The COVID-19 pandemic brought along a multitude of changes to our lives at large. The most notable one was the increased adoption of the work-from-home approach. The immense development in computer and internet technologies combined with the social distancing norm acted as an accelerator for the widespread implementation of the remote work culture. A Gartner report suggests that over 82 percent of the company management expects to allow remote work culture after the pandemic.
What do you mean by remote working?
Remote work represents a form of flexible work arrangement that allows employees to operate from a remote location outside the official premises of their employer. You can find varied types of remote working arrangements, such as permanent, temporary, or hybrid remote working, as well as part-time and full-time remote work.
There are, again, a wide array of aspects to oversee while executing a remote work approach. While working remotely has some great perks, many people face issues with time management and productivity. The major factor is that they do not have their client or boss physically administering them. A significant number of distractions, such as social media, can hinder the employee’s job. Thus, here we have a comprehensive guide for both employers and workers regarding how they can address their productivity problems when working remotely.
What are the best practices for maintaining productivity in a remote work culture?
Here is a list of some noted best practices that we have put together for employers and employees to promote a productivity-driven, positive culture of remote work.
- Equip your workforce adequately
Companies can only expect optimal productivity from their employees if they possess the right tools and equipment to carry out their work. You need to ensure that they have a workable device and internet connectivity along with all the necessary applications. Data security remains a major challenge for organizations in a remote working relationship that can also affect your team’s performance. As per an Alliance Virtual Offices report, the work-from-home aspect has intensified cyber attack frequency by 238 percent. Hence, employer entities must take proper measures to keep their cyber defenses intact. Use reliable anti-virus software and authentication rules, utilize secure communication tools and equip your employees with a quality VPN service.
- Prioritize timely and regular monitoring
You must keep track of your employees’ work progress to expect them to attain high productivity. Adopt methods like daily check-ins with your team members to keep a tab on any performance issues. When employees feel they are being supervised appropriately, they tend to stay focused and deliver dedicated efforts to their tasks.
- Offer both professional and emotional support.
In a remote work environment, there needs to be a physical connection between the different members of your workforce. At times, employees can feel secluded, which can impact their emotional and mental stability. You must offer appropriate support for such employees that can help you in building a level-headed work environment. Company management must emphasize self-care for their employees along with managing the work pressure to sustain long-term productivity.
- Maintain transparency
Organizations must sustain as much transparency as possible in communicating the job requirements and expectations to their workforce. For instance, there must be total clarity regarding the number of working hours, breaks, and leave available in a remote work situation. When employees know their task essentials without any ambiguities, they can deliver more productively.
- Streamline communication channels
Many employees often get frustrated with the multiple applications and mediums of communication they have to handle in a remote working situation. Several apps like Slack, Zoom, Skype, and different email accounts combined with phone calls and chats can create a confusing situation for employees. It is best to define only a select number of communication channels that are secure and work best for your operational needs.
- Define realistic targets
Employees can only improve their productivity if they have a predetermined set of goals to attain. In a remote working model, it becomes even more important to chalk out the diverse tasks that one is supposed to do and create time-bound targets to gain the right direction and invest in productive efforts.
- Overcome procrastination
Procrastination is the biggest enemy of productivity in any endeavor. As employees, you must take all measures to avoid prolonging your tasks and complete your commitments on time. Sticking to your predefined deadlines as much as possible is the best way to tackle procrastination.
- Keep distractive elements at bay.
In the present era of social media, there are countless distractions. Employees largely fall prey to the constant notifications from their social media handles and the urge to check their phones more often than not, particularly in a remote working scenario. Shut down useless notifications and switch off your devices to focus on your job needs.
- Instill harmony between your work and personal life
You cannot expect to improve your productivity when there is a lack of balance between your personal life and your professional commitments. Too much involvement in either of the two aspects will lower your productive output. In a remote working arrangement, you must learn to distinguish between your personal time and your work. It is ideal to designate a working space separately at your home where you can concentrate fully on your job. Give optimum time to socialize, spend time with your dear ones, and manage your work remotely.
- Utilize productivity tools
There exist a wide range of tools that specialize in managing remote work, such as DeskTime, Toggl, and RescueTime. These tools help monitor all the functions you perform on your screen and let you realize your actual productivity. You can use these tools to avoid indulging in unwanted activities while working and scale your efficiency levels.
- Bottom Line
Remote working is penetrating deeper and deeper into our routine work culture. Both employers and employees must prepare themselves to address the evolving requirements of the remote working approach. The tips presented above will help you maximize your productivity in the long run as you work remotely.