A year ago, the idea of remote working was not a consideration among most companies or their employees. But following the impact of COVID-19, many of us now call our bedrooms and kitchen tables our new office environments. 🛏️
Amplified by fears of the ongoing public health crisis and the personal struggles it has brought, there have been worrying signs of workers struggling with the isolation of working alone. And away from their office or team has harmed employees' motivation, desire to work, and productivity. 😞
As a result of the seismic shifts in the world and the influx of remote work, what can we do to look after our workforce so they can deliver high levels of productivity?
So, to help your employees become accustomed to their new working arrangements and maintain high productivity and motivation levels, this handy guide offers you seven steps your business can use to support your remote workers. 👍
How to help your remote workers productivity
Maintain a great team spirit 👊
Your employees require support as they adjust to their new normal especially, what we may have lost socially. The lunch-time catch-ups, the laughter, and the buzz of an office with people busy with work. Without these things, and perhaps finding yourself alone each day, it can cause feelings of disconnection. 🦗
So, you must remind your teams that they are still part of something bigger, although physically distant. So, it is essential to have team-building or team bonding activities. When possible, organize meet-ups, go into the office, or have a drink after work. So, your employees still feel part of a team and feel motivated to deliver superb output. 🍻
Update your communication tools ☎️
To help your remote workers stay connected, incorporate apps like Slack, Jabber, or Microsoft Teams into your daily working life. A central platform where work and social conversations can occur bridges the gap between everyone and makes it easier for employees to discuss issues, post questions, and offer updated statuses on projects in real-time.
By doing this, it can keep everyone in the loop. And means there is no need for constant status meetings. Zoom fatigue can be an issue, and numerous meetings can drain focus and exhaust your teams. You wouldn't feel the need to call multiple sessions in a day for discussion if you were in the office.
Finding the communication tool that works for you and your team can help bring everyone together. In addition, the close connection it can create allows for quick communication, as you would have in a physical workspace, making the process of work much more straightforward.
Furthermore, the ease of work discussion can prevent tasks from being forgotten about or slipping down the cracks, affecting your delivery of critical work and ensuring everyone is aware of their tasks and responsibilities. It keeps everyone focussed and maintains their productivity. And giving you a clear indication of those working and who may be taking it easy. ⚙️
Keeping everyone in the loop ➰
With everyone working remotely, you have teams of people spread across an area, a country or even the world. So, it is essential to unite these silos. Like a conqueror bringing everyone under one flag, you can help everyone feel a part of the company. 👐
Remote working can make workers feel like solitary components of a machine existing in a faraway place. As a result, your teams may feel they have been forgotten or no longer needed. You do your work and get paid but cannot see your impact, affecting your sense of purpose or motivation. So, you should reinforce your team's sense of belonging and company ties.
Your teams get the information they need by offering regular news and updates on the organization, what is happening, and the latest goings-on. And by keeping everyone aware of the company's developments, you can bring peace to your team's minds, allowing them instead to focus on their jobs and doing the best work they can. 📰
Help your remote workers to work effectively and efficiently ✨
With your team remote, they need to have everything easily accessible. No longer being in the office means everything needs digitizing for your employees. Files, materials, documents need to be within a structure that is organized and easy to manage. Otherwise, things become loose; essential materials go missing, which slows down productivity and output.
So, to help increase productivity among your remote workers, invest in a document management system. Organizing it into different subsets of the company, you can upload and share documents with the minimum of hassle for departments and teams. So, it is easy for everyone to search and access what they need to do their job correctly. 📄
Find your employee’s cozy space 😊
The ability to work in a quiet, relaxed environment can do wonders for productivity. However, for some, finding that space can be tricky, especially when life encroaches on remote working.
Kids, social media, roommates. It can be hard to be productive with an increased number of distractions. So, to support employees, look to subsidize your employee's home office. For example, offer them the chance to take things from the office or money to buy a comfy work chair, a desk, or a laptop stand that will allow them to create a designated zone for work.
Having a place where you know you can work and concentrate is essential. Thus, adding to your sense of routine and organization each working day. The structure created an atmosphere conducive to excellent work achieved—everything your remote workers need to have a productive day. 🔇
New times call for strong leadership 🦍
Amidst all this upheaval within both your company and employees' lives, you must offer consistency. To keep everyone focussed and driven on their tasks, showing outstanding leadership can ensure everything stays on track.
Be positive, recognize the great work your teams are accomplishing remotely and let them know how valued they are for their efforts. By providing public and private praise across communication channels, the giving of small gifts such as chocolate, gift cards or even a bottle of wine, you are showing you recognize your remote team efforts and celebrate their professionalism and dedication. 🔥
Everyone wants to hear that they are doing a good job. And consistent communication and speaking up about accomplishments can help reduce fears of invisibility that workers may feel away from the office. In addition, through doing this, you are making your teams feel better about their situation, showing support and offering further motivation to all to keep pushing their performance.
Help your employees know their goals 🥅
In an office environment, it is easier to check that everyone is on task. However, when working remotely, sometimes focus, and adherence to deadlines can slip. 🙀
So, help your employees know what their priorities are and the jobs that need doing. Apps like Trello can offer a visual representation of the working day. For example, compiling a list of the critical weekly or monthly tasks and the recurring daily jobs that need accomplishing.
Doing this can help your employees stay focused on their responsibilities and ensure all jobs are completed. In addition, they know where to look for tasks when planning their day or if they have some quiet time. So, the excuse of I didn't know will no longer slide. 📋
Your employees know what needs doing, and as an employer, it can indicate who is working well and if there is an equal distribution of tasks. It also stops you from having to be in contact with your teams all the time. Constantly in their ear about 'Are you doing this?', 'Who is on that?', can disturb your workforce's focus and make them feel that they are not trusted to work independently.
By placing goals and targets within a neutral zone can show the trust you have in your employees. They take ownership of their working day, completing work and supporting one another. With this greater level of freedom, it can result in greater productivity. In addition, there is nothing as satisfying as being able to tick things off your to-do list!
Why are these steps so crucial for your organization and its future?
A great working culture thrives in an open environment regardless of where your employees may be. By providing your employees with the ability to stay available to one another and work independently and collaboratively, you can help create a real sense of belonging and ownership to how they contribute to its success.
There is no fixed solution to inspire greater productivity among your remote workers, but you should always be ready to learn and experiment. Everyone does things differently, and what works for one business may not for another. Nevertheless, there are many ways to ease the transition and help productivity soar, so try different ideas to improve your remote teams' working lives and productivity.
But here are some tips to get you started. And to keep your remote workers engaged and motivated, resulting in a positive bottom line for your company, you should consider:
Despite the distance between you and your workforce, work hard to maintain the connections that unite your organization.
Finding the right communication tool to enable easy and speedy engagement between remote workers
Increased transparency, keeping your workers informed of news and feel they are still part of a company, strengthening their identity
How to support remote workers? So that work is easy to access and to share, preventing delays and losses.
Help your remote workers make an environment conducive to excellent productivity.
The importance of outstanding leadership to motivate the workforce into performing at their very best
Establish priorities and help your workforce keep to them