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In case you live under a rock, sometime over the past few years, technology went boom and completely transformed the way we work. It changed company cultures and office traditions and working routines the world over, and it is going to change more and more with each passing month.
Anyway, of all the things technology has altered, it is this idea of freedom that has been the most influential. On the one hand you, you have employees that want to work remotely; they no longer want to work nine to five and would prefer to choose when they work and where they work from. And on the other hand, you have employers who are able to embrace this remote revolution in a plethora of different ways, from having their workforce operate efficiently in the field to reducing their overheads by having their staff work from home.
Basically, the remote revolution is here and it is huge. Just consider where you are working on right now. Are you in your company’s office space, or are you working on the sofa in your living room? or that coffee shop where they know your name? The reason you can do this is the technology is there.
What may be lacking, however, is an updated mindset that makes remote working as efficient as it possibly can be. That is the big battle businesses are facing. They’re scared it won’t be as productive but only because they don’t know how to ensure it is so. Well, to help you with this, we have pulled together a list of ways you can maximise the productivity of your remote workers:
It Can’t Work If It Doesn’t Fit
The first thing you need to do before embracing the remote revolution is determined whether this concept will be a good fit for your business, which it may well not. After all not all tasks, jobs or employees are born equal. Starting with the work side of things, there are tasks that are perfectly suited to be done from anywhere; tasks like copywriting, graphic design, customer service and accounting. However, roles in product development or packaging or assembly are not a good fit. They just aren’t. Moving on to the employee point of view, not every person has the focus and discipline to be able to produce the same level of work without supervision or the accountability of walking through the doors of your office each morning. Luckily, your line managers will have a pretty good idea of who will succeed remotely and who would not.
This Is What Tech Was Made For
The whole reason remote working has been able to overthrow traditional office cultures is that it works. As such, all you have to do is know what tech will work for you and then learn how to use it effectively. At the most basic level, your remote workers need to have access to the files and materials that make their job possible. That could mean you invest in work order management software specifically for your field operatives, or you could use a universal social intranet document management system that allows everyone to access and upload documents from anywhere. Those are just two examples. There is another tech that is going to boost the chances of remote working being a success, such as shared calendars, screen sharing programs, instant messaging apps, video conferencing tools and much much more. It is up to you to find out what is out there and then see how it could boost the productivity of your remote operations.
Encourage Great Home Office Environments
Some of the money you will save from office overheads and whatnot should be given to your remote employees to improve their home working environments. That’s not something that should be considered a luxury either, this is an essential. A lot of businesses that are toying with the idea of letting their employees do business from home imagine them laid up in bed, wearing their PJs with The Grand Tour blaring out of the TV. Now, this is rarely the case, but it still makes sense for you to help them build a professional environment where they can go to be mega-productive and really concentrate. You don’t have to hand over thousands and thousands of dollars. But a couple of hundred towards a good desk and an ergonomic chair, or paying part of their internet bill or giving them a gift of a nice houseplant and a refurbished MacBook will really help them be as productive as possible. It will also boost morale, and that is a valuable tool in any business.
Performance Is All You Need To Track
This is another area of contention because a lot of business leaders think they need to be able to track the presence of their employees in order for this whole remote working thing to be considered a success. But that is nonsense. What you should be tracking is performance. So long as the work is being done to a high standard, projects are moving forward and nothing is getting held up, what does it matter if your employees are doing their work between 5 am and midday? What you may not have realized in your office is that employees get annoyed by the prospect of staying until 6 pm just because they have to, even though they have finished all their work. It ruins morale. If you really want to get the most out of staff, then give them the flexibility they so crave and then measure them on their performance – not their hours – which is what we should be doing anyway. It’s the only thing that makes sense.
Look, there is no denying that managing remote workers has its challenges. It does. Especially when you compare it to managing the staff that you see face to face every day. However, the main reason it is challenging at the moment is the fact it is still relatively new. It is trying to shift your mindset. If you do that, use the tools available and learn what keeps employees engaged, however, you will see productivity pique. That’s a promise.