The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many companies to allow their employees to work remotely. And the trend has continued post pandemic.
This was a great way to keep everyone safe, but it takes time to maintain productivity when working from home. Here are ten tips to help you and your remote team stay productive while working from home.
Communication is the key
If you're running a business with remote workers, communication is the key. Here are some things you can do to communicate with your remote employees and boost their productivity:
- Create a communication plan and make sure everyone is on board with it. Your plan should include how often employees should check in with their team members, what mode of communication is best (phone, email, chat, etc.), and how to handle emergencies.
- Encourage your employees to get on video conference calls. It's a great way to facilitate face-to-face communication even when team members are far apart.
- Use tools like Slack or Asana to keep everyone on track with tasks and deadlines. These tools allow you to create specific channels or boards for each project so everyone can access the same information.
- Don't be afraid to give your remote employees positive and negative feedback. Constructive feedback can help them improve their productivity and performance.
- Take the time to get to know your remote employees as individuals. It will help you better understand their strengths and weaknesses and how to deal with them.
Provide clear guidelines
Give clear guidelines to remote employees about how to do their work. It will help them stay focused and productive. Provide instructions for the work you want them to complete. They must know that each project has a timeline and deliverables, and they are supposed to meet checkpoints before moving on.
Set goals to track progress
Keep track of progress by setting monthly goals or benchmarks everyone needs to meet. It will let you see how each remote employee performs compared to the rest of the team, and you’ll know where to focus your time and energy.
You can ease yourself by setting up a company culture around the commitment to remote work. Culture is the set of behaviors, ideas, traditions, beliefs, and values that unite people in a group or organization. It can be anything from how employees communicate with one another to how they interact with customers.
The important thing is that something unique about your company sets it apart from everyone else’s.
Make the tools available
The shift of companies to remote work has its set of challenges. To combat this, some companies must provide remote employees with the tools they need to be productive.
One way is by providing a virtual office space, which includes all the amenities an office would have, such as conference rooms and video conference call equipment. It helps remote employees feel like they are part of the company culture and provides them with a sense of community.
Another way is by providing access to online training programs for their field so they can stay up-to-date on new skills without having to travel back and forth from home for classes or seminars. In addition, it allows them more time at home with their family or doing whatever else makes them happy and more productive at work.
Set up regular check-ins
It’s crucial for managers and employees alike to set up regular check-ins to ensure everybody is on track. You can do these check-ins over the phone, via video call, or Skype. However, it would be better if you schedule these check-ins at least once a month and focus on discussing progress, obstacles, and goals for the next month.
Encourage necessary breaks
You may expect your remote employees to work long hours without a break. But this can lead to burnout and severe consequences for the company.
It is essential to encourage your remote employees to take breaks when needed to avoid dire consequences. It will help them avoid burnout and increase their productivity in the long run.
Provide a comfortable work environment
Ensure the same access to resources for your remote workers as on-site employees. It includes company benefits, culture, and work environment. In addition, the company needs to ensure remote employees stay motivated and productive by providing a comfortable work environment at home.
Reward with privileges
Incentivize them with rewards and recognition. Appreciating a job well done is essential to keep morale up and motivate employees. Reward your remote employees when they reach goals or complete complex tasks. Show them you value their hard work and dedication by giving them bonuses, recognitions, or other incentives. It will motivate them to keep up the excellent work.
Foster a positive team spirit
It is only sometimes possible to get everyone in the office all the time. And sometimes, it is only possible to get some in the same country. However, this does not mean you can’t have good team spirit.
A great way to foster a positive team spirit among your remote workers is by getting them to know each other better. Get them chatting on video chats and over email, encourage them to share their thoughts and ideas, or even start a group chat on WhatsApp.
Sometimes it’s the small things that make a real difference. Of course, you can organize activities for your team members to boost their bonding, but you can do things differently. For example, hire an in-house coach to help facilitate and improve teamwork within your remote team.
Celebrate successes together
We live in an era where the internet is everywhere, and we can work from anywhere. So, it's important to celebrate your successes together with your remote employees, no matter what.
Team members who work remotely can feel left out when they don't get to be part of the celebration after completing a project or a significant achievement in the business. On the other hand, offering to share in the celebration can help build rapport and camaraderie across the board.
Following these tips can increase your remote team's productivity and maintain a high output level even while working from home. What other tips do you have for working remotely? Share them with us in the comments!