It shouldn’t come as any surprise that remote working has become so popular, with research suggesting that 94% of existing remote workers are so happy with the arrangement that they actively encourage others to do the same. The same study also highlights the significant benefits that come with remote working, with 43% of people working that arrangement enjoying the flexible schedule and 15% relishing the increased time it affords with their family.
Despite this, remote working has it’s challenges, chief among which is ensuring staff who are working away from the office are as productive and efficient as possible. The following five tips will help you raise your remote workers’ productivity and ensure they work smartly.
1. Hire the right people
If you’re going ‘all in’ on the remote working thing, you need to ensure your future hires are ready, able and willing to work in that manner.
Great remote workers are comfortable going about their days autonomously, they’re not easily sidetracked and will never be afraid to put their hand up and ask for assistance if they need it. Build those qualities into your recruitment efforts and you’ll immediately get off on the right footing with your remote team.
2. Implement the right type of software
Thankfully, we now live in a world that offers an abundance of apps and services designed to make remote workers feel as connected as possible. Whether it be team communication apps such as Slack or services such as Workfrom that help remote workers find the best places in which to be productive, don’t skimp on the tools they need to get the job done.
3. Make your expectations ultra clear
It’s easy to place the blame for a lack of productivity on the shoulders of remote workers, but if they’re unclear about your expectations, you may need to look in the mirror. Due to the nature of remote working, you won’t have close contact with employees of that nature, which means you’ll need to make your expectations for every task and project clear from the outset. Encourage open, two-way communication whenever a new piece of work begins to ensure that every question is asked and answered as comprehensively as possible. Equally, you need to make sure remote workers know they can put their hand up and ask for clarity on tasks – even if they’re 50% of the way through.
4. Don’t avoid meetings
Running a remote team doesn’t give you the excuse to skip regular meetings. In fact, it should place a greater emphasis on holding meetings that are as focused as possible.
You can do this by having ten-minute catch-up meetings each morning, where everyone gets together via remote video or conference calling and updates on what was achieved yesterday, what’s planned today and any roadblocks that might be in the way.
5. Look out for burnout; meet face-to-face
Face-to-face meetings with remote workers are vital for two reasons. Firstly, it they keep the relationship as traditional as possible, and give you the chance to build a stronger bond than you’ll get via video calls. Secondly, they give you the chance to spot signs of burnout.
For instance, if a remote worker continually fails to make face-to-face meetings or is clearly at the point of exhaustion when you meet, you can take steps to reduce their workload and help them get back on track.
Remote working is a brilliant way to be successful in the digital age. Use our tips above, and you’ll build a remote workforce that is as productive and efficient as it should be.