It’s amazing to see how many companies are embracing remote work. Enterprises are making their remote policies more flexible, while startups opt in for distributed teams from the beginning.
You’re already aware of the benefits of such work organization. However, there’s one thing many managers worry about, and that is employee productivity. Will your employees be able to stay as productive if they’re working from home? How can you help them increase productivity if you’re not physically there?
Well, there are at least 2 ways you can help your remote team become more productive. Let’s see what they are!
Employees like remote work because it gives them flexibility. It helps them organize and maintain their work-life balance in the most efficient way possible. By creating a break time schedule, as well as organizing in which order employees should perform their daily duties you’re taking away the flexibility of it. You might need to have fixed working hours, and that’s fine, but more often than not, creating other types of schedules is unnecessary.
Instead, you should let your employees determine when they want to take their lunch break, or in which order and how long they’ll work on different tasks throughout the day. Giving employees this kind of autonomy will make them happier, therefore more productive.
Overburdening your employees with tasks and projects won’t get you anywhere. They will just feel more stressed. Additionally, you shouldn’t create tight deadlines for no reason.
Reports show that remote workers are more productive than office employees, so you might be tempted to squeeze in more work for them when you see that there’s some breathing room. However, since nobody can be 100% productive at all times, this can cause burnout.
Sending messages to your remote workers every once in a while to check how they’re doing, how the projects are progressing, etc. is great. You should maintain regular communication to ensure they are feeling like a part of the team.
The checking in can quickly turn into micromanaging if you’re not careful. There’s no need to message them every hour asking what they’re working on, when it will be done, and so on. By doing this, you’re actually distracting them from what they’re really working on, and stats show that it can take up to 23 minutes for them to go back to the task after interruption.
Use employee time tracking software to assign tasks and projects to your employees, but also to track everyone’s progress. Besides tracking time on projects and tasks, you can use the software as a clock-in tool, which will help you pay your employees fairly for the time they’ve spent working (including overtime).
Such software can help you in many other ways, especially when it comes to productivity issues and project outputs. However, it won’t do wonders on its own. You should use the data the software collects to give regular feedback to your employees. Whether the feedback is positive or negative, you should schedule a meeting with your remote workers and discuss their progress.
When employees know they’re doing a good job, they’ll keep doing it and they’ll feel motivated to improve even more. On the other hand, when they’re aware of their shortcomings, they’ll be able to work on them. In return, when employees feel like their performance matters – they’re more likely to be motivated and engaged, therefore being more productive.
It definitely is harder motivating your remote team than your in-office employees, but you have to be persistent and do everything in your power that can help them. Have regular discussions about productivity, share tips and tricks, and above everything else – allow your employees to come to you when they don’t feel like they’ve been contributing enough.