Help employees stay productive while working from home
After this year, a remote workforce is becoming the new normal. There are several things you can do to make it easier, especially for those employees where remote working might be a challenge, you’ll need to spend more time helping them adjust and remain productive.
Set clear expectations
Outline what you want employees to do from home and how everything will work. Still encourage face to face contact via video conferencing. One of the fears for some employees not used to remote working is social isolation. Make it clear that regular face time and one on one calls are still part of the plan.
- Set up a shareable daily work log your remote workers can use to report their progress on ongoing projects.
- Utilize a project management system to exchange messages, assign tasks and monitor projects rather than relying solely on email.
- Determine key indicators for success for each remote worker and share these indicators with your employees (these might be daily, weekly or monthly goals).
- Conduct regular reviews with remote workers to assess their performance.
- Help employees set aside work time (switch off email, tell family to not interrupt) so they’re not forever distracted.
Give employees the right tools
Make sure they have the basics like reliable internet and equipment. Schedule training sessions to ensure everyone knows how to use the technology. It’s a good idea to allocate one person to help handle any tech issues.
Consider platforms and programs to help improve productivity:
- Use Miro to create virtual whiteboards so you can still collaborate and brainstorm together.
- Enable online video calling with Microsoft Teams, Skype for Business, or Zoom
- Run webinars with GoToMeeting or Webex
- Create a single area for all documents such as Google Drive, Dropbox or Microsoft OneDrive
- Try Trello or other platforms to allocate tasks to each employee and track progress
- Encourage screen sharing to work together on projects
- Be able to see if employees are ‘in’ the office and have instant chat with Slack or Microsoft Teams.
Take time to connect
Set aside a few moments each day for each employee (or delegate to managers if not practical yourself) to check in on how they’re doing. inquire about families, personal interests, recent challenges and successes.
- Create “support pods” of small groups people to have a daily catch up and regular times to report or touch base.
- Consider pairing up remote workers to complete complex tasks. You’ll improve efficiency while helping them remain part of the team.
Replicate the work environment
Let employees know who their first point of contact should be. This will funnel questions to the right person and free up your time. Keep regular social events in the calendar, allowing employees to catch up with one another and check in with co-workers they may not interact with on a daily basis.
Consider creating a virtual area where people can chat and swap stories (within reason) like Google Hangouts or grab a virtual coffee and donut.