COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed our lives. Not only have our private lives been affected, but also professional ones. One of the fundamental changes concerning the business world was shifting to remote work. Although working from home is considered to be the future of work, it still takes time to get used to new work arrangements. While it is true that working remotely comes with many perks, it also comes with several challenges.
Task organization is just one of those challenges. When they work from home, employees struggle with efficiency, concentration, and engagement. Work piles up, deadlines expire, anxiety, and frustration kick in. All together take a serious toll on the business. To overcome this challenge and keep productivity levels high even when working from home, here are some tips and tricks.
Upon hearing remote work, flexible schedules, and working in pajamas are among the first things that pop to peoples’ minds. While flexibility is one of the greatest advantages of remote work, it can also be its downside. As flexibility increases, chances for slacking and procrastination increase as well. Low employee productivity and performance are every employers’ greatest fear. That fear heightens when employees work from home because managers can’t monitor their work and engagement.
However, as a manager, you can overcome this fear with one simple trick. Consult your employees and agree on fixed working hours throughout remote work. If you can’t agree on a fixed schedule, then at least make sure some of them overlap. Your business can benefit from this trick in two ways. Firstly, you will be able to assign tasks much easier and track their progress at all times. Secondly, it allows your employees to interact and work together as a team to complete the assignments and meet deadlines.
Internal Communication and Data Sharing
When working remotely, internal communication and data sharing are usually some of the aspects that suffer the most. Since both of them are crucial for your business, you can’t let that happen. For this reason, you have to make sure every single member of your staff has the necessary pieces of equipment and tools to communicate effectively with the rest of the team.
During the pandemic, most companies have used all resources they could get. From tools such as Skype and Zoom for video conferencing to internal communication software, Google Hangouts, and Instant Messaging for texts, updates, and file sharing. Using the latest communicative technology will help your employees not only stay in touch but also collaborate on different projects and tasks. Despite working from different locations, technology will bring them closer and keep them together as a real team.
Just because your employees work from home doesn’t mean you should stop recognizing their effort and praise their hard work. Now more than ever, effort recognition is crucial. Not only is it crucial for your business’ success but also for your employees and their engagement in the workplace. When you acknowledge their efforts and take pride in them, your employees feel respected and valued.
Even a simple gesture such as saying well-done shows all employees that hard work pays off. Moreover, praise and acknowledgment make them feel like a part of not only the team but the whole organization. Furthermore, their contributions, no matter how big or small, play a significant role in achieving business goals and success. Therefore, don’t forget to give shout outs to those who deserve it throughout the workday. Shout outs might be just what your employees need to boost their performance at work.
As it was previously said, your employees have to have access to functioning top-notch technology to stay connected even when working remotely. However, providing them with much-needed equipment is simply not enough. You have to make sure every piece of equipment functions properly at all times. Needless to say, a reliable and fast Internet connection is a must.
Still, you have to prepare in advance for the unexpected. Some tools may crash, devices break down, and the Internet speed may slow down. In this case, completing tasks and meeting deadlines can be quite challenging. As a manager and a leader, you should have a plan for the same or similar situations. Encourage them to upload files to digital storage and share them with coworkers. This way, their work is safe no matter what happens to devices and platforms.
Sense of Community
At some point during remote work, employees are bound to feel distant and lonely. It happens because they change work settings and they no longer have plenty of opportunities for interaction with coworkers. However, now is the best time to build and strengthen a sense of community. For starters, you can give employees virtual space where they can chat, share, and bond. Then, you can organize some online team building activities such as quizzes or games. Also, you can encourage your employees to have virtual lunch or coffee breaks together or happy hours on Fridays.
This way, employees will stay close even when working remotely. Their positivity and great atmosphere in the new work environment will help them focus on tasks and projects.
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