Working from home is becoming increasingly popular, especially after the pandemic. However, it can be difficult to ensure that remote employees stay productive. There are some simple and easy tips you can implement at work to keep remote employees involved and working efficiently.
Help Establish Dedicated Home Workspaces
Working from home can be very distracting. Therefore, it is important that you help workers to establish a place in their homes that does not lead to any distractions. Additionally, it is important to have a space dedicated to work because it allows them to take a breather whenever they need to step out and think through a problem. A great way to help them is to provide work-issued laptops and printers, so they do not have to access everything through their personal devices. If necessary, you could even consider purchasing home office equipment so employees do not have to work from their kitchen counters.
Provide Easy Access to All Documents Needed
Remote work heavily relies on sending documents back and forth, and some emails do not allow you to send bigger documents. Luckily, document management platforms allow you to add documents to the cloud and easily comment on any issues found. These platforms allow teams to safely share documents in real-time, promoting collaboration and enhancing productivity. Additionally, other online collaboration platforms allow you to easily message one another or create group calendars to keep everything organized and working efficiently.
Keep Everything Organized
No matter the platform you decide to use, it is important to keep everything organized. Therefore, you need to keep everyone’s calendar and to-do lists organized by project. Sometimes you might even need to add a priority ranking so employees know which tasks they should do first. Although it might be extra work, this will allow employees to start their day knowing what they need to get done and get to work right away. Additionally, you will need to delete any tasks that refer to old projects and keep everything up-to-date.
Promote Informal Discussions
In the office, employees can often chat with each other and talk through any problems that they are having with a project. Unfortunately, working from home can take away that experience of being able to interact with co-workers. Therefore, you should find ways to promote informal discussions. To do this, you can create activities that will allow employees to get to know each other and encourage quick calls, messaging, and communicating with one another.
Communication is Key
For any business, communication is of the utmost importance. Unfortunately, remote work can lead to miscommunication because you often get information via text or calls, which can lead to someone misinterpreting something you said. Therefore, it is important to overcompensate when it comes to communication in the workplace. Whether you have a simple or a complex project, try to list out everything that is needed for it to be successful and make sure that employees understand your point. Remember, you should never assume you’re getting the message across like you would do in person.
One of the best things about working remotely is that employees can work around their schedules. Therefore, companies are starting to focus on the performance of an employee rather than the hours worked. If an employee is meeting their deadlines and completing their daily tasks, they are doing their job. Not to mention, focusing on hours can lead to employees getting burned out and not working to their full potential.
Invest In Training & Career Development
It is important to keep employees engaged, whether they work remotely or in person. Therefore, you should invest in training and career development. Not only will it allow employees to learn new skills and grow within the company, but it will also keep them in your company for longer. By investing in your employees, they will understand that your company is not just a stepping stone to bigger and better. On the contrary, they will learn that they can stay with you for the long run and continue to grow along with the company. You can even provide mentoring programs for senior employees to help new arrivals.
Train Managers to Work with Remote Teams
Managers must know how to deal with a remote team. Micromanaging and completely hand-off managing can do more harm than good. Therefore, it is important that you find a middle ground between the two. Here are some tips for effectively managing remote teams:
- Organize one-on-one meetings regularly to check in with every member of the team. This will allow employees to talk through any issues they might be having and continue to work efficiently on the task at hand.
- Use team management platforms to monitor how employees are doing on certain projects. Additionally, these platforms provide employees with clear direction and structure for them to work more autonomously. These platforms also allow you to get a report on their activity, which can be used during one-on-one meetings.
- Set goals with the team that align with the wider company strategy. These goals can help motivate employees and set appropriate expectations for their performance.
- Measure performance by using unbiased key performance metrics. KPIs should not be a measurement of how much employees work but of how they work. It focuses on the quality of work rather than the number of hours worked.
- Reward good work to make sure employees feel appreciated. You can simply recognize their hard work during an important meeting or provide a raise. It is important to acknowledge and celebrate quality work to keep them motivated.
If you are planning on continuing to be remote, you can rent a virtual office with Astra Business Center. Our services include a virtual receptionist, private mailbox rental, and mail handling and forwarding. Additionally, you will have access to boardrooms for meetings and presentations at a central location that is easily accessible to guests.