As the years pass by, the work process has continuously been undergoing technological advancements that revolutionize how each person can be present at work. While the standard way of working is by traveling to get to the office to work for the entire day, it now allows employees to work right within the comforts of their own homes without having to worry about the long commute.
Remote working has been getting more popular each day as it’s more cost-efficient for most business owners. They can drastically reduce their office space costs, including rent, bills, equipment, and supply. However, the biggest drawback that employers need to face is reduced workforce productivity. It’s said that is most likely to happen, especially since they don’t have direct supervision from their bosses.
To ensure maximum efficiency, listed below are the ways to improve remote workforce productivity:
1. Invest In Knowledge Management Tool
Because your team members will be working remotely, it’ll be challenging to communicate with everyone. Proper communication is needed to avoid any potential misunderstanding. To ensure that everyone on the team knows what’s going on, you should centralize company information and allow everyone to learn everything they need to know to gain enough knowledge that’ll help their tasks more productively.
To allow for effective centralized company information, it’ll help if you could invest in knowledge management tools that’ll be accessible to everyone. They’ll enable every team member to do a quick and simple online research and easily get the information they need. Depending on the tool that your company will be using, it can also stand as a management tool, customer management tool, or a standard knowledge base that can help the company,
2. Ensure Fair Policy
No one enjoys favoritism inside a company. There’s nothing more frustrating than seeing an unfair implementation of policies wherein one has more flexible work hours, but the other employees can only work strictly at certain hours. And there would be penalties if they chose to disobey those rules. This will only allow your team members to feel frustrated working in your company and wouldn’t be motivated to provide you with their best service.
Ideally, you should implement a fair policy within your organization wherein there’ll be no special treatment and everyone need to follow the rules as it applies to everyone. If people see that you’re giving special treatment to other employees, their frustration could turn into unproductiveness, which could affect the overall health of your business.
3. Maximize Communication Tools
Since everyone would be working remotely, communication might be more challenging, especially since you won’t be able to see each other face to face. It won’t just be leaning on other people’s cubicles to share information, as their teammates might be in a different side of the country. Moreover, if communication is difficult, it might not boost productivity since they won’t be able to interact with their team members well, which might miss out on some important information they need to add to their task.
You should maximize company communication software for your remote workforce as much as possible. You should create group channels for every team and department that allow individuals to communicate with their team members and rely on urgent information quickly. Apart from instant messaging, they could also do some audio or video meetings, allowing them to understand their discussion better since some details might be hard to explain through text.
4. Ease Up Work Hours
Just because your employees are working from home doesn’t mean that everything’s comfortable for them. Since you’re no longer using office space to accommodate your employees, you might want to ease up on the work hours and allow them to have a flexible schedule, allowing them to work whenever they feel most productive at any time of the day. This would go perfectly for those who had plenty of responsibilities at home that also need to find time to work at ease.
Allowing a flexible schedule provides plenty of convenience for everyone. Nonetheless, if you need employees to work at a certain shift or they need to perform a full straight hour, you might want to allow them to choose which shift hours would work best for them. This’ll provide maximum convenience as you can accommodate as much as you want since you won’t worry about floor space inside your office and allow everyone to work at their most convenient times.
5. Create A Tracking Tool
Some people might be too comfortable working from home and they might not be doing their tasks on time. This is most likely to happen, especially since distractions are within their reach. Further, no one would see them, giving them the freedom to simply play on their phones or browse online. To ensure productivity, you should use a time clock calculator that everyone must comply with.
A tracking tool enlists everything your employees need to accomplish for the entire day. This will include both long- and short-term goals, giving them a clear insight into their deadlines and what they should do. Ideally, they should share their tracker with you so you can see their current progress and give them help if they’re falling behind their deadline. It’ll help prevent delayed submissions while also ensuring that they keep themselves busy while at work.
6. Promote Work-Life Balance
Just because your employees are working right in the comforts of their own homes, it doesn’t mean that they don’t get exhausted from it. Since they’re working remotely, the cause of their stress is just within a few minutes away from them. This can make them feel anxious, even just by looking at it. Even if they’re sitting comfortably inside their homes, they don’t have enough time and space to distance themselves from the stress that work brings.
Even with remote working, you should promote work-life boundaries to every team member that you have. This will include giving them the freedom to file their leave to take a break or vacation, not forcing them to take shorter breaks unless necessary, and scheduling a weekly video meeting wherein they could get together with their team members and have fun. They could play games and do quick catch-up, allowing them to bond with their teammates better.
7. Schedule Regular Check-Ins
Remote working can affect individuals differently. Some might enjoy the convenience and freedom that it brings, while some are having mental health issues as they feel trapped inside their home and have little time to get out and have some fun. Plus, some might also be unproductive with remote working, especially since they have plenty of responsibilities at home such as taking care of kids, doing household chores, or looking after their senior parents.
To ensure that your employees still have productive work hours, you should schedule a regular check-in and see how the remote working treats them. Ask them if they have enough time to work or would they prefer to have a different working hour or go back to an office set up, if possible. This way, you can have a clear insight into your employees’ points of view and see how you can make them comfortable under your care.
8. Encourage Breaks
Just because your employees are working from home, it doesn’t mean that they’re robots and don’t need breaks to function well.
Just like with an office setup, your remote workers need enough breaks to reenergize themselves and allow their working hours to be productive as much as possible. If they continue working non-stop, it might cause exhaustion, forcing them to be unproductive or take unexpected leave and the like – potentially harming your company’s overall productivity rates.
To allow your remote workers to get the rest they need, you should encourage them to take breaks once in a while. You can give them an hour’s lunch break and two 15-minute breaks to unwind from the work exhaustion. This way, they don’t have to force themselves into work and get their much-needed rest during work hours. This will allow for maximum productivity as they’re letting their minds recharge for the day.
Additionally, unless there’s an intense amount of work, you shouldn’t deprive your employees of taking a planned leave during their workweek.
9. Host Virtual Team Meetings
Socializing with workers is essential to boost employees. There’s nothing more dreadful than facing the computer for the entire day without having to talk to anyone but their screens. In order to give them a break altogether and boost productivity, you should host virtual team meetings wherein you can allow everyone from the team to have fun and enjoy each other’s company.
Apart from having a weekly meeting to bond, you could also host some virtual team building wherein you’ll spend the entire day just hanging out with each other virtually. You can even do some recognition events wherein you’ll celebrate and accredit the efforts of your team members on how they’re able to contribute to the company. To boot, you can give out a complimentary gift to keep them boosted and motivated.
Improving remote workforce productivity might be a bit of a challenge, especially since you won’t be able to see your workers every day, and communication is only allowed through the virtual world. But with the right planning, organization, and resting, you can help your employees feel comfortable which allows them to enjoy work and boost their productivity.