In the post-pandemic world, working from home is the new reality for millions. One of the major challenges associated with this shift is how to boost productivity in remote teams. However, remote working can actually boost productivity by 77%. Let’s cover some of the key strategies you can adopt to boost productivity in your remote teams.
COVID-19 opened the floodgates for working from home
Working from home is where 86% of employees say they’re most productive. Perhaps this is because there’s no hub-bub of office noise, water cooler chit chat, or constant interruptions from colleagues who happen to be passing.
It may also be because overall we feel most comfortable at home, free of the constraints and stress associated with getting to and performing in an office environment.
Key pillars for boosting productivity in remote teams
Management style is crucial, especially when we know that 79% of employees quit their jobs due to lack of appreciation from leaders. It’s essential that managers align their leadership style with the new hybrid work reality to maximise productivity in remote teams.
1. Engagement drives higher productivity
Teams that are highly-engaged result in a 21% increase in business productivity. But how can you build engagement into your remote team?
Video conferencing is a great tool to facilitate daily check-in calls. Whether it’s Google Meet, Microsoft Teams or Zoom, face-to-face interaction is essential and will help remote employees feel part of the wider team.
Daily interaction will also help ward off feelings of isolation, which can be a real issue for some home-workers.
2. Collaboration improves job satisfaction
Collaboration with others is critical to creativity and building strong team relationships. It’s no wonder that 70% of workers said that collaboration with others increased their job satisfaction (WeWork, 2018).
Luckily, there’s no shortage of excellent collaboration tools these days. If you’re in the market for something new, check out this list of the top collaboration tools. Organising tasks, tracking progress, and getting everyone involved in the right projects can really help towards maintaining high levels of productivity.
3. Clear goals and deadlines will focus remote teams
When employees are clear about what’s expected of them, and are given the autonomy to deliver, then you have the foundations of a high-performing team.
Make sure all goals, objectives, and expectations are crystal clear and reasonable. Having these documented clearly means everyone has something to reference. Be sure to check-in with remote employees regularly to see how they’re getting on and monitor for signs of burnout.
4. Foster productivity with access to the right resources
Shared access to files is essential to ensure that remote teams stay connected and can deliver their work. However, businesses need to pay extra close attention to cyber security measures.
As well as network access, there are many excellent file sharing tools to help boost productivity such as Dropbox, Google Drive, and other cloud-storage tools.
5. Managers may not be visible but they must be accessible
An open-door policy is much harder to maintain when teams are working remotely. Employees in the office can see when others are away from their desk or in meetings all day. But remote employees don’t have that advantage.
It’s easy for remote employees to think they’re disturbing their manager when contacting them outside of meetings. So be sure that employees know they can contact their manager anytime, but they may not be able to respond immediately. Encouraging open discussions, feedback and questions are keys ways to give remote employees the information they need to do their work.
6. Build a culture of trust to support engagement
Research by the UK charity working families found that trust is essential for performance and productivity at work. How does this apply to remote teams?
- Approach decision-making inclusively. Decisions that everyone feels part of are more likely to be honoured and help your employees feel empowered. Video calls allow everyone to have a voice.
- Apply flexibility and empathy when it comes to personal requests. Working from home has its benefits, but it also comes with challenges too.
- Give your employees autonomy. Nothing screams ‘I don’t trust you’ louder than micro-managing. Trust your employees to manage their workload.
- Commit to transparency. Lead by example, and your team will most likely mirror your behaviour. Share updates with all of your team as soon as you can, and share recordings of meetings if team members can’t be there.
7. Workplace wellbeing helps avoid burnout
A scientific study from 2015 found that our environment has a direct impact on our wellbeing. While employees’ working environments aren’t under your control when they work from home, it’s vital to support and promote their wellbeing in other ways.
Having a dedicated workspace, ensuring employees take regular breaks, and using strategies to prevent employees from feeling isolated are all ways to help boost wellbeing among remote workers. It’s also essential to set boundaries and have structured work hours so that the distinction between work and home life remains clear.
8. Wellbeing-focused perks
Research shows that an impressive 60% of businesses say that offering health and wellbeing benefits boosts productivity among their teams. As early as 2019, one of the most valued perks was flexible working, but there are countless other perks you can add to your benefits package to encourage workplace wellbeing and maximise productivity.
Help alleviate financial stress that drains employee productivity
A whopping 94% of UK employees worry about money (Close Brothers’ Financial Wellbeing Index 2019).
Importantly, employers are now recognising that financial stress negatively affects productivity at work.
A financial wellbeing solution such as Openwage can greatly enhance your existing benefits package and can be quickly integrated into your workforce at no extra cost to you.
Openwage unlocks employee pay that they’ve earned but not yet been paid. It’s a way of giving employees more control over their finances and releasing them from the stress of rigid pay cycles. It’s not a loan and it’s free for employers.
If you’re interested in finding out more about our financial wellbeing platform, then get in touch today.
- Successful management strategies increase wellbeing and engagement, and build trust which are all critical to higher levels of productivity.
- Choosing the right technological tools for your team and your organisation will help your remote teams be more productive.
- Giving your remote employees autonomy allows them to manage their workload in a way that is conducive to their working style.
- Great perks and benefits packages are a key part of ensuring your remote employees feel valued and stay connected.