Employees are still highly interested in working remotely. In fact, according to a study by Global Workplace Analytics, remote work has grown by 140% since 2005. As a result, businesses around the world are grappling with the issue of allowing employees to work from outside of the office.
One of the major concerns includes keeping remote employees productive. While most remote workers are more productive than their in-office counterparts, businesses want to ensure their work-away staff are truly staying productive.
If your company is grappling with the decision to allow employees to work remotely from coworking spaces or restructure their teams, there are some measures you can take to make sure they stay productive and use their work time wisely.
1). Use quarterly goals: just like you do for the business, setting quarterly goals is a great way to help remote staff stay productive. The goals, of course, will vary upon the type of work being done. For instance, if you have an employee who is working on email outreach, a goal of 200-300 emails per day might be a reasonable target.
It’s important to understand that some days will be better than others. We’re all human. The employee conducting email outreach may hit the goal on some days, but not on others. That’s normal. Goals are a great way to set expectations, job criteria, and more, especially when employees are working remotely from a coworking space.
As an addition, you might consider offering incentives for remote employees who regularly reach their goals. Gift cards are one way to offer bonuses—choose a method that has value to your employees. When an employee achieves more than the established goal, you could offer a cash bonus added to their paycheck.
2). Time management software: is sometimes a good investment, and can help employees see where their time is going, and how to use their time more efficiently. While the software may cost money, it will soon pay for itself when remote workers maintain or improve their productivity.
Time management tools vary, but most track the employee’s time, and some may even take periodic screenshots throughout the day. Not only does this offer proof of what an employee was doing on the clock, it also adds an incentive for them to keep on task, knowing the time records will be reviewed by the company.
In addition, it’s also a good idea to include time management training for all employees, but especially for those who work from outside the office at a coworking space.
3). Video conferences: meetings are a way to keep the team going in the same direction. They’re also a great way to help the team maintain cohesiveness. Video conferences are a way to loop remote employees into project updates. Video meetings also offer inclusiveness for those working remotely.
In addition, video conferences help fight feelings of isolation that can be common for some who are working from outside of the office. It’s also a great way to keep the team on track, tackle problems and find solutions and more.
4). Track tasks: technology offers many ways for everyone on the team to stay connected, even when some of the staff work remotely. To manage team projects, apps such as Trello and Asana keep everyone organised and on the same page. It’s easy to track tasks and see next steps, etc.
Not only that, but these types of apps can sync across devices—from Windows PCs to iOS and Android devices, so everyone can see what happening and stay in touch, even when traveling.
5). Bonding activities: with virtual offices and remote staff working from coworking spaces, it’s a great idea to hold regular get togethers. If your team is spread out across the country, it might be helpful to get everyone together once a quarter for some type of bonding activity. It might be lunch together, a fun day out together, whatever works best for your team.
Regular face-to-face meetings help bring the team together, including remote staff. It gives you a time to all get together to have fun together, work through project issues, etc.
6). Recognise work well done: when working externally, employees may not receive recognition for their accomplishments. Make sure remote staff receive the recognition they deserve. It’s important to make sure this recognition is visible to others in the company, too, so they’re also aware of the remote employee’s contributions and accomplishments.
7). Onboarding for remote workers: when it comes to onboarding remote staff, make sure to do a good job. Make the employee feel included and a part of the team. When they first begin, having them come to the office to meet everyone and receive training can make a huge difference. During this time, connections can be encouraged between office and remote staff, ensuring everyone feels a part of the team.
8). Real responsibilities are key: the tendency is sometimes to give remote employees a job that’s truly only a task. The employee working from outside the office may feel as if they’re really not that important, which can hurt their engagement with the work and their productivity.
Instead, make sure to give remote workers real responsibilities and duties. Make sure these duties can add to their overall career experience, and that the job involves communication with others, as well as contributions to share with the rest of the team.
9). Choose your remote workers environment wisely: some companies have started working with their remote workers to identify productive workspaces, such as a coworking space. Better than working from home, coworking environments provide a space for professionals to get together, be part of a wider community and share skills. As well as providing structure by having a place for your remote staff to go every day, coworking spaces are great for your employees personal and professional development and remove all the usual hassles and distractions associated with alternative options.
When it comes to keeping remote staff productive and happy, consider ways to help them feel included with the rest of the team. Investments in their working space, technology and apps to stay connected can make all the difference.
And remember, the key to working with the entire team is communication. Keep the communication going between those working remotely and the team at the office, and you’re be sure to have happy and productive remote employees.