You may not be used to having remote workers. But you may have to get used to it.
With COVID’s unpredictability, new variants making their way through society, and political war going on, you never know what will happen next.
The situation can easily fly out of control in wildly unexpected ways. And your only choice may be to have remote workers.
But you can relax because remote work actually leads to a net increase in productivity.
Combining the data of several studies shows remote workers spend 10 less minutes per day being unproductive, work one more day per week, and have 47% greater productivity.
And when you think about it, it makes sense. Remote workers are in the comfort of their own homes. Kids are now back in school. And remote workers don’t have to deal with the productivity-draining disruptions that come with working in the office.
But that doesn’t mean remote work doesn’t have challenges. It’s not perfect.
So take a minute to learn some of the largest remote work obstacles, and what you can do about them:
Working Too Much
Believe it or not, the problem with remote working is not that employees feel tempted to slack off now that they have no one looking over their shoulder.
The difficulty instead lies in working too much, according to Zapier (a fully remote company). This happens because your employees no longer have a clear boundary between home and work.
They forget to take breaks. They fail to realize what a reasonable amount of time to work even is.
Many suddenly find themselves checking and closing small tasks at all hours of the day.
This is the reality. Go ahead and ask your own remote employees.
Have your employees create physical boundaries around their workspace at home. So, they shouldn’t even be able to access their home office during non-work hours.
In addition, have them set a clear work schedule so they know when they’ve done enough and can stop.
It’s the obvious one, isn’t it? Being physically away from your workplace would make it difficult to be engaged with co-workers.
You have to make a conscious effort to keep your team as engaged as possible. Ask them for ideas.
Use Zoom to have social hours or video chats. Consider doing some team-building activities in the real world.
Give your employees public recognition for work well done. Keep communication open and frequent.
And take time to chat with your employees individually about their lives. Learn about their mental and physical needs. And figure out how you can help them to meet those needs.
It’s not easy to manage a remote team. But it may be necessary and could become a surprisingly incredible competitive advantage.