It’s a challenge to keep productivity high when teams have moved to a remote working environment. Here are a few tips to keep things moving.
There’s been a major shift toward remote work in every industry and sector, from education and finance to healthcare and retail. And many analysts predict the change will last long after the COVID-19 pandemic. This transition to a “new normal” is still ongoing, as many companies and managers devise programs to keep productivity high in this novel working environment.
How can managers maintain remote productivity? Try these tips:
- Use the right collaboration tools
- Focus on communication and connection
- Encourage the right work setting
- Engage employees in team-building exercises
- Use remote monitoring
Let’s dive into each of these strategies a little deeper:
Use the right collaboration tools
Without the right telecommuting tools, workers won’t be set up for success at home. Make sure they have everything they need to stay productive, including:
- A laptop and/or other connected devices
- A good computer monitor
- A headset
- Appropriate software and platforms access
- Cloud-based storage and collaboration solutions
- A good Wi-Fi router
The focus here should be providing employees with all the tools they need to do their job remotely. They must essentially have access to the same technologies they would have in the office—and this may require equipment purchases if at-home tools aren’t cutting it.
Focus on communication and connection
You may need to invest in new communication tools, so workers stay connected to you and each other. For example, remote teams can chat easily and instantly throughout the day with tools like Slack, Google Hangouts, or Microsoft Teams. Video conferencing tools like Zoom (or MS Teams) give workers the chance to communicate face-to-face in real-time, (somewhat) recreating the sense of onsite meetings.
It’s important to hold regular meetings and check-ins so that employees have something on their calendar every day. Checking in with them regularly will also show them support, and they can share any challenges they’re facing while working from home. Being able to connect with other people is often a big driver of productivity. And it combats loneliness, which is one side effect reported by many individuals who exclusively work remotely.
Encourage the right work setting
Shifting to a work-from-home setup is hard for many employees, especially if they have family obligations or live in close quarters with others. Give them tips on how to make the most of their home workspace. For example, they should have a dedicated work table and area secluded from others—not just placing a laptop on the kitchen table.
It's also essential for employees to keep regular work hours—and encourage them not to check email or to work outside of those hours. This can be a big challenge when work and home lives are closer than ever. But offsite employees still need to learn to separate the two.
Engage employees in team-building exercises
Part of maintaining productivity is keeping morale high. Think of new ways to engage your remote employees, like a virtual happy hour, team-building activity, friendly competition, or even a digital holiday party. Instead of only gathering online for work meetings, create a digital space for employees to connect socially.
These opportunities build employee satisfaction while also making them feel like they’re part of a team.
Use remote monitoring
When managing a remote team, it’s easy to let things slip through the cracks. Workers may become unproductive if they feel like no one's watching them and that what they do doesn't matter. This can quickly turn into a situation where the team's productivity suffers, and motivation becomes nonexistent.
Tools like Time Doctor, Tick, or HiveDesk can help you keep tabs on what employees are doing at home during working hours. While it’s important not to be too invasive, sometimes just letting them know that they could be monitored remotely is enough to keep them focused on work tasks.
Wireless network solutions
Virtual teams need fast, reliable Wi-Fi. If you and your workers have gone remote this year, you need new solutions to ensure that your network is always performing so productivity doesn’t dip.
7SIGNAL’s Wireless Network Monitoring platform helps you ensure that remote employees stay connected and don’t experience significant Wi-Fi issues. Your IT team can monitor performance and quality and address many problems before a user even notices.
7SIGNAL® is a leader in enterprise wireless experience monitoring. 7SIGNAL provides a cloud-based platform that continuously monitors wireless networks and identifies elusive performance issues impacting application performance and digital experience. By taking the “outside-in” approach to monitoring, 7SIGNAL has visibility into the edge of any enterprise or home Wi-Fi network where complex device interaction exists, and user experience matters most. The platform maximizes employee productivity, operational efficiency, and network ROI. Sapphire Eye® and Mobile Eye® are designed for and deployed at the world’s most innovative organizations, educational institutions, healthcare systems, and government agencies. Learn more at www.7signal.com.