In the wake of the current scenario worldwide, several organizations have changed their working dynamics and have shifted to remote work.
Thanks to the COVID-19 spread, what started as an experiment has now transformed into a full-fledged way of working for various companies.
High-functioning virtual teams have proved that if one works in the right way and with the right resources in place, it doesn’t matter if you’re physically present with your coworkers or not.
Various organizations will probably shift to remote work permanently, and coming to the office shall become a thing of the past.
As per recent research, 77% of the telecommuters believed they were more productive when not in the office, and over 99% wanted to continue working remotely in the future.
Fancy office spaces have become a relic of the past. With everyone concerned about their health and so many perks of remote work, employees have the time of their lives.
But remote working can also be detrimental to one’s performance if you do not follow a routine and schedule your work. Employees lose track of time while working from home, and communication can also become a significant issue.
As a leader, to maintain remote work productivity, you must keep your team’s performance in check and employ various persuasive techniques to generate desired results while ensuring employee satisfaction.
To have a productive and dynamic workforce, you must keep altering your ways of working as the requirements change.
Remote work productivity tips
In an attempt to help remote workers give their best to their organization and team leaders to keep their team in check, here are ten secrets for remote work productivity that are indispensable:
1. Communication is key
Communication is of vital importance, especially when working in remote teams. Without proper connectivity, work can go haywire and your team’s efficiency can be affected. Communication and collaboration tools enable teams sitting at different corners of the world to communicate with each other.
Teams must work in complete cohesion and communicate through an amalgamation of new and old collaboration techniques. From group video conferences to virtually celebrating events like Diwali and Halloween, communication while has come a long way. But there is always room for improvement.
While remote work has been a top choice among various employees, a recent survey shows that over 20% of remote employees identify communication as an obstacle while working from home. It is therefore crucial that you stress on streamlining your communication while you work remotely.
2. Use collaboration tools
The easiest and most accessible way of enhancing remote work productivity is by introducing your team to collaboration tools. Irrespective of the size of an organization or team, multi-management tools positively impact performance, enhance productivity, and foster better communication.
Project management software can become indispensable for teamwork, especially for remote working teams. Such tools have all the features that remote teams require to stay in ultimate control of their work.
From custom workflows to the group and one on one chats, and from Gantt charts to task lists, collaboration software is the best way to amp up remote work productivity.
If you look at the statistics, organizations that have managed to sail smoothly through the pandemic have all credited using these tools to their success.
3. Set achievable goals
Working remotely can leave one feeling alienated and distracted. It is for the same reason that it is quintessential to set achievable goals while moving forward. As a leader, you must never let your team members feel disillusioned or disoriented for it can shake your entire team’s momentum.
Setting challenging yet achievable goals gives your team something to look up to and give their best. This way a team stays motivated and moves forward with certainty, not to forget that these goals are great for the overall productivity of a team and individuals.
Moreover, these goals serve as a source of motivation, engagement, and encouragement for teams and help them perform better at work.
4. Virtual hangouts
Technology and virtual meetings have made remote connectivity accessible and easy. Applications like Zoom, Google Meet, Slack, Microsoft Teams, and many more tools have made communication among remote teams efficient and have helped yield better results.
As per a report published by Gigaom, over 87% of remote workers feel more connected over video conference calls. This is why communication between teams is quintessential, especially when working from home.
Managers and team leaders must ensure that they organize virtual sessions where individuals can bond over stuff other than work and connect personally. Virtual team-building exercises are a great way to break the ice and help break everyday office life’s monotony. This also helps build trust and accountability between the employees and the employer, and the former feel valued.
Several organizations organize virtual celebrations for birthdays, project success, and more to make employees feel involved and entertained. These activities are a great way for teams to build a rapport, which ultimately reflects in their coordination and performance.
5. Avoid distractions
Although statistics show that employees are less distracted when working from home than in the office, working remotely comes with a set of distractions, such as family and personal life.
When working from a remote location, one must make sure they eliminate any sort of distractions and create a great environment to work in.
Anything that helps you concentrate better or be productive such as music, isolation, using a management tool, taking regular breaks, using a calendar, must be put into practice when working remotely. Find a quaint, peaceful corner at home where the connectivity is excellent, distractions are few, and you feel comfortable.
Also, along with limiting distractions for yourself, you must make sure you in no way hamper your teammates’ workflow. You must in no way act as a distraction for your team members and must be cautious of this at all times, especially during video and audio calls.
6. Allocate your time effectively
Time management can become a major issue when working from home, and once you lose track of time, it all goes downhill.
The greatest advantage of remote working is that you’re in charge of your schedule. But this boon can transform into a bane if you fail to manage your time effectively.
Time tracking tools are a great way to manage time and stay on top of deadlines. Research shows that an organization can augment profits by 30% if they use time management tools and almost 81% of professionals believe that team management software improves productivity and performance.
Time management tools also help individuals identify bottlenecks and time drain, which allows them to work on their pain points. There are no distinct boundaries between work and leisure when it comes to remote work. If you’re unable to manage your time adeptly, it can take a toll on your performance.
7. Work at your most productive hours
The best part is that when you work remotely, you get a chance to draft your schedule at your convenience.
Everyone experiences bouts of productivity and specific moments when their brain just does not function properly. No one can be at their optimal productivity the entire time. Hence, you must identify yours at your highest yielding hours.
Flexibility is one of the biggest upsides to remote work. But that does not in any way mean that you should misuse this opportunity.
It is possible that your team members work out of locations in different time zones, and you might have to work at odd hours. For this reason, you have to design your working routine accordingly without compromising your performance.
This is exactly why you must work effectively at your peak productivity and improve your performance without slogging the entire time.
8. Check-in with your team
If we look at the numbers, they clearly suggest that working remotely has positively impacted employee mental health.
Statistics show that almost 82% of remote workers expressed reduced stress levels ever since they stopped working out of an office. However, that does not mean that you have no responsibility towards your team as a team leader. Rather it would be best if you keep checking in with your team every now then.
If we look at the other side of the coin, studies also show that over 19% of remote workers experience loneliness, and you’d never want that to happen to anyone from your team. You can’t expect a gloomy and lonely employee to be able to deliver his or her best at work.
That is exactly why you must be a proactive leader and pay attention to your colleagues’ mental health.
Talk to them often about things that are beyond work. Let them know that everyone is in this together, and you are there to support them whenever needed.
9. Establish a work-life balance
Another major issue employees face with remote work is a disruption in their work-life balance. With no definite hours of work, many professionals are seen working till 2 in the night, which interferes with their personal life.
Although flexibility is a positive aspect, in many cases, the work-life balance goes haywire which consequently takes a toll on their mental health. To be productive, individuals must give their work and personal life equal weightage.
Except in cases where it is urgent, you must not do official work outside of the designated office hours. As a boss, you must value your employees’ privacy and give them space to rejuvenate their minds before they start working the next day.
Working for extra hours often leads to stress and burnout affecting your physical as well as mental health. Consequently, it would be in your best interests to strike a work-life balance.
Spend some quality time with your friends and family members you are saving by not commuting daily to your workspace.
10. Be creative
Office work can be monotonous and boring at times, and you can get overwhelmed by it, but that does not mean that you give up on your creative energies. When at work, you must let your creative juices flow and aim to outperform yourself no matter what location you are working out of.
If we look at the bright side, remote work helps employees boost their creativity by reducing interruptions and distractions in the workplace.
On the other hand, some people believe that remote work makes them redundant and their ideas stale.
But luckily, several digital tools help boost creativity, and in turn, help, individuals give their best. A well-coordinated team also helps employees do better by facilitating the exchange of ideas and providing better insights.
Without creativity, your work is bland and hence not up to the mark. Therefore, one must exercise their brain and make time for activities that help them grow.
Although remote work started majorly as a coping mechanism to work during the pandemic, it has become increasingly popular in the last few months. Many celebrated organizations have asked their employees to work from home indefinitely and created a successful remote working team.
But with comfort comes responsibility.
You must not let your productivity and performance suffer when you work remotely. Instead, you must make the most of this time and prove to be an indispensable asset for your organization.
This opportunity might be a once in a lifetime, where you get to work from remote locations, and you must make the most of it by improving your performance and learning new skills.
About the Author
Nandini Sharma is the Assistant Marketing Manager at ProofHub- a powerful project management software loved by more than 85000+ teams and businesses worldwide.