Last updated on May 4th, 2021 at 09:35 am
Remote working is here to stay. Whether you're a business or employee, being successful hinges on how you adjust to the changes.
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The past year has been a real doozy for many of us, especially those who have had to adapt to a remote work lifestyle. Not coming into an office and seeing employees, managers, and friends every day can take a toll on everyone and can eventually lead to some folks falling into a bit of a rut. A long-term remote workplace requires just as much, if not more, attention than an in-person one to keep everything in good shape.
Helping employees figure out how best to adapt to a remote work lifestyle, stay in contact with collaborators, and stay motivated when distractions from home are within sight can be a real challenge for any manager. It is almost essential to have a strong strategic plan in place for remote work success.
This planning can greatly increase overall productivity and help employees stay on track during some of the more difficult times. Over the longer term, such strategic planning can also help the company save money on certain costs while earning money in new opportunities that come. Strategies for remote work success are key.
Perhaps the most important aspect of successfully transitioning employees to work-from-home (WFH) or some other type of remote workplace situation is building and maintaining communication. This has consistently been one of the biggest challenges for managers since the Covid-19 pandemic has put so many employees in a remote scenario. Numerous employees have reported struggling to feel connected to the office at all and many feel very socially isolated.
Fortunately, there are a plethora of tools out there that companies can take advantage of to help improve communication amongst employees. Apps such as Asana, Slack, Teams, Zoom, and many more help employees communicate through video calls, assigned tasks, and chat functions. Aside from work-related communication, these tools can also facilitate much-needed non-work conversation and relationship building that can help employees avoid feeling so alone.
Coming up with a strategic plan to improve collaboration while teleworking can make a big difference in helping people stay on track. Provide training for the new tools the company implements so everyone feels as though they can successfully use them. Managers should make regular check-in calls with employees to keep them engaged and to see how things are going or if there are ways communication should be improved to help achieve workplace goals.
Another strategic way to ensure remote workplace success is to provide the necessary structure. Much like an in-office workplace, there needs to be a plan, a set of goals, and means of allowing every employee to contribute. For instance, even in remote meetings, every employee should have an opportunity to contribute — tools like virtual whiteboards where ideas can be jotted down can make a big difference.
Providing structure also means making sure employees have all of the tools necessary to actually do their jobs in a remote setting. For example, most employees have found that an office space or area of the house dedicated to remote work helps them be more productive. Aside from working space, most employees need a computer, a desk and chair, a reliable internet connection, and a means of taking work-related phone calls outside of using their personal phones.
Incorporating accountability in a remote work environment is another valuable aspect of providing the necessary structure to be successful. Set deadlines and stick to them. Encourage employees to work together to complete tasks and give them the tools to do so. Some companies have also invested in software that allows them to monitor workflows and identify the strengths and weaknesses of employees.
Keeping Everyone Motivated
Remote work can be hard on employees mentally, therefore, it is important to consider that and strive to promote a positive and connected work environment to prevent burnout in the workforce. One of the best means of doing this is by promoting remote company culture. It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it should be a way for employees to come together and communicate in a non-work-focused setting.
Keeping employee wellness at the forefront is another way to help everyone stay motivated. Encourage employees to develop a routine such as getting dressed every morning and taking regular walks or other types of breaks away from the computer. Engage employees by asking how they are making WFH work for them — happy employees are more likely to stick around with the company and more likely to be highly productive.
Chances are remote work is here to stay at least to some degree in the company. A long-term strategic plan for how to keep communication and collaboration flowing between employees is essential to success. Likewise, providing the necessary structure to give employees the tools they need to be successful and making them accountable is also important. Finally, creating a plan for maintaining company culture, focusing on employee wellness, and keeping everyone engaged is a powerful means of staying on track.
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