Baking, Zillow surfing and gardening might have lost their appeal since life started to return to normal, but we’re pretty sure about remote working. Of all the ‘fads’ of the pandemic, that one is here to stay.
That’s because there are tremendous advantages to all parties. Should you let your staff work from home? When you consider the savings and increased productivity, yes. As an employee, there’s flexibility, no commute and more work-life balance.
So, remote work is a win-win situation. But since businesses were pushed into it without any protocol, it’s natural that you may be concerned about your team’s productivity. To make it easy for you, here are eight ways to boost remote team efficiency.
In a physical office, communication occurs naturally. You may have a morning meeting or can walk up to your team members. Things are different when people work remotely. To begin with, you should set achievable and realistic goals for the team, with measurable objectives.
Next, you should actively communicate that. While a phone call or virtual meeting is excellent, it’s always a good idea to have these goals written down.
During the pandemic, shared communication tools have got a new lease of life, as companies realised how effective they can be.
To improve efficiency, your business can try anything from Google Docs to Slack, Zoom to Microsoft Teams. Find the tools that suit your business’s needs and get everyone on board.
One of the biggest problems of the past year and a half for businesses has been onboarding employees. Without managerial introductions, HR guidance and casual conversations near water coolers, it’s become quite difficult for new hires.
What you can do is to talk to them directly, communicate their responsibilities, introduce them to their colleagues and have a casual video call with team members. You could also send a gift basket as a welcome gift.
Just because they’re working from home doesn’t mean employees aren’t interested in career growth. As a matter of fact, they could be uncertain about the quality of their work as there are fewer ways to get direct feedback.
To solve this, you should give regular feedback, appreciate what they’ve been doing, and offer suggestions to improve their work if required. But remember to analyse their work against the backdrop of remote work.
Work-life balance isn’t just the responsibility of the employees. In fact, you have the most important part to play in it. Without your complete support, it will only remain a pipe dream.
The most important thing is to be flexible about their working hours. What you want is for an individual to complete their task and communicate clearly with others. Also, set a finish time for the day. There should be no calls or emails after a certain time and also during the weekends, unless your business warrants 24/7 customer service.
An effective tool to improve your office communication while ensuring work-life balance for your employees is a second phone line app. With a virtual number dedicated to business, your team will be able to separate their professional and personal contacts and communication.
Importantly, they will be able to redirect calls and use an auto-response function for messages during non-business hours. What’s more, you don’t need to buy a second phone or SIM with a second line phone app. All you’ve to do is download the app to get a virtual number.
In some sectors, remote work has unfortunately led to too much communication between managers and employees, some of which is unnecessary. When you’re repeatedly calling, emailing or attending video calls, it will feel intrusive and affect productivity.
It also tells your employees that you don’t trust them enough to handle things. So, ensure that you keep your emails and calls to a minimum.
Remote work is likely to be a part of our lives for the foreseeable future. But with the right amount of communication, division of responsibilities and helpful feedback, business owners and managers can boost the efficiency of their teams even when they work from home.
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