- Tip #1: Establish Clear Communication Guidelines
- Tip #2: Set Deadlines and Milestones
- Tip #3: Digital Asset Management
- Tip #4: Flexible Schedules and Working Hours
- Tip #5: Provide Regular Feedback and Support
- Tip #6: Provide Opportunities for Learning & Development
- Tip #7: Ensure Security
- Driving It Home
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More and more people are working from home, with an increasing number of businesses switching to a more flexible work structure. In fact, over 36 million employees are expected to be working remotely by 2025 in the United States alone!
This shift towards telecommuting has had a profound impact on businesses both small and large, on everything from budgets to company culture. Global Workplace Analytics reports that companies can save around $11,000 annually per employee when they allow staff to work from home.
And even though technology makes connecting easier than ever before, many businesses struggle with how to ensure maximum productivity among their distributed teams without sacrificing the quality of output or employee satisfaction. To help you take on these challenges, we’re exploring tips for improving productivity among remote workers.
Tip #1: Establish Clear Communication Guidelines
Establishing clear communication guidelines helps ensure that everyone is aligned in terms of mission, vision and strategy. It also creates a sense of accountability among team members and encourages collaboration. Having an understanding of the objectives allows employees to prioritize their tasks accordingly.
Establish Regular Check-Ins
Weekly or biweekly check-ins should involve more than just an update on work progress—they should also provide an opportunity for team members to connect and discuss any issues they may be having.
Set Clear Expectations
This includes expectations about response times, meeting attendance and collaboration. When everyone knows what’s expected from them, it makes it easier for them to stay organized and focused on their work goals – and sets the team dynamic up for success.
Encourage Open Dialogue
An open dialogue helps create a collaborative and creative environment where everyone feels comfortable expressing themselves without fear of judgment or criticism—which can be especially important when working remotely. This should be modeled by everyone on the team, from leaders all the way down, so that a trusting environment can be built.
Reducing the Number of Channels Used
The more channels that you use for internal communication, the more difficult it can be for employees to stay on top of all conversations going on within the company. To reduce confusion, establish which channels your team will use to communicate and manage projects.
Tip #2: Set Deadlines and Milestones
Deadlines and milestones provide a sense of urgency for tasks, which can be incredibly motivating for remote workers. When employees know that there is an impending deadline or milestone, they are more likely to stay focused and prioritize their workload accordingly.
You can set deadlines and milestones by coming up with a timeline that is both ambitious and achievable. Take into account the level of difficulty of each task, as well as the amount of time available to complete them. It may be helpful to break down big tasks into smaller chunks so that they are easier to manage.
Tip #3: Digital Asset Management
Digital asset management (DAM) facilitates easy access and organization of digital content such as images, videos, audio files, documents and other media assets. It helps teams save time by providing tools for organizing, tagging and sharing digital content with internal and external stakeholders in one centralized repository. DAM has many benefits when it comes to improving productivity among remote workers:
Organization and Accessibility
Digital asset management systems make it easy for remote workers to access the files they need quickly and efficiently. All of their digital assets can be stored in one place rather than scattered across multiple hard drives or cloud storage accounts.
Digital asset management systems also come with a variety of time-saving tools like smart CDN links or content automation that can help boost productivity, streamline priorities and scale your team’s work.
Workflow tools provide an overview of each team member's tasks so managers can easily identify where extra resources may be needed to complete projects on time and within budget. Plus, workflow integrations with your digital asset management platform allow teams to easily link existing tools, so you can keep your project on track from start to finish.
When working with sensitive information or confidential data, security is always a top priority. Fortunately, digital asset management systems provide robust security protocols to ensure that your data remains protected at all times.
Tip #4: Flexible Schedules and Working Hours
By allowing your employees to set their schedule and determine when they can start and end their day, you can have a significant impact on the quality of their work and their overall job satisfaction. Here's why:
Increased Autonomy and Self-Management
Giving your employees autonomy over their work schedule allows them to better manage distractions and prioritize tasks more effectively. They can create an environment that works best for them, which leads to fewer disruptions throughout the day, fewer interruptions during meetings and improved focus on the task at hand.
Improved Mental Health and Wellbeing
When employees can have greater control over when they work, it leads to increased job satisfaction and decreases stress levels. Research has shown that having an element of flexibility in one’s job can lead to improved mental health.
Tip #5: Provide Regular Feedback and Support
Without regular face-to-face interactions in an in-person office setting, it takes intentional feedback and support to make sure your team has what they need to thrive. Here are a few ways you can do this with your remote team:
Create an Open Dialogue with Remote Employees
This can be done by having regular check-ins with your team members where you provide feedback on their performance and answer any questions or concerns they may have about their work. This can also be a good opportunity to hear any feedback they might have for you. Having an open line of communication between you and your employees will create a sense of trust.
Foster a Positive Workplace Environment for Remote Workers
This includes encouraging collaboration between team members, providing constructive criticism when needed, recognizing achievements, offering rewards for good work and providing resources that can help them do better work, such as online training courses or access to helpful websites or tools. All of these things can go a long way in fostering camaraderie among remote workers while also helping them become better at what they do.
Provide Support and Encouragement
Offer one-on-one coaching sessions with each employee or group sessions specifically designed for addressing things that come up (both good and bad) during their workdays. It’s vital to recognize successes when they happen so that employees feel motivated to keep up the good work.
Give Regular Feedback
Feedback is an essential part of any successful business strategy. When working with remote employees, feedback should be given regularly so that employees have the opportunity to make adjustments and improvements as needed. As mentioned above, one way to do this is in regular check-ins. However, depending on the nature of your work, it may also be important to establish a process for feedback on daily work or projects. Talk with your team about how they best receive feedback and implement a system that allows employees the opportunity to learn and optimize.
Tip #6: Provide Opportunities for Learning & Development
Training and education programs are beneficial because they allow your employees to advance professionally while staying connected with the company. These could include webinars or other online training materials that are tailored specifically to each employee’s role within the organization.
The 2022 Engagement and Retention Report shows that employees who feel valued are more productive than those who don’t, which is why investing in quality training and education programs can be so beneficial. By investing in their development, you are showing employees that their contribution matters to the success of your business. Training and education can help combat the feeling of isolation many remote workers experience when working from home or other remote locations. By providing opportunities for collaboration between co-workers, you can create an environment where everyone feels connected and supported — regardless of physical distance.
Tip #7: Ensure Security
Implementing the following strategies will provide peace of mind for both employers and employees alike so everyone can focus on doing their best work without worrying about potential security threats.
This includes using two-factor authentication (2FA) when logging in, which requires an additional code or step after entering a password. It may also involve enforcing certain criteria such as strong passwords and setting up email alerts when login attempts fail multiple times. These measures will help protect against malicious actors trying to access your system, as well as accidental mistakes from employees who may not be familiar with proper security protocols.
Another strategy is data encryption, which scrambles data into an unreadable format so that only those with the correct key can view it. Encrypting sensitive data helps ensure that it remains safe and out of reach from hackers or anyone else who does not have the authorization to access it. By using a reliable Virtual Private Network (VPN), such as Surfshark VPN, you can ensure that any data sent over an unsecured connection such as public Wi-Fi remains secure and private.
Secure Network Infrastructure
Have firewalls in place and ensure all devices are running the latest versions of software and antivirus programs. Additionally, employees should be trained on best practices when it comes to online safety such as avoiding suspicious emails and websites or downloading unknown files onto their computers.
Driving It Home
Improving productivity among remote workers may seem challenging at first, but it's definitely an endeavor worth pursuing. With a few changes to your company culture and management style, you'll soon see your remote team optimizing their productivity.
To achieve the highest productivity levels from your remote team, it's important to set some guidelines and reflect on your management style. Creating an environment that is conducive to high-quality work will pay off in terms of both increased productivity and employee satisfaction.
And finally, make sure your remote team is set up for success by implementing the tools you need. Read more ways a digital asset management system can help boost productivity for remote workers.