Boosting Productivity of Your Remote
Workers

Working remotely is a great work setup one could choose to have. You save time as you cut back on commute time and you would no longer be stuck in any traffic jams! However, it’s another story if you are managing a team of remote workers…

BOOSTING PRODUCTIVITY OF YOUR REMOTE WORKERS

     Nunzio Presta
     Senior Sales and Marketing Executive

 

As an employee, working remotely is a great work setup one could choose to have. You save time as you would be cutting back on your commute time and you would no longer get stuck in traffic jams! You could simply get out of bed, grab a cup of joe, and clock in.

However, it’s another story if you are managing a team of remote workers. Work-from-home setup can be quite challenging for managers and business owners if they are not equipped with the right tools and knowledge.

Not having your team in the same space can cause problems with communication and teamwork, and can greatly test the trust between employees and managers. These things could even cause a downfall in your team’s productivity, which, of course, you don’t want to happen.

To alleviate issues and help boost your worker’s performance, you and your employees should set expectations on how the setup should work.

AVAILABILITY

Most remote workers have the freedom on when they would like to start their day. However, this could be a double-edged sword. It would be ideal to set a specific time when the whole team should be online and working. Setting a specific “huddle” time will help you manage your team and promote collaboration.

It is also important to discuss if the team should be tracking their work time and logging it in a document like Excel sheets or by using a time tracker software like TimeProof or Time Doctor. It is also a must to discuss the importance of time tracking with your employee to not show indifference, but also to make sure they do not feel like they are being micromanaged.

There should also be a preferred way of communication that everyone can follow to discuss matters with the HR Department or the manager. This will put the remote employees at ease, knowing that they can reach out to someone if any problem arises or even if they simply just want to request time off for vacation or a leave of absence.

PRODUCTIVITY AND METRICS

Some research says that remote employees are more likely to be productive than workers in a traditional office work setup. Even so, as a manager, you should still help with keeping things as organized and productive as they can be.

Setting up goals and metrics that are clear and achievable is crucial. This is what’s going to set the expectations between you and your employees. Deadlines should always be realistic and agreed upon mutually by you and your team. Having a deadline also helps create a timeline for your team so they can manage their work time efficiently.

Your employees should also have visibility on the status of the metrics that you all agreed to have. This way, they will be aware if they are falling behind a particular goal.

SPECIFIC JOB REQUIREMENTS

Depending on your project or client, some will have specific job requirements that should be covered as stated in the contract. Some may call for particular skills, devices, applications, or even workplace.

Before your employee starts working remotely, their requirements should be discussed beforehand and you should provide them with a specific device if needed. An example of this is the minimum speed of their internet connection at their chosen workplace, whether they will be working at home, in a coffee shop, or in a co-working space.

Some clients have tight security and privacy policies, so you might need to mandate every employee to make any work-related calls or emails in a private space to prevent any leakage of confidential information.

COMMUNICATION WITH THE TEAM

Working in different places is already a challenge when managing a team of remote workers. That is why having clear and efficient communication between you and your employees is very important for this setup.

You should all have an agreed platform to use when communication updates, feedback, or if they need to inform you about urgent situations that just came up. Scheduling when reports should be submitted or how often they should be sending them to you is helpful as well, so everyone can prioritize their tasks accordingly.

You should also make sure that every change or important announcement is sent to everyone to avoid any miscommunication within the team. Regular meetings should be scheduled ahead of time, most especially if your workers have flexible work schedules or have different timezones. This is to ensure that everyone would be present and would be able to participate in the discussion.

    COLLABORATION (CORPORATE CONNECTION AND CAREER GROWTH)

    Making your employees feel connected and valued by your company is something that most managers tend to forget when managing remote workers. Someone who works remotely could feel isolated quickly, so this is a way to help them out in such situations and boost their productivity and teamwork.

    They should know beforehand if they will be collaborating with employees from different departments or teams. This is also the right way for them to set up connections with other people in the company. The more people that they collaborate with, the more new skills and knowledge they could learn at the end of the day.

    As a manager, you should also ask your employees what their career goals are and discuss how they can achieve them. This way, you know what you can offer them to guide them to their chosen path.

    You should also hold some after-work activities for your remote employees that serve as a bonding time for everyone on the team to get to know each other better. These activities can promote teamwork, but the activities should be fun to let your employees enjoy them and feel relaxed after working hard to finish their tasks.

    CONCLUSION

    Working remotely can seem to be an ideal work setup for everyone but as a manager, always keep in mind that it has its pros and cons. Your employees do have their struggles that could be different compared to employees working in a physical office.

    With that said, knowing what their struggles are is the first step in solving those problems. This can lead you to gain the right knowledge so you can manage your team efficiently and effectively.

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