How to increase productivity with remote employees
Posted: Feb 23, 2021
Ever since the COVID-19 (coronavirus pandemic) began, it’s making a huge impact on our daily lives. Amid global country-wide lockdowns and social distancing, many companies have made a sudden shift to working from home to help reduce the coronavirus transmission. Yet many companies were not fully prepared for this transition. In tough times like these, it’s important to not only have the right tech and collaboration tools but also to have a plan for keeping your staff motivated and focused on their jobs.
So, how do you keep your employees engaged as you navigate the Coronavirus outbreak? How do you keep your operations running smoothly?
Here are easy ways to increase productivity with remote employees:
1. Communicate consistently with each employees
As the coronavirus outbreak evolves, share as much information and updates with your team as possible. Communicate regularly with your remote employees. Have various ways to reach them via emails, chats, and remote meetings. Prepare coronavirus task forces and groups on team messaging. Also, create tutorials or guides on working from home, dealing with isolation and other relevant topics. This will show your empathy and keep your staff engaged. And will make it easier for them to cope with the current situation.
2. Meeting with each report
Managers at Mme anchor their relationships with their team around weekly 1:1 meetings. This is the helpful way of face-to-face communication you should have with your remote employee with reports. Set up a recurring half hour meeting on your calendars, and reserve 1 hour per month for longer discussion if necessary—it’s OK if you don’t need all the time, but you should never rush these important face-to-face video calls.
And yes, you should encourage the use of video during these meetings. They are your most valuable time to build your relationship and check in on everything from work-in-progress to personal and emotional issues.
3. Collaborate with video conferencing
Use video conferencing tools such as Zoom, Skype for all remote meetings. Encourage your employees to connect through live video conferences and webinars to get that much needed social interaction. Such face-to-face interactions will help build relationships across your company. You’ll also be able to see who’s engaged, who has questions, and who’s checked out. It will also be easier for you to schedule remote team meetings regularly.
4. Avoid micromanagement
Trust your remote employees and give them the freedom to make decisions. Don’t check in constantly to see if they’re doing their tasks as they work from home. Give them directions, answer their questions and allow them to do their jobs autonomously. Also, develop a high trust culture by letting your staff know that you trust them. Doing this will keep them engaged and will help your company get through the current coronavirus crisis.
5. Weekly team meeting
It’s equally important to build in regular face time as a whole team as it is to create those 1:1 moments. You’ll find that the frequency of meetings needed will ebb and flow. In times of crisis, your remote team might be craving more frequent interaction, while they might prefer fewer meetings when deadlines loom or work is flowing well. Since flexibility is one of the best parts of remote work, don’t be afraid to change up the cadence to suit your team’s preferences.
6. Follow actual office working hours
Even though technology has made easier to access and send emails. Avoid creating an always-on working from home environment. Since not everyone will find catching up on emails convenient after office hours. So, make sure to let your employees know the expected response times for mails or delay sending them until the next day. Also, ensure to schedule remote meetings only within the office hours.
7. Maintain regular contact
Communication is a big part of any relation to grow and prosper in the right way. And in this remote work situation, it is even more necessary to help lower the chances of misunderstandings. For better communication, use an "instant chat" so that all the team can quickly communicate with each other.
Regularly maintain a cordial contact with all your employees and ensure that they are clear on exactly what is expected of them. Also, ensure that you and your employees immediately respond to work-related emails and other messages during working hours.
To avoid costly mistakes in case of emergencies, ensure you all have each other’s personal phone numbers as well to quickly respond while working from home.
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