5 Tips to Manage Remote Workers for Better Productivity
Great remote workers don’t require a large amount of oversight to get their job done well. Yet, the strong traits of self-motivation, accountability, and reliability that make so many remote employees successful can also have a detrimental effect.
Studies show that many remote workers struggle to unplug from work. They also seem to experience more loneliness, as well as a lack of collaboration and communication from coworkers and leadership in comparison to their in-office counterparts. Over time, these issues can cause a fall in productivity as morale and company loyalty falter.
In addition, many employees are having to work from home at length for the first time and are struggling to succeed. The downfalls of remote workers have always been procrastination and distraction, and many employees are facing both of these on an unprecedented level as they attempt to keep up their productivity from home.
It is imperative that managers support their remote work force with stronger leadership, and a larger investment in the happiness and satisfaction of their work-from-home employees during this time. The following tips provide ways that you, as a manager or owner, can combat common work-from-home issues in order to boost the productivity and overall contentment of your remote work force.
Implement Regular One-on-Ones
Face-to-face time with managers is invaluable for employees – even when that face-to-face time is really screen-to-screen time. Check in regularly with your remote workers to see how they’re doing, to receive feedback, and to impart ideas and direction to help them succeed.
Even a thirty-minute meeting once per month will boost their morale and make them feel seen, heard, and a true part of the team. In turn, they are more likely to work more diligently for you, as they feel like they matter to the company as an individual – not just for the work that they turn out.
Communicate Clear Rules of Engagement
Remote workers can fall into a trap of only communicating with coworkers and managers via email or text. The written word can only take you so far, however. 93% of communication is received through the voice or through body language, which means that emails and texts can be easily misunderstood.
Promote clear pathways for your team to help them to communicate more effectively. For example, let them know that any information that requires explanation beyond a couple sentences warrants a phone call. More in-depth discussions should happen via video conferencing. Also encourage your team to ask clarifying questions to reduce the amount of mistakes derived from miscommunication.
Encourage Company Culture and Camaraderie
Just because they are not in-office with you does not mean that they aren’t a valuable member of the team. Let your remote employees integrate with the company culture through regular off-work events such as Zoom happy hours, remote trivia events, or birthday celebrations.
Smaller methods can achieve great results as well. A Slack thread of gifs or funny videos can boost camaraderie among coworkers, and a weekly email roundup celebrating employee successes can promote a team-oriented culture.
The key is to keep your remote employees engaged in the company beyond the work that they do for you. When they feel good about being part of your team, they will invest more of their heart into their work, which leads to better daily productivity and greater overall results.
Invest in Better Technology
Many more employees are working remotely than we saw five months ago. Due to this increase, companies are learning that their IT infrastructure cannot reliably support remote workers on a long-term basis. Some applications and files are not accessible outside of the office, and remote workers are having trouble receiving proper IT support if something goes wrong.
Owners and managers are spending multiple hours per week troubleshooting technical issues instead of focusing on uplifting their employees, serving their customers, and growing their business. With so much hassle required simply to perform their daily tasks, remote workers are often in “just make it through the day” mode, even when much better options are available.
Consolidating your IT under one service provider ensures that both you and your remote work force will have a better daily work experience. Not only will there be fewer servers to login to throughout the day, but if any issues arise, the services provider’s 24/7 support is there to solve the problem quickly. This is a productivity solution that eliminates many of the daily frustrations that trigger a remote employee’s distraction and procrastination.
Help Them Create a Better Home Office
Long-term remote workers may already have their remote office all set up, but those who are working remotely for the first time – and who had to do so on short notice – may be struggling to find an appropriate place to work peacefully. Hectic, cluttered, or improper workspaces contribute to low productivity, yet many employees don’t have the extra capital to invest in a full office space for their home.
Help them out by providing them an allowance to buy a desk, a chair, and/or any other necessities they need to do their work well. Not only will this help them get their work done on a practical level, but the gesture from you as a manager or owner will develop a heartfelt appreciation in your remote employees. This gratitude will translate to a better work ethic that will improve your work-from-home employees’ overall productivity.
Create a Better Remote Work Experience with Infinitely Virtual
Infinitely Virtual’s consolidated IT solutions provide you with a single platform through which to conduct remote and in-office work. With easier file sharing, enhanced data protection, and a single number to call for all your IT support needs, Infinitely Virtual gives your remote work force the gift of a less stressful work day, which means more productivity and better results for your business. Call us today at 1.866.257.8455 to learn about how our tailored solutions can benefit your business.