8 Effective Ways to Maximize Productivity in Remote Teams
The debate on whether remote work affects the productivity of employees positively or negatively is raging on, as more companies adopt remote work in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even then, there is plenty of evidence that suggests that with the right tools and interventions, you can effectively manage the productivity of your remote team. In fact, 60% of employers who have transferred to a remote work environment have reported an increase in productivity.
Infographic created by MXOtech, a co managed IT company
With that in mind, here are eight highly effective ways to maximize productivity within your remote team:
#1 Ensure that it is a good fit
One of the primary ways to ensure that your remote team is performing just as productively is to first confirm that it is the right move or fit for your company. Not all companies can perform well remotely, and hence the management must be prepared for the changes and challenges that come with it. More importantly, drawing up forecasts to see if all the business activities and functions will perform well, and help you achieve the goals that you have set for your team can also help you understand if going remote is the way to go.
#2 Make Meetings Highly Efficient
Once you have ensured that having remote teams is the way to go for your company, it is important to affirm that you have the right mechanisms in place to make the days more efficient. Meetings can be time-consuming when the team does not follow a set agenda.
However, they can be managed well if you take steps to make them efficient. Start bright and early with a briefing meeting which is just as brief and covers the meeting agenda for the day and any important updates. Similarly, gather once at the end of the day to measure the performance of the team, which will also help in managing the productivity of the team on a day-to-day basis.
#3 Check in with the Team Regularly
While it is important to not become overbearing with your remote team, you must regularly check-in and talk with them. Working remotely can get more lonely than it seems at the outset. Employees usually thrive from the connections they make at work and feed off of each other’s energy.
However, they need this human communication even while working remotely, and a great way to ensure that is by checking in with them as often as possible. You should also schedule one-to-one interactions with the team members so that they can talk about any challenges or issues that they are facing candidly with you.
#4 Create a Remote Work Policy
Before you ask your team to set up and start getting ready for working remotely, providing them with a detailed brief on how to navigate it is a must. The right way to do this is by creating a remote work policy that will also provide the right guidance to the managers and the employees on how to carry out work remotely while being productive.
The remote work policy must detail the code of conduct, the kind of work environment that you want your team members to maintain, and a roadmap to achieve the goals and objectives that you have set for them.
#5 Provide the Right Tools
The next major detail that you should never avoid paying attention to is whether all your team members are equipped with the right Team Collaboration Tool and systems to navigate a remote work environment. This would include any essential software that you would like them to have and the minimum system requirements that they would need for the systems and processes to function properly.
Doing so would help you maintain a smooth workflow and avoid any lags or ebbs in productivity that can arise otherwise. Furthermore, platforms such as Whatfix, Apty, and other top Walkme alternatives can also help you train your employees remotely for any new enterprise software that you implement.
#6 Encourage Collaboration within the team
Along with ensuring that it is the right move, providing the right tools, and detailing out the rules to be followed, as a manager, the onus of creating new processes for working remotely will also be on you. In such cases, you should ensure that you maintain collaboration within the team members and encourage them to retain collaborative tasks, processes, and communication channels.
Teamwork is a great trait to have in your team – in-office or remote, and one of the best ways to ingrain this quality in your team is by ensuring that they regularly collaborate on projects and business processes.
#7 Track Performance over Presence
One of the most common challenges that managers often face while managing remote teams is handling the performance and metrics of the team members. In order to do this effectively, managers need to track different parameters for performance to ensure optimal efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity within the team.
Though monitoring the performance for remote teams should not rely on the presence of the team members, but more so on how they perform based on the metrics that you have set out for them to achieve.
#8 Consider providing Mental Health days
Lastly, but not to be taken lightly, is the aspect of maintaining the health and well-being of your employees, so that they can perform well consistently. One of the ways to do so is by empowering your employees to take ownership of their mental health and well-being.
This can include several steps that you can take as a company including paying for your employees’ monthly counseling sessions or even hiring a psychologist that employees can talk to if they are in distress. But a simple way to prioritize the mental health of your employees is to allow them to take a few days off when they feel like they need a break to focus on their mental health.
Ensuring productivity in remote teams might seem like more of a challenge than within in-house teams, but it does not have to be so. With the right tools, policies, and processes at your disposal, you can ensure a more effective remote work environment in just a few steps, as long as it fits the requirements of your organization.
Setting the right tone and environment for your work environment is important, and should include effective collaboration and communication. Moreover, maintaining the well-being of your employees is as important as tracking their performance, to ensure that they deliver on the goals that you have set for them.