If you’ve been involved in a remote team, you understand how hard it can be to encourage productivity. There’s no boss around to watch over your shoulder; managers and employees aren’t within shouting distance of one another. Without the ability to see or hear others as they work, it becomes easy for distractions and interruptions to creep in.
But remote working is becoming the standard for the modern work environment, and keeping remote employees productive is a challenge for managers.
Our article will show you the 6 ways to make remote employees more productive.
Are we really more productive if we work remotely?
The work-from-home workforce is receiving a makeover as people across the world discover new methods to work without having to interact with others. Companies must deal with the fact that the majority of non-essential employees work from home or remotely in general.
But could working remotely genuinely increase our productivity?
Several studies published in the last few months have found that productivity is higher when working from home than when working in an office. On average, those who work from home waste 10 minutes less each day, work one more day per week and are 47 percent more productive.
Working from home increases productivity by 13%, according to a Stanford study of 16,000 workers conducted over 9 months. More calls per minute were made as a result of a calmer, longer convenient working environment, as well as working more minutes each shift due to fewer breaks and sick days.
It’s also worth saying that working remotely can be a problem for many people because they don’t feel connected anymore with their colleagues and they will feel isolated from the rest of the company.
Being on-site makes it more probable that you’ll have talks with coworkers — 77 percent of on-site workers said this, compared to 60 percent of remote workers.
Many employees also see as a disadvantage the fact that working remotely makes the day long and it is never easy to take some time off.
The future is going to hybrid work. Employees can work part on-site and part remotely.
According to a study of over 30,000 US employees, working from home one day each week can increase productivity by 4.8 percent. That estimate was mostly based on time spent working rather than commuting to work.
How to make remote employees more productive
Employee productivity is determined not just by KPIs and deadlines, but also by their motivation, proactivity, and involvement in work processes.
You can track their performance via standard methods like meetings and phone calls, but how can you be sure that your remote employees are still motivated to work and on the same page with your business goals?
As we mentioned above, remote employees often feel disconnected from the rest of the company and this can cause a lack of motivation and productivity.
Below we show you some tips that you can apply today to improve the productivity of your remote workers.
Create a schedule for daily check-ins
Many successful remote managers schedule a daily conference call with their personnel. If your employees operate more independently from one another, this could take the shape of a series of one-on-one calls, or team calls if their work is extremely collaborative. The crucial element is that the calls are consistent and predictable and that they serve as a platform for employees to communicate with you and have their issues and questions acknowledged.
Provide productivity tools to remote workers
By providing productivity tools to remote employees, you can better organize procedures, control performance, and make life easier for your staff. The minimum that you would need is some communication channels like Slack or Microsoft Teams. Then, it would be useful to have tools to keep track of tasks like Asana or Trello. And you could provide them with tools for personal productivity.
Create team building activities
Providing time and space for employees to discuss news, interests, and other issues, just like they would do in the office, relieves stress and makes them feel more connected. Allowing employees to catch up before and after video conferencing is one method to accomplish this. Another option is to hold a weekly virtual happy hour or a virtual team-building exercise to help staff connect.
Offer encouragement and emotional support to your staff
Managers must recognize stress, listen to employees’ anxieties and concerns, and empathize with their problems, especially in the context of an abrupt change to remote work. If the employees are not talking about their problems or struggles, ask them how they are doing and if they need any support. After you’ve asked the question, make sure you pay attention to the answer and briefly rephrase it to the employee to make sure you’ve understood everything right.
Give them access to online documents and file sharing
Employees must have access to the documents and materials they require to complete their tasks. Many businesses, on the other hand, rely on email to distribute and share documents, which causes a slew of issues. Using a social intranet document management system to upload and share documents allows anyone on the team to easily access any document or file they require at any time and from any location. Members of the team can see who else has access and who has made adjustments, and they can even rank and score documents to keep the most critical documents at the top of the list.
Goal achievement should be gamified and rewarded
Adding a little friendly rivalry to the goals adds a driving component that some people find attractive. Recognizing achievement, rewarding performance, and recognizing exceptional work—whether with concrete incentives such as bonuses, presents, extra days off, or simply through peer recognition—is a terrific way to keep remote workers invested in the success of the organization.
We believe this list can help your employees to maintain a productive work environment when they work remotely.
Our Employer of Record service can help your company to hire, onboard, and pay your remote employees in an easy and compliant way. Contact us to get in touch with our experts and discuss your hiring needs!