8 Ways to Successfully Boost Work Productivity for Remote Teams
Author: Haziqa Sajid
One of the most significant changes resulting from the Covid-19 pandemic was the rise in remote work and the increase in remote jobs. The concept of remote work still existed in the pre-covid era, but it accounted for only 5% of the total office jobs in the US. During the pandemic, organizations were forced to shift their employees to remote work, and soon working from home became the new norm. Currently, remote jobs account for 15% of the total opportunities available in the US, a significant leap from the prior statistics.
Employees have always welcomed remote work as they enjoy many benefits of working from their comfort zone. But not just employees. Many employers reported significant gains in business during the pandemic due to the shift towards remote work. Let’s discuss what benefits remote work brings to a company.
Benefits of Remote Teams
Not everyone favors remote work, but it does have benefits for employees and employers. Many organizations have shown positivity towards remote teams due to:
- Cost saving:
Operational offices have a running cost in rent and utilities, e.g., electricity and water. Global Workplace Analytics found that companies can save up to $11,000 for every employee working remotely three days per week. Even though organizations may have to reimburse employees for remote work setup, the net result is still a gain.
- Happier employees:
Most employees prefer remote work because it saves commute time and fuel costs. A happy employee means a satisfied employee. Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom conducted a study that proved that employees working from home were more comfortable and boosted productivity.
- Increased attrition:
Happy employees are directly linked to lower resignations. An employee that is satisfied with their job would not wish to switch. Bloom’s study also showed that a remote working opportunity decreased employee attrition by 50%.
Even though many surveys and studies have disproved it, many employers still fear that remote work causes loss of productivity and time wastage. It is natural for employers to worry about their business, which is why we have researched and gathered some of the most effective tips to boost the productivity of remote teams.
X Tips to Improve Productivity of Remote Teams
- Set Objectives and Deliverables
A clear definition of goals and objectives is vital to tracking the progress of a project and the quality of work. The objective is the task at hand, and deliverables define the shape of the result and the acceptance criteria. Having a clear objective allows employees to properly structure their work and utilize their time.
Simply put, if employees fulfill a particular objective and present all defined deliverables, their performance and productivity are up to the mark. This is a more effective and reasonable alternative to judging performance based on working hours.
- Use Project Management Tools
Project management tools are designed to increase project collaborations and streamline tasks. Every project is divided into subtasks distributed amongst employees by the manager or team lead. The manager is responsible for setting the deliverables for each task and an estimated deadline.
The tasks are further categorized into issues or bug fixes for better reporting. These tools allow managers to keep of employees and their tasks. Managers can see which of the team member is lagging in work.
Project management tools also aid collaboration between teams or employees by offering repository integrations such as GitHub or TFS. Members can view others’ code, compare changes and even add comments. Some popular project management tools include:
- Avoid Micromanagement
When it comes to remote teams, micromanagement is a prevalent issue. Many mistrusting managers tend to micromanage projects to ensure smooth working and quality. However, this does not always fare well as it causes frustration amongst employees.
Employees lose productivity and interest when the work environment becomes suffocating, and they are not allowed adequate freedom to work. To maximize performance, employers need to optimize their interaction with the employees such that they are updated with the progress and provide ample room for work.
- Utilize Cloud Platforms
Many remote employees, such as software developers, usually require high-end hardware to perform everyday tasks. Not every worker will have such equipment available at home, which causes unnecessary interruptions in their work.
Providing expensive physical hardware may not be feasible for many companies. A more elegant solution is to opt for cloud machines. Cloud solution providers such as V2 Cloud offer low-cost virtual desktops which are scalable and include state-of-the-art security features. These machines are pre-loaded with all the necessary applications that your developers need and are easy to set up with a few clicks.
- Train Employees to Understand Remote Working Principles
Remote work has been increasing for the past couple of years but still contributes to only a tiny fraction of the overall jobs worldwide. Many hires, who have not worked remotely before, are unaware of specific operating procedures. This has a toll on productivity as employees spend most of their time getting familiar with the new technologies.
Timely training sessions help employees understand the operational structure so they can focus their attention on the task at hand. Additionally, informal ice-breaking sessions help remove communication gaps between teams and introduce a healthy working environment to boost productivity.
- Exhausted Employees Are Not Productive
Remote work offers much-needed flexibility to employees, but many employers misuse it. Around 70% of working professionals have reported having to work weekends since transitioning to remote work. About 45% of workers reported working longers hours than usual during weekdays when working remotely.
Managers need to understand that longer hours do not equate to increased productivity. Expecting employees to work additional hours may yield quicker results but is damaging in the longer run. Exhausted employees start lacking in work quality and are more prone to resignations. Managers need to ensure that work hours are appropriately set and accounted for.
- Offer Remote Work Incentives
Offering additional perks to remote workers is a great way to boost morale. Some of these benefits include offering reimbursements for:
Having a proper work setup at home brings employees closer to an office environment. A professional workspace helps with productivity and work ethics.
- Encourage Ice-Breaking Sessions and Recreational Activities
One of the biggest challenges in working from home is dealing with boredom and loneliness. Even with all its perks and quirks, remote work does have the tendency to leave an employee mentally drained. When working in an isolated environment with no one to talk to, it is easy for employees to get bored and lose their proactiveness.
Organizations need to arrange recreational activities for employees occasionally. Such events allow employees to get to know each other, increase interaction and provide a much need break from work. Furthermore, ice-breaking sessions help employees open up to each other, which improves team collaboration during work.
Recreational sessions can include casual online talks or fun quizzes. Companies that have the budget can arrange trips for employees or have them fly out for organized events.
Remote working opportunities benefit both the employees and the organization they work for. More firms are now shifting towards remote work but managing a remote team is still a challenge for many. Most managers are concerned about the communication gap between team members and the threat of loss of productivity. These concerns are valid but can be countered using solutions such as management training and cloud desktop setups.
V2 Cloud is a cloud solutions provider that specializes in virtual desktop setups. V2 offers Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), allowing remote teams to work with high-end desktops via a web portal. The remote work solution provides:
- High-performance Machines
- Flat-rate Pricing
- Enhanced Security
- Centralized IT
- Guaranteed Uptime
- Easy On-boarding
V2 Cloud ensures that all your remote teams work at their maximum potential and that all processes are uninterrupted. To get the most out of your remote employees, try V2 Cloud today. Contact our representatives for a 7-day free trial.