6 Workplace Productivity Tips for Your Remote Team
Productivity can take a toll if your organisation operates in a hybrid or complete remote work setup.
The flexibility and freedom that come with remote work can be appealing. However, a lack of remote-first work culture can negatively impact productivity.
Driving communication between team members takes a lot more effort
Time management and keeping team members motivated become challenging
Technological issues may crop up unannounced
Basically, multiple 'out-of-your-reach' things may go wrong.
We have curated a list of productivity strategies to make the most of your remote work setup and keep your WFH employees productive. Let's jump right in!
6 Remote Work Strategies to Improve Productivity
Want to increase productivity and employee engagement? Want to reduce turnover? Follow these strategies and create a successful, fulfilling remote work environment that attracts and retains top talent.
Establish clear communication policies
Why it works: It allows remote employees to:
Communicate effectively with colleagues and managers and understand what's expected of them in terms of responsibilities and output
Reduce misunderstandings and increase productivity
Be on the same page as the team and work as one unit
Tips for a Seamless Communication:
Determine and start assessing your communication needs. Think about: O The types of communication required for the job O The frequency of communication
Choose the right collaboration tools: Consider which collaboration tool will best suit your needs. It can be as simple as email, video conferencing, or instant messaging. You must also outline the preferred frequency and timing of communication.
Pro tip: Opt for tools that are user-friendly, easily accessible, and reliable.
Train your remote workers: Provide training and support for your remote workers on how to use the communication tools and follow the established communication policies.
Set response time expectations: Establish response time expectations for your remote workers by:
O Clarifying how quickly they should respond to messages
O Highlighting when it is appropriate to send urgent messages
O Setting clear expectations around availability so that remote workers understand when they're expected to be working and when they can take breaks
Update policies regularly: Review and update your communication policies regularly to ensure that they remain relevant and effective.
Encourage regular check-ins
Why it works:
O It helps managers stay connected with their team members
O It ensures everyone is working towards the same goals
Tips for Check-ins:
Schedule regular one-on-one meetings: Set up weekly or bi-weekly one-on-one meetings with each remote worker. This will help you establish a consistent line of communication where you can:
O Discuss ongoing projects
O Address any concerns
O Offer support
Use collaboration tools such as video conferencing: Use collaboration tools such as Zoom, Skype, or Microsoft Teams for your one-on-one meetings. This will help you:
O Establish a more personal connection with your remote workers
O Enable you to pick up on nonverbal cues
O Maintain a sense of community, even when the team is working from different locations
Create a shared calendar: As a rule of thumb, use a shared calendar to schedule regular check-ins:
This way, both you and your remote workers can plan their workday around the meetings and avoid scheduling conflicts. Plus, it makes employees feel that their opinion (and time) matter.
Provide regular feedback: Feedback is essential for remote workers to know how they're performing and what they can do to improve. Regularly provide positive and constructive feedback, so remote workers can continue to grow and develop their skills.
Create a supportive environment: In the end, you want to ensure that your remote workers feel connected to the team and feel part of the team culture. So, encourage them to participate in team events and activities and create opportunities to socialise with their colleagues.
Provide project management tools
Why it works:
O Helps remote teams stay organised
O Ensures everyone is aware of what tasks need to be completed and by when
Tips for Using Project Management Tools:
Explain the benefits: Start by communicating the benefits of these tools to your team (think: staying organised, collaborating more efficiently, tracking progress, and more). Explain how using these tools can make their work easier and help them achieve better results to keep them engaged.
Strategise training: Provide your team with the necessary training to use the project management tools effectively. Ensure that they are aware of:
O All the features and functions of the tool
O How they can use them to manage their projects more effectively
O How to access knowledge-based resources and documentation
Lead by example: As a manager, you need to lead by example. Start using the project management tool yourself, and encourage your team to follow suit. Show them how you use the tool to manage your projects and how it has helped you stay organised and productive.
Make it a requirement: Make it mandatory for the team to use the project management tool for all projects. This way, the team will make more of an effort to learn how to use the tool till it becomes a habit.
Set goals and expectations: Set clear goals and expectations for your team, and make sure that they are aware of the timelines and milestones that they need to achieve. Use the project management tool to set up tasks and deadlines and ensure everyone knows their responsibilities.
Encourage breaks and time off
Why it works:
It helps reduce burnout and ensures that everyone is prioritising their mental health
Tips for Encouraging Healthy Work-Life Balance:
Practice what you preach: As a manager, make sure that you are also taking breaks and time off. This will set a good example for your employees and, more importantly, show them that it is not only acceptable but also encouraged to take time off.
Create a 'virtual' break room: Nominate a team member as the organiser who will invite others to a video meeting to take a break, relax, and unwind. The organiser must encourage team members to avoid talking shop and use the time to connect with others on topics outside of work.
Use technology to remind employees: Use scheduling software or a messaging app to remind employees to take breaks or time off. For instance, you could schedule automatic messages that pop up on their computer or phone screens, reminding them to take a break.
Offer incentives: Provide rewards or incentives to employees who take regular breaks and time off:
This could be in the form of gift cards, extra vacation time, or other perks that encourage a work-life balance.
Encourage "productive procrastination": This may seem counterintuitive, but sometimes taking a break from a task and doing something else can actually boost productivity. Encourage your team to take a break from their main task to work on another task that's still productive but requires a different type of focus. For example, if a team member is struggling with a complex project, they could take a break and work on a simpler, more straightforward task for a little while. This can help them feel a sense of accomplishment and recharge their mental batteries, making them more productive when they return to the main task.
Providing resources for mental health support: This includes employee assistance programs or access to counselling services.
Pro tip: You can create a game that rewards employees for taking breaks and time off. This could be as simple as tracking the number of breaks taken or vacation days used.
Encourage physical activity: Encourage your employees to take part in physical activities during their breaks or time off. For example, you could conduct a virtual fitness-based challenge where employees are asked to track their weekly average steps. At the end of the week, the winner can get freebies or other rewards.
Foster an employee-first, positive work environment: Create a work culture that encourages breaks and time off. This could involve promoting a healthy work-life balance and acknowledging the importance of mental and physical well-being.
Foster a culture of trust
Why it works:
It ensures employees work with greater trust, confidence, and drive
Tips for Building Trust with the Team:
Be vulnerable: Being open and honest with your team is important. Start by sharing your struggles, mistakes, and failures with them. This will show them that you are human and make mistakes, just like everyone else. When you are vulnerable, your team will feel more comfortable being vulnerable with you.
Active Listening: When you are in a conversation with someone, listen actively:Pay close attention to what they are saying and respond appropriately. This will demonstrate that you value their opinions and are interested in what they say.
Give credit where credit is due: When someone does something well, credit them for it. Plus, show the team gratitude by thanking them for their hard work and dedication. The idea is to appreciate their effort and make it as vocal as possible.
Be transparent: Be open and transparent about your decisions and their reasons. This will help your team understand your thought process and build trust with them.
Encourage feedback: Encourage your team to provide feedback on how you can improve as a manager. This will show them that you are open to criticism and value their opinions.
Be consistent: Be consistent in your actions and words. This will show your team that they can rely on you and trust you to follow through on your promises.
Provide training and development opportunities
Why it works:
It helps them develop new skills and stay motivated
It improves employee retention rates
Tips for Offering Training and Development Opportunities:
Provide access to online resources: There are many online resources available (think: e-learning platforms, webinars, and podcasts). Make sure to provide access to these resources to your remote team so they can learn at their own pace.
Encourage peer-to-peer learning: Encourage your team to share their knowledge and expertise with each other via regular team meetings or virtual coffee chats.
Offer mentorship opportunities: Pair employees with mentors who can provide guidance and support by driving virtual mentorship programs or connecting employees with mentors in their industry.
Create virtual training sessions: Host virtual training sessions using video conferencing tools. Ensure these interactive sessions include group discussions, role-playing, and case studies.
Use gamification: Gamify the learning process by creating quizzes, challenges, and competitions. This can help make learning more engaging and fun.
Provide access to certifications: Provide access to online courses that offer certifications in specific skills or topics. This can help employees build their credentials and advance in their careers.
Set up a learning budget: Set aside a budget for your employees to use towards their own learning and development. This can include things like conference attendance, professional development courses, and books.
Access All of Google Workspace Benefits with Vodien
Productivity begins with having the right tools at your disposal. If you're looking to harness the advantages of Google Workspace, consider subscribing to the Vodien Google Workspace plan. This plan provides a host of essential functionalities to boost your efficiency:
Custom email: Create professional email addresses that align with your domain name (e.g., [email protected]).
Online storage: Benefit from generous online storage space to securely store all your files, documents, and media. Access them conveniently from any device with an internet connection.
Collaboration tools: Collaborate seamlessly in real-time with team members, clients, or partners on documents, spreadsheets, presentations, and more.
Communication tools: Utilise Gmail as your primary email client and leverage Google Meet for video conferencing, Google Chat for instant messaging, and Google Voice for phone calls.
Security and administration: Effortlessly manage user accounts, data, and device policies while leveraging the robust security features offered by Google.
Compatibility with third-party apps: Integrate Google Workspace with other productivity tools such as Slack, Trello, Zoom, and more, streamlining your workflow for maximum efficiency.
Vodien offers a range of Google Workspace plans tailored to the unique needs of individuals, small businesses, and enterprises alike. Connect with our team to discover more about these plans and find the perfect fit for your requirements. Boost your productivity today!