. Be Concerned About the Welfare of Your Employees
It takes a healthy worker to produce innovative results, so from time to time you should check up on them and ensure they're not just being bombarded with work but also have access to wellness resources.
Whether in an office setting or away in their own homes; there are always things we can do as managers/owners which will help improve how happy & productive our team members feel: like providing food banks for those who don't get paid enough during lunch hours (or at all), ensuring there are monthly/quarterly company-wide events to relieve stress, and being transparent with communication so that everyone knows what's going on within the organization.
When it comes to happy & productive workers, we should always be thinking about how we can better support them. From providing access to well-being resources to being transparent in communication, there are several things we can do as managers/owners to help improve their happiness and productivity.
6. Encourage Innovation and Creativity
Innovation is key to success in business, but it can be tough without the right environment. One way you could help your remote employees stay productive and innovative while they work from home or onsite would involve encouraging them with autonomy-boosting policies like letting staff members know their ideas are welcomed towards meeting company goals; providing opportunities for hands-on experience through projects that challenge creativity by including new challenges each week (or month); giving workers access not just one type of resource--such as technology tools—but many so there's no favoritism or "one size fits all" mentality and offering clear and concise feedback that is both positive and negative so they understand what they're doing right (and wrong).
While innovation is often associated with brainstorming sessions and new product development, it can also be found in more mundane tasks. For example, if you ask your customer service team to come up with ways to improve the caller experience, they may develop a new process for handling customer inquiries.
If you challenge your marketing team to find better ways to reach potential customers, they may come up with a new social media campaign. No matter where it comes from, innovation is essential for businesses of all sizes.
When it comes to encouraging innovation in the workplace, there are a few key things you can do to create an environment that is conducive to creativity and new ideas. First, it's important to have a clear vision for your company and what you want to achieve. Employees need to know what the goals are so they can be aligned with them. Second, you need to provide employees with the resources they need to be innovative.
This includes access to technology, information, and knowledge. Third, you need to give employees the freedom to experiment and take risks. You can't expect innovation if you're not willing to allow for some failure along the way. Finally, you need to give employees feedback so they know what is working and what isn't.
7. Clearly Define Roles and Responsibilities
This is important for any kind of work setting, but it becomes even more important when managing a remote team. Because there is no face-to-face interaction, it can be easy for employees to get sidetracked or not know what exactly is expected of them.
To avoid this, sit down with each member of your team and go over their roles and responsibilities. Make sure they have a clear understanding of what is expected of them on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. You can even put together a document that outlines everyone's roles and responsibilities to serve as a reference point.
8. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
In addition to your regular team meetings, schedule regular check-ins with each member of your team. These can be done via phone, video chat, or even email. During these check-ins, you can ask how they're doing, see how they're progressing on their projects, and offer any assistance they may need. You can also use these check-ins to provide feedback, both positive and constructive.
By regularly checking in with your team, you can ensure that everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals. You can also identify any potential problems early on and address them before they become bigger issues.
9. Make Use of Technology
There are a variety of technology tools that can help you manage a remote team more effectively. These include project management tools, task management tools, time tracking tools, and communication tools.
Make use of these tools to help you stay organized, keep track of deadlines, and communicate with your team more effectively.
Working from home can impact your business positively, if well implemented. The most important thing is ensuring that workers have the resources and all the help they need to get their job done daily. Encourage constant communication and ensure that no good work goes unappreciated.
For more ideas or tips on how to improve the productivity of your staff, you can schedule a consultation with us today at The Mission. We constantly strive to be the best-in-class among HR service providers.
The Mission caters to small and medium-sized organizations and government contractors by providing industry-leading HR services. We serve as a trusted partner in integrated human resource compliance, risk management, PEO services, employee benefits, employment practices liability insurance (EPLI), and payroll processing.