A growing number of companies are starting to embrace a more flexible mindset in terms of employee collaboration, which includes a greater inclination towards remote work. Whether you already have team members that prefer working from home, or you’ve been “pushed” by the pandemic to send your employees home and close your office for the foreseeable future, adjusting to this model takes some time. On the other hand, you also need a strategy that will foster that flexibility without compromising your productivity and collaboration.
Today, especially because of higher amounts of stress your employees are likely dealing with, ensuring productive work hours can help them stay engaged, and to get more work done in less time. Let’s tackle a few of the most effective solutions that empower remote companies to encourage collaboration and productivity by taking a strategic approach.
Make time for one-on-one interactions
No matter if your employees work in an office or they’re at home, providing and asking for feedback should remain part of your regular communication. In addition to weekly virtual get-togethers with your entire teams, you should also set aside specific time slots for one-on-one meetings.
That way, each employee can share specific issues they might be having, and you can provide performance reviews to help them become more productive. Regular and transparent communication is crucial for all your remote teams to stay engaged while working remotely.
Use a PM tool
It’s simple enough to stop by an employee’s desk and ask for a quick email draft or a PR announcement. However, when you try to communicate all of these quick tasks via chat or video conferencing, you risk forgetting about them or failing to provide all the necessary information so that the task can be completed. To ensure optimal productivity, you should use a project management tool that can keep all of your team’s tasks in one place.
PM tools often have a slew of features that can help you navigate the remote work process more easily. With a clear overview of deadlines, projects, and individual milestones, you’ll also be able to help your individual team members stay productive and overcome setbacks.
Take care of your schedule in advance
Running a small-scale business often means enjoying the perks of simply seeing that everyone is accounted for during your Monday morning meetings. As soon as you switch to remote work, you’ll notice that tracking attendance and deadlines become much more of a challenge. Now that they are at home, they might be more prone to being late or even forgetting the occasional shift.
To avoid such issues that can heavily impact productivity, you should use solutions that will track time and attendance for you and help your remote employees manage their workload and responsibilities. Just like your project management software, a scheduling tool is an amazing investment that can help boost productivity and accountability while reducing stress. The added reminders and alerts are a great way to keep all of your remote teams in check.
Don’t forget about incentives
When you spend time with employees at the office, you can sense and notice when someone needs a mood boost and go the extra mile. Then again, you can use your meetings to organize team-building sessions and find out interesting details about your employees to surprise them with the occasional giveaway. When you switch to remote work, motivating your remote teams becomes a greater challenge.
From surveys from time to time, all the way to sending care baskets with their favorite snacks and healthy treats, you can certainly make arrangements to incentivize your teams on a regular basis. Bonuses are always a great choice, but adding a personal touch will help make your isolated employees feel more valued and remind them that they belong.
Encourage work-life balance
This is not just about the pandemic. Yes, the current health crisis definitely exasperates stress levels and anxiety for many, your employees included, but this is a mindset you should foster beyond the pandemic, and even in the best of circumstances. Focusing on your employees’ health and wellbeing means that you will help them stay productive within their work hours, while at the same time encouraging them to take breaks, eat healthily, and spend quality time with their families.
Working from home mustn’t turn into working non-stop or being available at all times. Employees need to understand that working from home doesn’t require them to sacrifice their personal time to wrap up work or finish more assignments than they need to. By educating your teams on how to ensure work-life balance every day, you’ll be able to inspire them to be productive during actual work hours and help them separate their professional and personal time.
Managing employee expectations and providing the right tools are both crucial steps for optimal levels of productivity for your remote teams. In time, you will notice other growth and development opportunities to allow your employees more flexibility in how they manage their responsibilities. With the right steps in your approach, you’ll be able to protect your professional reputation and ensure employee satisfaction for the long haul.
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