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Tips to Extend Employee Remote Work Productivity during Covid-19

2020 pushed a shift within the way employees and businesses work. Essentially, there must be adaptation so as for businesses to get through the consequences of Covid-19, primarily by enabling the flexibility to work remotely efficiently. 

The Organization for Economic Co-Operation and Development (OECD) released evidence on functioning from home productivity. This information is significantly beneficial, given the new norm and therefore the importance of the survival of companies.

The evidence found two main channels that help ensure your employees are going to be productive remote working.

The direct channel impacts performance by altering the motivation, efficiency, and knowledge creation of the workplace. While the indirect channel facilitates cost reductions that liberate resources to reorganize still as innovate your employees.

Within these channels, there are 4 aspects which will help enable a more efficient performance within your team. 

Satisfaction

It’s proven when a worker is satisfied with their workload and kind of labor, they’ll be more productive. Consider it in simple terms – if you enjoy surfing, then you’ll spend longer surfing, and you’ll be more engaged and catch more waves than you’d spend doing another activity you don’t find enjoyment in. 

When it involves work, there are multiple elements that contribute to satisfaction. These include work-life balance, fewer distractions, and a spread of labor. When there are minimal distractions, employees can stay focused, directly minimizing frustration and stress. By improving your employee satisfaction, it’ll enable a more efficient overall workplace performance, even when working remotely.

Cost Reductions

What exactly does this involve and how will it affect performance? By reducing costs through implementing remote working, you’ll be able to invest that money into increasing workplace performance. 

Here are the various ways costs will be reduced through remote work – 

  1. Reduce office space and equipment
  2. Decrease labor costs by increasing the pool of workers you’ll be able to select from. As an example, workers in smaller towns will often charge a lower rate, thanks to cheaper living costs
  3. An increase in worker satisfaction will reduce the amount of individuals quitting, which reduces hiring and training costs
  4. Attract lower wages by increasing work-life balance and versatile hours. People are willing to sacrifice a better salary.

Once costs are reduced, this money saved can then be returned into the business by implementing strategies that increase output. This might be hiring another employee, purchasing more systems that smoothline business processes or investing in additional marketing which successively brings in additional clients or customers. 

When you invest in giving employees the tools to higher their productivity, they’ll naturally perform more efficiently. 

Communication

Communication is always key in most areas of life and with remote work, communication in business is evermore important. The OECD report found the decrease in face-to-face communication can inhibit productivity. Meetings and private communication have proven to be simpler, engaging, convincing, and easier to select social cues. Consequently, remote working requires kinds of communication that may disrupt workflow, like emails and video or phone calls. 

However, this is often where you adapt. With correct adaptation to remote working, you’ll be able to encourage the other effects – minimizing the disruptions and distractions that occur between colleagues who sit together. Face to face communication is beneficial for work communication but also personal conversations, and often, work chat will be extended longer than it needs to be. 

Incorporate sorts of communication that enable less disruption, like Slack. Slack allows for more normal conversations – it’s less serious like emails and allows you to quickly message back and forth, like that of a conversation – even seeing when the opposite person is typing. And only if there are important meetings, utilise video calls to identify social cues.

The advantage of communicating through these platforms is that you only communicate when necessary, and it’s nearly always work related. Video calls can sometimes naturally consist of private, personal conversation but it’s instinctive to revert back to business talk when your meetings are scheduled and overlooked by multiple colleagues. 

Information Management

If information isn’t managed efficiently, workers will collectively waste hours upon hours trying to find certain information and waiting to hear back from colleagues who can access it. Unfortunately, it’s not as simple as asking your colleague who sits ahead of you for access.

An efficient management solution is to allow colleagues easily resources and implement a flow between departments, individuals and external parties.

The utmost efficient way to manage information and thus, increase productivity is by incorporating document management tools. This is often essentially a secure iCloud, collating all of your information, irrespective of platform, into one space, so employees can easily access information from wherever, whenever.  

These are the four pillars of successfully managing remote work model, hybrid model, or preparing for a remote system for the longer term. These pillars ensure workers are going to be as productive as possible throughout the new norm where there are significant changes in communication, scheduling and accountability.

Olivia Fairhurst is a business owner and content manager for various clients, including Doc Smart Solutions. Olivia studied a degree in communications, majoring in journalism and has past experience as a journalist and Senior PR executive. You can find Olivia on Instagram, here.