5 Tips of boosting your remote teams' productivity
The modern comforts of working from home may lead one to believe employee productivity will dip.
According to a 2020 study, 44% of employers reported that their employees had become more productive once they started working from home.
Image via PwC
However, as you will note from the above study, employees have their doubts, with only 28% reporting that they felt more productive.
Another study also found that even though 70% of employees are happy with the amount of time they work remotely, they often face challenges. These include loneliness, collaboration problems, communication issues, trouble staying motivated, home distractions, etc.
As an employer, can you see how these challenges can affect your employees' productivity?
They don't have to.
The following post lists some tips you can implement to help your remote team increase efficiency and stay focused.
Check them out!
1. Equip your team with the right tools
Provide your team with the right tools to stay connected on projects, communicate, collaborate, and connect.
Wondering what these tools are?
Well, they include:
These will include laptops, smartphones, and any other equipment they may need to complete their tasks. You also need to ensure they have a reliable and fast internet connection.
Collaboration and communication tools
The success of your remote set up depends on the virtual and communication tools you choose.
They make it easy for teams to collaborate and communicate virtually.
One of the most commonly used tools for virtual offices is Slack, but you can use alternatives like Microsoft Teams or Workplace by Facebook.
In addition, you can also leverage other collaboration tools that incorporate video conferencing like Zoom or Skype.
Cloud-based storage tools
Make it easy for your team to access and share documents online. For this, you can use tools like Google Drive, Box, or Dropbox.
Time tracking tools
Time tracking tools can help employees stay on the project without wasting time on non-essential activities. Some of these include Time Doctor, Clockify, Tick, etc.
Project management tools
Without the right tools, coordinating and managing projects would be a headache. It's why you need tools like Asana, Trello, Basecamp, etc. to keep track of projects, plans, and tasks from one dashboard.
And best of all:
These tools make sure the entire team knows what's going on, what they need to focus on, and expectations.
2. Encourage dedicated workspace
Ensure that your remote workers have designated workspaces at home to minimise disruptions and concentrate better.
It could be an attic, basement, guest room, walk-in closet, or any place that mentally enables them to separate their home activities from work.
In addition to that, they should prevent intrusions and set boundaries. However, they should do this without becoming disrespectful to others in the household.
But how can they ensure a comfortable working environment that boosts productivity?
- Design stimulating environments. For example, by painting it with cool colours, ensuring the room has the right climate, proper lighting, and ventilation.
- Choose the right furniture. Have a suitable writing desk with ample space, get an ergonomic chair, and have a storage area to keep their documents.
- Reduce distractions. Declutter their desk, keep the noise level down and use distraction killing apps.
- Mind their health. Meditate, take breaks between work to exercise, stay hydrated, and eat fruit.
But how does doing all this help?
For one, it increases your employees' brainpower. They become more productive since they stay focused, boost their creativity, and stay organised.
Secondly, it helps keeps their workspace organised while also improving their mood and motivation.
3. Discuss goals, responsibilities, and expectations
Set clear long and short-term goals for your remote employees. Make it clear what you expect from them and outline guidelines of what's acceptable when working remotely.
Then, ask them to send in regular reports detailing what they've accomplished, what they plan to achieve, and within what timelines.
However, be careful not to micromanage them.
Instead, trust them and give them the freedom to complete their tasks. Avoid regularly checking in on them, but clearly define goals and deadlines.
Give them the flexibility they need to meet their targets in their productive hours. Doing this can build trust while improving their productivity levels
Now, here's the most important part:
Make progress visible to your employees so that they see and understand their performance.
It's a great motivator that can push them towards finding areas that need improvement and advancement opportunities.
4. Invest in social interactions and team building
Conduct regular check-ins on your remote employees every once in a while, either through video calls or chats. You can do this individually or hold small group meetings where you catch up on their work and non-work related issues.
Create time and space for remote employees to interact socially, discuss their hobbies, news, birthdays, etc.
Doing this helps them relieve stress, reduce loneliness, and feel more connected.
And how can you facilitate these non-work interactions?
One of the best ways is to allow a few minutes after or before a video conference for employees to catch up. You can also have a team chat app dedicated to internal and non-work communications.
Another option is to host virtual team-building exercises or meetings where nothing work-related gets discussed.
5. Appreciate work well done and offer incentives
Recognise accomplishments and reward remote employees. Make them feel supported and acknowledged for work well done.
But how can you do this?
You can send them personalised emails, give them a shout out during a meeting, or have a dedicated channel to celebrate accomplishments.
Most importantly, offer your remote employees incentives to make them want to deliver more than expected. You could provide additional vacation days, educational opportunities, etc.
Ready to boost the productivity of your remote employees?
As you can see, there are many ways you can motivate your employees and boost their productivity.
However, don't stop there.
Every remote team is unique, and you may find that some of these tactics work better for your employees than others.
In this case, try to improve your set up by experimenting with all of them. This way, you can learn more about your team and offer them more productive remote work environments.
Do you need help with any of the tactics mentioned above? I would love to know your thoughts and also offer additional tips.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, content marketing, and SEO. He is the Co-Founder of Attrock, a digital marketing agency. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with...