Productivity Doesn’t Need to be Office Based!
The ways in which we work and conduct our average working day is forever changing, and with it the trend for working remotely is only going to increase over time. This offers benefits such as a better work/life balance, cost savings and future-proofing your business. It has also been proven that offering greater flexibility in your team’s work schedule results in much higher employee satisfaction and a lower turnover rate.
However, with 53% of UK employees saying that their employers aren’t doing enough to enable remote working, what is it that prevents businesses taking advantage of an off-site workforce?
For some companies, there might be a basic lack of trust, or a lack of understanding as to how remote working could benefit their business. Whilst for others, concerns about productivity levels of employees who work remotely can cause barriers.
Whether remote working is new to your business, or it’s something you’ve embraced for a while, these are our top tips for ensuring you reap the benefits of remote working whilst ensuring you have a productive workforce.
Look to the Cloud
Today, technology is progressing at such a rate that finding ways to help and even encourage remote working is increasingly possible. Gone are the days when employees need to be based in the office to access the files and software needed to do their job. By embracing the vast array of cloud-based tools available, you can create seamless communication between office based and remote teams, enable simple file-sharing processes and set up team collaboration hubs.
By giving your remote workers access to the files and systems they need whilst off-site, you remove any barriers that might prevent them simply getting on with the job.
Share Your Calendars
Just because your team don’t all work in the same location, there’s no reason you shouldn’t share calendars and scheduling tools with them. Including remote workers in scheduled events such as company announcements, all-team meetings and even birthday celebrations will help make them feel like part of the team, resulting in more engaged employees.
Make Use of Video
Whilst email and instant messaging all have their place in keeping a remote workforce connected, using audio and video conference calling facilities can help bring your team much closer together. Programmes such as Skype and JoinMe have made keeping in touch with remote team members much easier, and no additional hardware is generally required.
Having an easy option to virtually meet with your co-workers can help resolve problems quickly, increase the understanding of projects and enable colleagues to build up a much closer working relationship regardless of their location.
Where possible, weekly catch-ups via multimedia channels should be encouraged so that issues can be raised and addressed quickly, and collaboration can be firmly established.
Invest in Project Management Software
One of the biggest problems with establishing a productive remote team is a lack of trust. Whilst this is generally unfounded, it can be helpful to have robust project management tools in place for the benefit of all parties.
Having an improved transparency over project deadlines and tasks that need to be completed can remove the worry that work isn’t being done simply because you can’t see someone sat at their desk. However, it’s important that this project management tool is shared equally between office base and remote workers to ensure that both teams are seen to be working just as efficiently.
Manage Your Credentials
Although security concerns may prompt you to restrict your remote workers from accessing online services and using your credentials whilst off-site, this will inevitably negatively affect their productivity. Making the decision to use an enterprise-grade password manager or a single sign-on solution can help you overcome these concerns, whilst increasing your remote team’s ability to collaborate.