With the sudden shift of remote work following the coronavirus outbreak, for many employees, getting into the rhythm of home-working can be challenging. Productivity can be stunted by a variety of factors; parental responsibilities, crowded workspace, technology issues, and mental health issues.
As an employer, it is important to tackle these issues of low productivity through a lens of understanding, not one of discipline. This is a challenging time for many, and optimising the remote work setting is partly the responsibility of management. Therefore, Orbital has compiled some of the best ways to create a more productive remote workforce.
Set Achievable Targets
Setting targets for staff is crucial in obtaining consistent productivity. This tip is beneficial for both staff and management. Targets ensure consistent workflow, improving the running of the remote team. It also provides remote employees with structure and deadlines to work towards. Dumping masses of work on staff to just “get done,” is unproductive in the physical office setting, but even more so remotely. So, create achievable and consistent deadlines for staff to work towards, to keep the office productivity consistent, while acknowledging individual circumstances and limitations that may impact these deadlines.
Assign Clear Responsibilities
Clear and fair task delegation is crucial for a productive workforce. Providing clear responsibility of who needs to do what will ensure things get done. If it’s not someone’s job, it’s no one’s job, and this is especially true for remote work. Clear work allocation also ensures that following up on late deadlines is easier.
Build Trust and Relationships
Building trust and strong relationships with your employees will increase work productivity. If staff feel they can come to you with problems or questions, they can resolve issues quicker, and also lower stress levels.
In addition, a happy workplace is a productive workplace. Staff who feel isolated, have little trust for management, and don’t feel valued will struggle to improve productivity, as they receive no positive reinforcement for their contributions.
Give Them Tools To Document
Supplying staff with efficient and high quality online tools to document their procedures and progress is a surefire route to heightened productivity. Online project management tools such as Trello, Basecamp and Asana, will help team members stay on track with work, and log the tasks they have completed. Wikis such as Slite and Confluence are also helpful for this task.
Google Drive and Dropbox, as long as they are well-organised, also serve to be useful tools for team documentation and collaboration.
Encourage Social Interactions, But Don’t Force Them
Informal, personal social interaction can be a big part of a healthy working environment. As management, it is important for you to construct a way in which this can be available for staff.
One way to do this is to allocate time at the beginning of work calls for “updates” – discussing how everyone’s weekends were, or just how everyone is getting on. Alternatively, throwing virtual social events can also be a great way to ensure social interaction, however, this is dependent on your particular workplace dynamic.
Orbital can also assist in this form of workplace interaction. Our audio-first online platform allows for the casual work conversations to continue. With the freedom to move away from chats and mute yourself, the platform is accessible for all levels of social interaction. You can even have break-away conversations for one-on-one chats or group meetings.
This one sounds a little odd, but hear us out. Over-communicating doesn’t mean ringing up your staff on Sunday evening to see how they are getting on with their projects. What it means is ensuring a constant flow of communication to staff, which allows them to be more open about progress, work-related issues, and personal issues. The more open you are, the safer they will feel, and the more open they will be in return.
online as much as possible for contact (within reason), and be transparent and open when you won’t be online, as to leave your employees with time to communicate any issues to you.
In addition, be real. Try to be somewhat informal, which allows for staff to feel comfortable in discussing any issues with work or their work setting.
Get Anonymous Feedback
This is true for remote work and in office work. Allowing staff to give anonymous feedback for management techniques, office schedules, workload and more, ensures that staff have freedom to be open. The result will be happier staff, and thus more productive staff.
Orbital’s audio-first, open-channel communication platform is perfect for ensuring high productivity. The audio-only platform mirrors the physical office life, without the invasiveness of having to use a webcam.
Orbital allows you to sit anywhere in the online Galaxy, either amongst your work peers for chat and background noise, or further away for silent work. You can also create unlimited breakout areas, where you can have one-to-one meetings and group discussions.
Orbital takes away the pressure and formality of group meetings that are often attached to video meetings. Your team can sit in Orbital all day, and this generates ease of asking questions, and creating natural social interactions.
Check out Orbital today and start your free trial.