There is still some debate around the issue of remote working. On one side of the argument, employers worry that remote workers will be more inclined to ‘slack off’ when not in the office environment. On the other, employers recognize the value of empowering their staff with freedom and flexibility and the positive impact on motivation and engagement. Many companies also report fewer sick days and higher employee retention rates. If you are considering enabling your employees to work remotely but are undecided, this guide outlines some helpful tips on how to maximize the productivity of a remote workforce.
Store and share documents on the cloud
To work, your employees need to have access to all the documents and data they would have in the office environment. It is also important that everyone in the team is working from the same version of a document. This is why you should be using a secure cloud-based storage system that ensures everyone has access to the latest version of a file at all times.
Provide a collaboration platform
It can be difficult to work with others and to manage a project when working remotely. It is also difficult for employees to feel part of a team if they do not have an easy way to communicate and socialize with others. This is why you should be investing in a workforce management system like CoAmplifi, which enables the team to send instant messages, discuss ideas, update projects, and track progress in real-time.
Focus on results, not timetables
Of course, you want all your team members to attend the same meetings and to be contactable during office hours, but it may not always be realistic for them to stick to the same office hours. If your staff meet their deadlines and hit or exceed their targets, does it matter if they find they work better at 2am?
Fund home office equipment
The most productive remote workers are those who have a designated workspace that has all the technology they need as well as an ergonomic chair and suitable desk. They will also need a reliable high-speed internet connection. Some employees may not have access to these things, but it is in your interest as their employer to ensure they have what they need to be productive. Consider offering a stipend to remote employees that enables them to purchase work from home equipment.
Hold virtual meetings and catch-ups
In addition to staying connected about the work, remote employees are more engaged when they feel that they are a valued member of a team. Loneliness and feeling forgotten can quickly turn into a lack of motivation, so be sure to make use of video calling software to stay in touch. Schedule in some regular team meetings as well as one-to-ones to give them the chance to voice any concerns.
Set clear and SMART objectives
We all need a sense of purpose and direction to keep us motivated, so your remote employees must have objectives to work towards. Remote workers can sometimes lose sight of how their role fits into the wider company, which can lead to a feeling of low-worth. Keep setting goals and SMART objectives that directly benefit the organization and recognize achievements and development.