Remote working offers a lot more flexibility for employers and workers — you can hire staff from anywhere and your team can work hours that suit them.
But at the same time, it can be challenging to make remote workers feel like part of a team and engaged with the business. It’s harder to monitor your staff’s motivation and wellbeing and there are other distractions that might impact their work.
We take a look at some of the ways you can support and engage remote workers to increase productivity.
Improve their home office setup
Having a productive home office set up is key for remote workers. While some of your team might have the perfect place to work, others might have put together a more temporary arrangement that impacts their productivity long term.
Treat your remote workers the same as you would if they were coming into the office — assess their setup, and ensure that it’s highly optimized and functional. They need to be comfortable and able to work without distractions or technical issues. Send them all the equipment and supplies they need to do their work well, including:
- An adjustable desk chair and even a desk if they’re struggling for a workspace
- Extra computer equipment like a second screen, wireless keyboard and mouse, and noise-canceling headphones
- A lamp as proper lighting is going to make them more focused and alert so
- Extras they might need like notepads, pens, a printer, hard drives, or other stationery.
These little things can make a huge difference to productivity — you can find some of the best options for home office setups in this article. With all the right equipment it’ll feel more like a workplace, your staff will feel valued, and it’ll support them in doing their job.
Keep your team coordinated
Ensure everyone understands exactly what they’re supposed to be doing to avoid any confusion or wasted time. Put in place a clear process for assigning out workloads and monitoring their progress.
Many remote teams will use a task management app to help keep everyone on the same page. There are a lot of different options, but the best task management apps will allow you to assign tasks to staff, with deadlines and all the details they need to complete them. These tasks are then organized into a prioritized to-do list so your remote staff knows exactly what to do and when.
This round-up of task management apps highlights some good options — the best one for your business will depend on how your team works and the specific features you might require. Using a tool to coordinate your remote team’s project and workload is going to give you better visibility and help them to be more productive.
Regular training sessions
Training is something that’s often neglected in remote teams — it’s easy to just let workers get on with their job.
Introducing regular training sessions will ensure that your team is up to date with the latest developments and best practices in your industry, which helps them to do their job better. It might also be a good idea to sign your team up for an online learning platform where they can take a range of courses and choose ones that they’re interested in. This article lists some of the best online learning platforms that you can give your team access to.
Training also will make them feel more engaged and motivated with their work, it can provide new opportunities and make your team feel like they’re moving forward, which can boost productivity.
Support your team’s wellbeing
Working remotely can be lonely and stressful, and it’s often harder to see when staff are struggling. Put in place some measures to support their wellbeing and they’ll feel more positive and motivated.
Establish a clear boundary between working hours and personal time. Try to keep an eye on the hours that remote workers are doing and talk to them if they’re regularly putting in a lot of extra time — it might be that they’ve got too much work, or they require some additional training to work more efficiently. You should also encourage them to take regular breaks and to use their holiday allowance so that they have a chance to recharge.
Arrange one-to-one meetings at least once a month so that you can check in with them and see how they’re doing. And try to schedule some informal, non-work-related video calls so that remote workers can catch up with each other.
While remote working is a good opportunity for businesses and staff, it’s important to focus on supporting remote workers and keeping them engaged and motivated with their jobs to maintain and improve productivity levels.
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