How to Keep Productivity High in a Remote Working Environment
When COVID first hit, many businesses were forced to close their doors. The only means of keeping the workplace going was through virtual platforms and those lucky enough to be able to take advantage of these platforms were at a distinct advantage.
Now that businesses are reopening, employers are still being advised to keep as many workers home and working virtually as possible. After all, the less people in the workplace, the better it will be for minimizing the spread.
Besides keeping COVID under control, working virtually, or telecommuting, has its share of advantages. It allows workers to create flexible schedules that make them happy. It also cuts down on commuting expenses.
Employers benefit from being able to pick from a worldwide pool of people. They also don’t need as much office space to house employees, which can save them on overhead expenses.
However, working remotely also has its share of disadvantages. Without face to face communication, workers can begin to feel less connected and less motivated. Waiting for answers via virtual platforms can also decrease productivity.
So,what can be done to promote productivity in a remote working environment? Read on to find out.
It Starts with the Right Tools
There are certain tools that can be used to support productivity in a remote working situation. Platforms like Asana, Microsoft Teams and Slack are recommended for keeping teams organized and on the same page.
Solutions should also be made available to provide plenty of communication options. Chat and messaging can be done through platforms like Microsoft Teams. Google Hangouts and Zoom can be used for video conferencing to provide workers with the face to face time they need.
According to Lifesize.com, “Face to face communication allows for a better exchange of information since both the speaker and listener are better able to see and interpret body language and facial expressions.”
Set Up Daily Check-Ins
Because face to face contact is so important, it is essential to set up daily check-ins. These can occur in the morning: they can help everyone recap at the end of the day or they can be done at the start and end of the day. They can be conducted one on one or in small group meetings.
Check-ins will not only provide some in-person time for employees: it will keep everyone on a schedule, so they are more likely to be productive throughout the day.
Encourage Workers to Get a Dedicated Workplace
As COVID rages on, it’s not only your workers who are staying home, their spouses and children are staying home as well. This means it will be easy for them to get distracted throughout their day.
That’s why it’s important for employees to create a dedicated workplace in their homes. Setting up shop in a den or attic will give them space to focus and be productive without unwanted interruptions.
Some employers are even providing budgets so their employees can create a dedicated workspace that suits their needs. According to CNBC, “Shopify is providing its employees with a $1000 stipend to buy office supplies and help ease the transition of working remote amid the coronavirus outbreak”.
Provide Emotional and Professional Support
It is important for employers to remember that the isolation of working at home can lead to depression. To counter feelings of isolation, employers should do their best to remain upbeat during meetings and phone calls.
Additionally, employers should try to be available for employees during work hours. They should set up hours when employees can check in to ask any questions they may have. They should also have plenty of tools on hand that make for efficient communication and these devices should be checked throughout the day.
Stress Self Care
With many of us staying at home, it’s easy to lapse on self-care. We may be skipping showers, forgoing exercise, and even spending the day in our pajamas.
While this might sound like a dream come true to some, in time, it can add to depression. The International OCD Foundation published an article about the importance of self-care during COVID stating, “Exercise, good nutrition and quality sleep are all helpful things for both your mental and physical health.”
Therefore, it is important to make sure your employees are taking care of themselves. Stress the importance of getting a good night sleep and eating right.
Encourage them to show up for work dressed in clothes that are appropriate. This will make them feel better about themselves and it will also establish a stronger sense of a routine.
Let Remote Workers Know About Compliance in the Office
While some offices can work strictly on a remote basis, others will have a mix of workers that are telecommuting and those that are coming into the office. It is worthwhile to make your remote employees aware of the steps you are taking to keep your in-house workers protected. This will let them know you are someone who cares about the people that work for you and it will also keep them updated on the policies in place should they need to come into the workplace for any reason.
One great way to do this is by investing in technological solutions that keep your workplace safer and keep everyone on the same page when it comes to compliance.
Apps can be used to make everyone aware of the COVID related rules and regulations in the workplace and update them when new regulations have been put in place.
What’s more, these apps can be used to customize the employee screening and reporting process to suit an employer’s needs. They can track employee proximity and send notifications when breaches have been made. Employers can use the data collected to make informed decisions about regulations moving forward while the mobile based platform provides seamless integration.
As the pandemic continues to rage on, we are fortunate to have the technology that facilitates remote working. However, a lack of face to face contact, distractions and isolation can result in reduced productivity. By following the tips in this article, you will be able to boost morale and keep productivity high, so your company continues to flourish during these difficult times.
People1 Care is a digital solution that helps organizations manage their return-to-work processes seamlessly while ensuring employee safety and compliance to the federal guidelines.