Remote and hybrid jobs have popped up more recently after the COVID-19 pandemic. They offer vast advantages such as reduced commuting costs, better work-life balance, and increased productivity. However, it isn’t without hurdles. Remote employees often lose motivation to work. Isolated from other colleagues, communication breakdown, and the inability to interact physically with other people can affect their contribution to the team. Nevertheless, here are some ways to maximize employee performance as they work remotely.
Restructure Your Organizational Culture
Culture says a lot about the workplace. The first thing that sets the tone for the office culture is the onboarding process. Before hiring, ensure that the employee selection is done the right way and that all employees are qualified for their positions. Whether you’re using a headhunter, using Leadar, or doing it in-house with your HR team, the goal should be the same; quality hires.
Even if you’re doing it in a virtual environment, make it fun and educational. Have introduction sessions for the new workers to start creating work relationships as early as possible. Assigning already existing employees as mentors for onboarding ones gives room for support and increases production. Incorporating training models also ensures that the employees don’t feel lost.
Set Expectations from the Get-Go
Ambiguity and confusion in a working-from-home setup might result in low productivity. The workers need to understand what they’re expected to do at the beginning of every work session. Make it clear that this is how it’s going to work as early as during the onboarding sessions. Kick it off by defining all employees’ responsibilities within the company, the communication protocols, and the work tools that will be used. Clearly state the expected working hours. Clear out any misunderstandings to create room for increased productivity and accountability.
Remote work thrives on trust since both the employer and employee are afraid of being played. Hence, going out of your way to guarantee their safety will help maximize your employee safety. Conversely, without physical interactions, making this assurance is difficult for most employers. However, it’s possible to achieve it if you’re clear with your expectations, maintain constant communication, and avoid being over-controlling. How you communicate in case of an unforeseen problem also plays a part in building or breaking trust. It’s hard to know what they’re going through without physical interactions, so treat them with patience and kindness.
Provide Work Management Tech
Using software to manage employee performance works the same with remote workers but might need a unique approach in its implementation. Performance reviews and KPIs based on clearly defined systems show organization managers how the employee is doing in terms of productivity, skillset, and attitude. However, for remote workers, there’s a need for some flexibility. For instance, you can judge them based on the value of work done but avoid tracking how much time they spent on it. Doing so creates conflicts, as the main idea behind remote work is the flexibility to work when one feels most productive.
Effective communication is the top defining factor for productivity and the most challenging thing for remote workers. Fostering open communication encourages workers to bring out their ideas and reach out when issues arise. Decisions are also made democratically and openly, enabling an inclusive workspace. To remedy poor communication within the workspace, be clear in your messages. Use innovative communication tools such as Zoom, Slack, and Google Meetings for briefings to make these meetups as official as working in an office.
Understand Their Unspoken Needs
You need to understand and differentiate the unique needs of every employee. This starts by understanding that every need affects the employees’ productivity. A good place to start is through fair compensation for their contribution to the organization. For an employee to be fulfilled, they need to feel they’re being fully compensated for the dedication they bring to work. Also, encourage them to pursue their passions as hard as they work for the organization. Occasionally appreciate them, acknowledge their commitment, and reward their performance.
Encourage Team Collaboration
Collaboration inspires innovative ideas that can massively accelerate your growth. Leverage project management tools that enable collaboration on tasks. This way, different departments can work on the same projects, and it’s easy to follow the contribution. This not only creates a safe space for everyone to express their thoughts and ideas but also creates an environment where unity and shared purpose are encouraged. The employees also build and develop mutual trust and respect, which results in a healthy workspace.
Insist on Quality Output
Consistently follow what your remote workers are doing by requesting regular updates. This way you can ensure all projects run smoothly and that all huddles are dealt with before they turn into a disaster. Checking in doesn’t have to be related to the job; check on the employee’s personal life as well, without invading their privacy, to ensure that they are in the right headspace. Remember, the job is intertwined with your employee’s lifestyle or surroundings. So if something is not right at home, it would be impossible for them to perform at their peak.
Encourage Healthy Work-Life Balance
Our personal life directly influences our professional one. The need to strike a perfect balance between the two, therefore, can’t be overstated. A healthy balance enables employees to focus and fully engage at work. Assign decent workloads to prevent burnout and allow them to take breaks whenever they feel is necessary. If you can also pay part of their gym membership to encourage them to exercise regularly, that would be great.
Reducing some of your remote workers’ repetitive tasks like scheduling sales calls, lead generation, or answering FAQs can boost their productivity significantly. Automation tools come in handy and help reduce unnecessary workload so that your employees can focus on critical tasks. Some popular automation tools you can consider include chatbots, email automation, and sales funnels. Provide enough financial resources to get the needed software, hardware, and expertise to run it.
With so much technology available, creating a healthy remote workspace and culture has never been easier. However, thriving in a remote workspace demands a shift in mindset and adopting different tools and ideas to maximize productivity. With the right tools, mindset, and tech, the sky is the limit regarding the benefits remote and hybrid jobs can accrue, professionally and personally.