How To Making Employees More Productive While Working Remotely
The catastrophe has spelled out fatal physical health consequences for the employees. Though many already did some work remotely, there are still numerous workers and managers who are getting acclimatized to this paradigm shift.
Covid-19 has upended and dramatically changed the dynamics of the business landscape, with many employers encouraging their employees to work from home. Globally, founders are increasingly worried about the health and well-being issues raised by the escalating pandemic. The catastrophe has spelled out fatal physical health consequences for the employees. Though many already did some work remotely, there are still numerous workers and managers who are getting acclimatized to this paradigm shift.
Mental health ramifications such as stress, anxiety and fear of the looming uncertainty have been equally calamitous. At this juncture, organizations are striving to make people ‘happy and productive’ regardless of the methods of working adopted by them. Working from home means plenty of distractions, fewer ways for organic interaction with fellow employees, and higher rate of social isolation – all of which contribute towards falling productivity.
Here are some tips that can come in handy for boosting the productivity of employees working remotely:
1. Equip Team with Tech and Productivity Tools
The foremost thing that employers need to do is help their teams get the tools and equipment needed to stay connected and productive when working remotely. This is imperative for ensuring their success and higher outcomes at work. Project management tracking apps like Asana, chat/messaging apps such as Microsoft Teams, and apps for video conferencing like Zoom and Google Hangouts are a must-have when working from home. Equipping all teams with the advanced technologies ensures that managers and their workforce are on the same page, no matter where they work from.
2. Setting Up Dedicated Workstations
Under usual circumstances, many employees might not have needed to set up a home office. But now that many are required to work from home, companies should encourage setting up a dedicated workstation that is separate from communal spaces. Employers could offer large stipends to enable workers to create appropriate, adequate and productive spaces for efficient remote work. Dedicated workstations help mitigate normal distractions of home life, maintain focus and stay on a task. Even if this office is only a makeshift space for the time being – like a guest room, attic, basement, or a walk-in closet – it can still help one mentally demarcate work from home.
3. Mutually Agreed Expectations
When working from home, to ensure a consistent work performance from all employees, its essential to set guidelines and expectations in advance so that no clashes and misunderstandings arise later on. Additionally, lay down rules and regulations beforehand which are mutually agreed upon – like what is accepted and what isn’t acceptable when working from home. These guidelines can cover aspects like communication policies and daily task reports.
Also, managers can maintain a ‘General Calendar’ where all employees could mark whenever they plan to work from home. Employees, too, should be openly communicative about their availability and let their team know whatever be their plans.
4. Establish and Maintain Regular Contact
Communication is vital for any relation to grow and prosper in the right manner. It becomes indispensable in the remote work situation, to keep work anxieties and misunderstandings at bay. To maintain regular check-ins, the tech and productivity tools can prove highly beneficial. Creating daily check-ins via phone calls, video calls or instant text messages nurture a sense of belonging and drive home an air of normalcy among the entire workforce. Managers must strive to maintain regular cordial contact with their teams, ensure they are clear on what is expected from them, and are able to immediately respond to work-specific emails and other messages during the work hours.
5. Provide Emotional and Steady Support
Since working remotely tends to get lonelier giving way to negative emotions, employers and managers must do what they can to extend emotional support to their employees. In the morning, managers can set the tone for the day in their virtual offices with a calm and cheerful presence, which can help shape a level-headed workplace so that people can get work done. Employers need to encourage self-care among their staff by encouraging them to take some time off from work, eating healthy, exercising regularly and continue on with their lives as normally as possible without worrying too much about work.
We are amidst the most trying times. Everybody is navigating the uncertain path to the best of their capability and sensibility. Remote managers need to be quite proactive when trying to make their teams work more productively. A good laugh and good conversation every once in a while, will do wonders for the employees’ morale. They must motivate frequent non-work interactions, giving their teams the time and space to talk about their hobbies and other topics etc. This will help build a great feeling of camaraderie, relieve stress, and result in better performance at work.
(The given article includes inputs from Teja Gudluru, Founder & CEO, UDo-now)