After the coronavirus pandemic, businesses across the globe have embraced remote working. However, business owners and managers are concerned that this working model will make employees slack off and be less productive.
If you’re in a leadership position in your company, you must think of ways to address this issue. Otherwise, reduced productivity among staff will negatively affect the company’s performance.
It’s important to recognize that employees also struggle with remote working. For this reason, you should not be overly critical of them but instead, take a holistic approach to ensure their productivity. You’ll further boost their productivity by respecting your employees’ space and time.
So, let’s dive into the best ways to enhance the efficiency and productivity of your remote team.
1. Invest in Suitable Collaboration Tools
Effective collaboration is a critical element for the success of any remote team. Investing in appropriate tools and technologies, such as a time card app, is vital for promoting collaboration. Examples of collaboration tools include Trello, Basecamp, Slack, and Microsoft Teams, among others. Using these different tools helps remote teams in various ways, such as:
- Promoting management and collaboration
- Managing meetings
- Streamlining communication
- Facilitating document sharing
- Improving project management
Some of the essential tools that help improve effective collaboration include:
- Messaging platforms
- Video recording tools
- Database spreadsheets
- Intranet software
Using these tools will lead to a noticeable improvement in your team members’ online collaboration.
2. Streamline Communication
Effective communication among team members is the foundation of improving employee productivity. However, effective communication is a significant challenge when it comes to remote working. This difficulty is not surprising, as remote teams need to stay in touch constantly to synchronize and collaborate better on projects. You can best address this issue by streamlining communication within your remote team.
Streamlining communication helps ensure that everyone working remotely is on the same page. A good place to start would be to restructure the internal communication policy. The essential elements to focus on include:
- Your goals
- The appropriate communication times
- The suitable communication channels
- The frequency
You can also reduce the number of communication channels to streamline company communication. Instead, create a centralized communication platform accessible to all your team members.
Your chosen platform should include a video conferencing feature for longer meetings and a chat feature for quick conversations. After selecting a specific platform, create different categories depending on the purpose and team.
3. Encourage Social Interactions
Remote work can be isolating. For this reason, it’s essential to encourage social interactions among your employees. The different ways you can achieve this include:
- Holding regular virtual team-building activities, such as online games or trivia quizzes. These activities foster healthy competition and improve employee engagement, which is important for the company’s success.
- Implementing an accountability buddy system and allowing employees to select their preferred coworkers.
- Encouraging team members to engage in non-work-related conversations, fostering a sense of community, and improving team morale.
- Promoting informal conversations in the company’s team chat.
These social interactions help your employees feel less lonely while working from home.
4. Give And Receive Feedback
Receiving constant feedback is a crucial component for the success of your remote team. This importance is not surprising, as it’s much harder to gauge the performance of a remote employee without face-to-face interaction.
Obtaining employee feedback allows you to understand your staff’s strengths and weaknesses. You can use this information to enhance your employees’ productivity. Collecting feedback also helps you discover your remote team’s motivation and happiness, subsequently enhancing staff retention as your workers feel valued and productive.
For greater transparency from your employees, it’s a good idea to use an anonymous feedback system. This method is advised because some employees may not feel comfortable sharing honest feedback. Therefore, sharing their feedback by writing an email or through video call might not work.
After collecting employee feedback, remote team leaders can identify areas for improvement. This approach makes employees feel that their feedback matters. An open feedback system also makes identifying potential problems hindering your team’s productivity easier.
5. Automate Processes
Automating processes is another effective way to boost your remote team’s productivity. Automation tools streamline repetitive tasks, reduce errors, and save time. A good example is using expense management software to help remote teams streamline finance operations.
Automation also frees up your team’s time to focus on more complex and strategic tasks. It does this by handling repetitive tasks that might waste your remote team’s precious time. Your staff can then develop a structured schedule that improves their productivity.
Before implementing the automation process, training your team on using the tools is important. Doing so helps them better understand how to integrate automation into their daily tasks. The various ways you can deliver this training include:
- One-on-one coaching sessions
- Online tutorials
After implementing automation processes, you shouldn’t stop there. Instead, you need to test and refine the process regularly. You can do this by monitoring the automated processes to ensure they’re working correctly and identifying areas for improvement. Measuring automation’s impact on your team’s productivity and efficiency is also best. Doing so will help you identify areas where automation delivers as expected and find areas that need improvement.
6. Help Established Dedicated Home Workspaces
One of the biggest challenges for remote workers is creating a suitable workspace where they can remain focused and productive. Remote workers often fall into the trap of working from anywhere around the house. The lack of a dedicated workspace can hinder the remote team’s productivity, as distractions are more likely without a designated workspace.
Knowing this, remote workers need to create a designated home workspace to help them stay focused and productive. The workspace can be a corner in a room or an entire room. You can encourage your remote team to set up such a space by providing them with a stipend for their home office. With a dedicated workspace, remote workers can achieve physical and mental separation, which helps boost their productivity.
Improving the productivity of your remote team can be challenging. However, it’s worth the effort, as it will ensure you stay on track toward achieving your company goals.
If you didn’t know where to start to keep your team productive, this detailed guide has provided valuable insights. Implementing the strategies mentioned above will help your employees be productive even when working from home.