In Canada and the world over, remote working has been vital in keeping businesses agile, adaptable, and operational during the pandemic. But while it has become a solid option for many organizations, it still presents productivity challenges that can hold remote workers back from achieving their peak potential.
Make sure to drive your remote workers’ performance by addressing the following obstacles:
1. Ineffective communication lines
Even after months of working remotely, distributed teams still have a lot to navigate when it comes to collaboration and communication. According to a Gallup study, remote workers are more likely to be engaged at work if they receive feedback from their manager at least 2-3 times a month. Weekly check-ins with your remote teams can give them an extra push or reassurance that they’re on the right track. It’s also important to encourage them to immediately reach out to their managers or their colleagues if an issue arises and to not wait for the weekly meeting before bringing up the concern.
On the other hand, beware of excessive and unnecessary communication. For instance, frequent Zoom meetings can cause fatigue and disrupt your staff’s momentum, preventing them from working efficiently.
Related article: How to get the most out of Microsoft Teams
2. Unclear goals
Even in non-remote work setups, employees may find it difficult to hit the right productivity mark when the target is unclear. This issue tends to happen more often in workplaces that implement telecommuting, as the physical distance between team members can contribute to miscommunication.
To avoid this situation, managers must provide clear and actionable tasks, priorities, and deadlines, as well as explicitly explain the expectations for a certain role. By laying down what is expected of your employees, you allow them to have accountability over their tasks and be responsible for making sure that their projects succeed.
3. Lack of appreciation
Productivity can suffer if your employees don’t feel like they are heard or appreciated enough. One way you can boost your staff’s morale is by recognizing their hard work. You can publicly acknowledge exemplary employees during a team meeting or give them a gift card for a job well done.
Another way to show that your remote workforce is heard is by celebrating the unique capabilities of each staff. This entails identifying — or even creating — conditions that allow people to do what they do best. For instance, assigning a marketing task to an employee who has shown interest in that area shows that you are listening to your staff and that you care about their growth.
4. Work-life imbalance
The biggest challenge for remote workers in 2021 is how to unplug after a day’s work. Because they have nowhere else to be but home, employees tend to keep working beyond their scheduled shift. This could cause overfatigue and chronic excessive daytime sleepiness (EDS), which, in turn, could lead to reduced alertness, inability to focus, and low productivity at work.
It’s critical to remind employees to nurture their personal lives, too, and not just their careers. Encourage them to take days off to clear their mind and relax their body. This way, they can return to work refreshed, energized, and in an optimal state to achieve peak performance.
5. Not having the right technology
Remote workers use multiple technologies to complete their assignments and get in touch with key people. Not having the right tools can make their jobs more difficult and time-consuming, which can then lead to more bottlenecks down the line. For instance, a computer with a low processing power may have problems running video conferencing apps and other business-related applications at the same time, thus preventing a remote employee from having a smooth video call experience.
On the other hand, having the right technology keeps employees seamlessly connected to their coworkers and customers. Add remote security solutions like VPNs and 2 Factor Authentication, and you can be confident that your staff can securely access apps and data that they need to get their work done.
More than ever, you need your technology to be perfect. Your remote teams depend on a variety of technology solutions, and multiple or repeated inconveniences can snowball into prolonged downtime. Learn how to avoid tech hiccups and improve your remote staff’s productivity with our eBook, “Tips to Ensure the Productivity of Your Remote Work Staff”. Download your FREE copy now!