Although some employees are going back to the office, many are still working remotely. For instance, Google and Twitter employees won’t be going back to the office until sometime in 2022.
This means that there’s still a large swath of the working population who still struggle with staying productive while working remotely. As an employer, the best thing you can do is equip your workers so that they end up doing a great job. Here’s a few tips to help you with that.
Get Them the Necessary Tools
What tools do your employees need to do an excellent job while working remotely? Get them those tools. These can include software, hardware, work tools, and much more.
If you cannot buy them for the employees directly, consider giving them an allowance for those tools. Some companies like Google, Shopify, Automaticc, Timeshare, and Help Scout provided their staff with various home office allowances or stipends. You can too.
Give Employees Specific Assignments and Targets
Now that you and other managers have limited in-person contact with your staff and team members, vague goals, milestones, and deadlines cannot be the order of the day. You need to set clear, achievable goals and milestones for all employees.
A good example of a clear goal for each member of a publishing team is writing 2,000 words of publishable content every week. That’s clear, specific, and achievable.
Clear achievable goals are important now more than ever. This way, nothing is missing during the communication.
Request, Listen and Implement Use Feedback
Every worker has a unique home situation. And while you may not be able to help everyone, you need to make sure that your policies actually help your workers. This way, not only will they be encouraged to do good work, they will be productive.
And that’s good for business. So, always ask them what you can do to make their work much better. And try to implement company-wide policies that reflect their demands –within reason, of course.
Ensure they are Carried Along
A slight disadvantage of working remotely is communication gaps. Tones and nuances are often missed when people don’t communicate in person. This is why you need to make sure that your workers are always carried along.
If you need to send out weekly or daily emails/memos to ensure that they are in the loop with happenings in the office, by all means, do so.
Avoid communication gaps because, unlike in-person situations where you can easily walk over to someone’s desk and talk to them about a problem, it may be a bit difficult to reach someone when there’s an emergency.
Support Recently Hired Employees
This is important if you’re hiring remotely. Make sure you set up an effective onboard learning management system with everything they need and require for a smooth transition to the new workplace.
This will help your new hires integrate better, and minimize any hiccups/hitches that tend to occur during the onboarding process. Ensure that this management system has everything that will make it easy for the new hires to become properly situated.
Encourage Them to Have Dedicated Workspaces
Productivity is often better when people have a place that they can refer to as their office or workspace. Encourage your employees to have these spaces. It can be a room in the home, a coworking space, or even a shed on their property that’s separate from the home.
For instance, some remote workers, use their attic, basement, or study for work. Or they can find local coworking spaces away from the house where they can go whenever they need to work.
Some companies are even developing or renting co-working spaces for staff near their residences. Do what works for your company to help your workers stay productive.
Set Up Seamless Communications Among all Staff
When it comes to managing remote teams, nothing is as important or vital as communication. This is how everyone stays in touch with each other. So, invest in solid communication equipment. This can be everything from software to platforms to physical equipment.
For instance, for video and voice calls, you can use Microsoft Teams, Google Meet, Zoom, or Skype. For emails, chats, files, and cloud storage solutions you can use private servers, buy the enterprise version of Google Workspace, or use Slack among many others. Just make sure that the communications options you choose work really well.
Provide Easy Access to Relevant Online Training Materials
You’ll have to find a way to provide necessary training materials or training incentives for your staff. If the company has to design the training, by all means, do so.
Many companies currently have education incentives for workers who would prefer to get more education or relevant certifications. While this might seem like a big risk, many employers have benefited from the rewards of increased training for their staff.
In fact, incentives like this have caused employees to stay loyal to companies. Plus, the companies have reaped huge returns –directly or indirectly- from the knowledge their employees acquired in those trainings. So, whatever you can to improve your employees’ personal growth, and they’ll most likely, return the favor.
Many employers have an open-door policy. This allows employees to easily access them when necessary. Just because you’re not in the office, doesn’t mean they still can’t have that kind of access to you over the internet. In fact, it’s much more important right now.
Remind your employees that they can always come to you whenever they need something or want clarifications on work-related issues. This kind of open-door policy even when there’s no physical contact can boost employee morale.
When it comes to work, these are unprecedented times. Thankfully, remote work hasn’t adversely affected productivity.
If anything, employers are seeing tremendous productivity from their employees because many employees have more time –because of the lack of commute- and are able to achieve more.
If you want to help them produce far better results than most companies, follow the tips in this article, and you’ll do fine.