Remote work has become a way of life for more and more people in 2020 and the trend doesn’t show signs of stopping. If your organization hasn’t started to take steps yet to strengthen or improve remote work infrastructure across teams, it’s an excellent time to start.
Many business owners and managers find it challenging to create optimal work conditions for their remote employees, especially if they’re just transitioning from an office environment to a distributed team.
We put together a list of 21 ways to improve remote work for employees to increase the team’s productivity and ultimately boost your business.
1. Implement the right systems
A business can fall apart if you don’t implement the right systems and this is even more important with remote teams. It’s essential to have a standardized way of working that’s well document so every member of the team knows exactly what’s expected of them.
2. Make sure everyone has the right tools
Ensuring that every member of the team has the right tools is essential for getting the job done. From laptops and webcams to software specific to your business, make sure everyone has the right setup to thrive in a remote position. Slack is an example of a great tool for instant communication amongst your remote employees.
3. Track productivity
In an office environment, it’s easy to track hours worked, but if you need to do so for remote positions, things aren’t quite so simple. Use software to make sure your employees focus on the tasks at hand.
4. Use project management software
It’s always a good idea to use a collaborative platform that team members can update as they progress. Everyone will have access to the most recent version of a project, and there will be no need to share hundreds of copies of the same document. For example Asana, Trello or Monday or great platforms you can use.
5. Allow a high degree of flexibility
People who work from home need a lot of flexibility when it comes to their work hours. While it’s important to keep consistency, focus on work output instead of when the employees are working to eliminate as much stress as possible.
6. Do quarterly reviews
Remote workers often feel isolated and lonely, and they might have angst about how well they’re performing. Make sure you provide constant feedback via quarterly reviews to reassure workers they’re on track and answer any questions.
7. Have a chat room open for the team
Remote workers should know that the lines of communication are always open, so you should keep a chat room available all the time. You may also have a separate fun company chat room open for all no-work related chat.
8. Encourage teammates to socialize
Remote workers can’t socialize with teammates like in traditional workspaces, so you should always emphasise how important it is for the team to connect on a personal level. Organize virtual happy hours or informal weekly meetups to encourage teammates to get to know each other better.
9. Avoid chat and email overload
While it’s important to make sure everyone’s communicating enough, pinging and emailing employees too often can get distracting and overwhelming.
10. Use screen sharing tools
Screen sharing tools are excellent solutions to save time because they allow you to see exactly what another person is doing so you don’t waste time with back and forth messages when an issue arise. Some of these tools even allow you to control another person’s computer remotely. Zoom is a great example of a screen sharing tool you can use.
11. Create a real team feeling
It may sometimes be difficult to keep people feeling committed to the team when working virtually. To make sure employees know they’re valuable for the team success, get everyone involved in important events, celebrate birthdays virtually, and keep the team informed about how the company is doing.
12. Show appreciation for great work
Everyone likes to feel valued, so make sure you always recognize great work and show your appreciation. From offering monetary bonuses to employees to sending branded gifts and giving shout-outs in team chats, there are lots of ways to show appreciation.
13. Create a remote company culture
People want to be a part of a community or group, and it has been proven that a sense of belonging is highly motivating. By creating a remote company culture, you can easily remind workers about the goals and values they have in common.
14. Listen to the workers’ needs and wants
Employees tend to feel more connected to an organization if they feel listened to. Show an interest in their opinions to keep your remote team motivated and loyal.
15. Encourage employees to provide you feedback
Asking for feedback is an excellent way to make employees feel heard while also being great for identifying any issues with your systems.
16. Subtitle videos for your ESL employees
If your organization has employees from all over the world, you should make sure everyone understands the material and project requirements, and one easy way to do so is to add subtitles to training videos. This is much quicker and cheaper than dubbing and works just as effectively.
17. Provide extensive training
When you’re expanding your team, make sure you offer comprehensive training for everyone so the staff knows how to use all your online solutions and what’s expected of them. You should also provide training to existing employees whenever there’s a change in your systems.
18. Transcribe calls and meetings
Your employees won’t have to worry about missing anything if the material is transcribed. Moreover, everyone will be able to reference the information is needed because transcripts are indexable.
19. Set up a meeting rhythm
Make sure you have regular meetings with the entire team as well as one-on-one calls with every team member from time to time. This is the best way to minimize back-and-forth emails and discuss any issues that may occur.
20. Be a clear communicator
Right from the moment you hire someone new, it’s important to outline their responsibilities very clearly. This is the best way to ensure that your employees have all the necessary information to do a good job.
21. Provide emotional support
Remote working may also lead to social isolation and loneliness because of reduced social interaction. To minimize the effect this could have on productivity, advocate for employees to lead healthy lives, exercise, and get in touch regularly to discuss how they feel.
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