6 Tips to Maintain Productivity in a Remote Work Environment
Team productivity has a direct impact on both the present and the future of your organization. For that reason, finding ways of maintaining and enhancing productivity in a remote work environment is not an option. In some cases, employees who operate remotely are more productive than those who work from the office.
Ensuring productivity is high amid a shift to remote work is critically important. Here are some tips on how you can maintain productivity in a remote work environment.
1. Emphasize The Need for Dedicated Workspaces
Most regular office workers do not have a dedicated workplace at home for various reasons. When the entire world was pushed to remote work during the Covid-19 pandemic, home offices were couches, bedrooms, kitchens, and more.
While effective short term, a different approach must be taken the longer a team is remote. Encourage employees to prioritize the creation of dedicated home workspaces. The more communal the space, the more likely it is that distractions appear and affect concentration.
Teams should focus on making their space as comfortable as possible. Working on a laptop from a kitchen table is sustainable for a few days, but long hours without a comfortable chair or remote can have long-term impacts.
Emphasizing the need to create a comfortable workspace free from unnecessary disruptions can help boost productivity. Where possible, offer your remote team the necessary resources for creating a dedicated workplace. By doing so, you will maintain and boost the productivity of such workers.
2. Equip Your Remote Team Accordingly
Succeeding with daily operations while remote is challenging without the right tools. Equipping your remote team with a proper remote tech stack cannot be overlooked.
Some of the tools that can help you maintain productivity in a remote work environment include;
- Video conferencing apps like Google Hangouts and Zoom
- Chat/messaging apps like Microsoft Teams and Slack
- Planning and Management tools like AchieveIt and Monday.com
Investing in the right tech and productivity tools for your remote team helps keep the team connected regardless of their physical location. Keeping people connected can help create a strong culture, boosting productivity.
3. Set Realistic Expectations
A remote work environment is unique. Effective management of your remote team can enhance productivity with the adoption of the right strategies. Set realistic expectations for your managers, employees, and teams. Your remote team should be able to achieve their goals, regardless of whether they operate in the office or remote.
Setting reasonable expectations for your remote workers will also help them maintain the right momentum, which is necessary for accomplishing daily responsibilities.
Create a list of priorities and share them with your team. Providing insight into expectations will ensure everyone is on the same page and committed to team goals. Leveraging SMART goals, or similar can help provide the right level of specificity to keep people productive. In particular, making goals achievable will enable quick wins to maintain the productivity of your remote team.
4. Consider Daily Check-Ins
In a remote work environment, daily face time with your employees and watercooler chats are rare or nonexistent. Adopt a daily check-in routine to replace these chats. By checking on your remote team regularly, you can foster connections and help prioritize. These regular check-ins can either be one-on-one or among small groups.
For example, establish a regular morning check-in phone call, instant message, or video chat. While it may feel different at first, a habit will soon be created, leading to a sense of normalcy. As a new habit, your remote team will not only anticipate the regular check-in but will leverage them to maintain productivity.
Balance various mediums and tools to manage the effectiveness of these check-ins. Leverage chat for quick check-ins. Use video conferencing for establishing team connectivity. Use quick phone calls to replace the “pop across the office” questions.
5. Offer Emotional and Steady Support
Your remote team needs necessary support to be productive, including emotional help. You can achieve that by setting the tone for your virtual office. Through a calm presence for your remote work environment, you can create a level-headed workplace helping to enable positive emotional health.
Encourage self-care among remote workers to keep people productive. While people make a habit to walk around an office, hours can go by with minimal movement while remote. Encourage mid-day breaks for exercising. Outside of exercise, leverage the 1:1 time to ensure burnout isn’t happening amongst your team.
6. Create Time for Team Building and Non-Work Interactions
With employees working miles apart, in-person connections are often limited. While there are many benefits to in-person interactions, one of the main ones is the non-work conversations and connections that occur.
Find ways to create time for remote workers to talk about hobbies, news, and other non-work topics. These small events will help increase bonds and relieve stress.
For example, allow a few minutes before and after video conferences to focus conversation specifically on non-work topics. Leverage these small opportunities with designated activities to focus on culture.
Team building and non-work interactions will help maintain productivity in a remote work environment.
Many businesses are thriving today as a result of adopting a remote work environment. The tips above can help maintain productivity while working remotely. While each may seem small, the combined output leads to the continued success of your organization.
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