As of 2022, around 16% of companies worldwide are remote and around 56% of companies have some remote teams. Those numbers will keep growing because remote work offers so many benefits to employers and employees.
But the transition to remote work offers stumbling blocks too. You need different skills when managing remote teams instead of an in-person office. Your “foolproof” techniques to increase productivity may not transfer to a remote web workplace setup.
Don’t worry, because there are lots of other things you can do to boost productivity in your remote teams. Follow these tips to help your employees stay productive while working remotely.
1. Use the Same Online Platforms
Remote working is synonymous with online working. You need to use online tools to communicate and collaborate with colleagues. But if two people are storing documents on different cloud software, that isn’t productive.
Your entire company needs to use the same tools to streamline and automate your workflow. This will lessen the chances of technical or human errors, will make training employees easier, and reduce delays.
Create your own remote work toolkit so that everyone knows what to use for different purposes. This toolkit should include:
- File management system
- Project management tool
- Human resources software
- Email and messaging software
Consider making how-to documents and videos that your remote teams can access at all times so they know how to use and fix problems on the platforms. Nothing can replace an in-house IT team but the more errors they can fix themselves, the quicker they can get back to work.
2. Consider Flexible Working Hours
Why work from home when you can work from an office? Well, remote work allows employees more flexibility. Not everyone likes commuting, eating lunch at their desk, and is the most productive during the nine-to-five hours.
If you run a customer service business then it makes sense to schedule your employees’ working hours. But if you run a content creation remote business, it might be better for your employees to work during the hours they are most productive. Their work will improve and they will have a better work-life balance which means happier and more productive employees.
You could use a remote work solution that will allow your employees to “clock in and out” so you can still track how many hours they work.
3. Limit the Number of Virtual Meetings
Meetings are an essential part of office culture because they can be productive and collaborative ways of working. But they don’t translate well to a remote working environment. Too many virtual meetings with large numbers of attendees can be draining and they often achieve nothing.
Limit virtual meetings to small remote teams and one whole company meeting per week at most. Encourage meetings for collaborations only and not simple exchanges of information. In those instances, your employees can send pre-recorded video presentations or emails.
4. Don’t Forget Performance Assessments
Performance assessments help you check the progress of your remote teams. They also identify the strengths and weaknesses of your employees so you can offer help, encouragement, and training.
In most companies, these performance assessments only occur once every six to 12 months. But in a remote business, you should schedule frequent performance assessments. If every month isn’t realistic then every three months is good enough.
These one-on-one sessions will stop you from micromanaging your employees. But they will still keep you in the loop so you can identify potential problems and increase productivity. It will also give you more opportunities to give praise to your employees and develop a better working relationship.
5. Invest in Your Employees
Speaking of training, you need to invest in your employees if you want them to be productive and work smarter. Give them access to online courses on platforms like Udemy or Lynda so they can learn both hard and soft skills.
Out-of-date software and clunky computers will lessen their productivity too. So, make sure all your employees have all the equipment they need to do their job better and quicker.
6. Respect and Incentivize
One of the main reasons why some employers don’t think their remote teams are productive is because they have a warped view of what productivity is. They think employees that are available for calls and emails at all hours of the day are signs of a good worker. These employers think that workers who are less available are not working hard enough.
But why should your employees care about your company if you don’t care about their wellbeing?
Encourage fewer hours of focused, dedicated work rather than a whole day of half-hearted work. You can do this by setting an example and only responding to emails and calls outside of your working hours in an emergency.
You should also be respectful and empathetic to your employees if they are going through hardships. Remember their birthdays, the names of their children, and other important details in their life.
How will these practices of respect help your remote teams be more productive? Well, employees care more about their company when they know their company cares about them. They are more likely to take sick days and “knock-off” work early if they don’t feel like they matter.
You should also realize that almost everybody chooses to work because they need money no matter how much they love their job. If you ask your employees to work lots of overtime without extra pay, they will only put in their best effort for so long. Incentivize your employees and you will soon see an increase in your productivity.
Productive Remote Teams Need the Right Encouragement
These tips will help you find new ways to manage remote teams and improve productivity. They will ensure your remote business will even outperform an in-person environment.
But it can still be difficult to pinpoint exactly where the gaps in productivity are when you have remote workers. That’s where Remote Work Made Simple can help. We will identify your productivity issues and find solutions to fix these problems so your remote workplace can thrive.
Check out our project plans so you can choose the best option for your remote business.