The COVID-19 pandemic has made remote work a mainstay in the workplace. Less than 8% of Australians worked from home pre-pandemic and now, more than 40% do so, according to research from the Australian Government's Productivity Commission. Even as countries around the world open up, more companies are adopting a hybrid model of working and remote work will continue to be a prevalent way of operating globally.
As companies transition to this way of working, what used to be the status quo pre-pandemic may require rethinking and readjusting. How do you ensure your employees are able to stay efficient, effectively communicate, be aligned with timelines and stay motivated whilst working from home?
Have you sat in a meeting and thought, that could have been communicated through a concise email? Or be involved in a string of meetings and are left with no time to complete your work? According to a study on remote workers by Twingate, 45% of employees feel they are attending more meetings during the pandemic than prior to it.
Employers may feel the need to overcompensate with an excessive number of meetings to make up for the lack of face-to-face time. But having too many meetings that do not add any value to your work can be a waste of employees’ time. Review the meetings you have throughout the week, weed out the ones that are unproductive and only run meetings that are effective. Try to achieve a good balance between allowing your employees to focus on deep work without distraction and creating virtual opportunities to connect, such as through online sharing sessions or team games.
Files are a mess and employees do not have a cohesive system to track milestones for projects. If this sounds like your online work environment, it’s time to seriously rethink how your files and workflow is organised. Not having the right tools could mean inefficient systems, wasted time, frustrated employees and lowered productivity – which ultimately results in unnecessary costs to your organisation.
Many time-saving digital tools can assist in increasing productivity. Project management tools and software such as Trello, Asana, and Basecamp help you and your employees keep track of multiple on-going projects and milestones. They keep people involved in the relevant projects updated and be able to quickly address potential roadblocks while working remotely. This ensures task delegation and submissions can be fulfilled, tracked and referred to all in one place.
Without physical workplaces and the close physical proximity it offers, it can be hard to clarify what is being communicated on the spot. This can give way to miscommunication or for those newer to the workplace, feeling like they do not understand instructions from their managers.
Take advantage of remote collaboration tools like Microsoft Teams, Slack or Skype and the benefits they provide to enhance the remote work experience for your team. As opposed to email communication that can be tedious and formal, or meetings that can eat away at precious time, incorporating an instant messaging system can provide a seamless mode of communication for your team. By also incorporating daily check-ins, employees can understand their tasks better and feel connected at the same time.
With extended work from home, employees may find themselves disconnected from the workplace and their team, allowing feelings of isolation to set in. This can have a significant impact on employee productivity with costs amounting AU$11 billion annually for workplaces.
Care for your employees’ wellbeing in the remote workplace by providing a strong support system for them and creating channels of open communication. Providing flexibility to employees also fosters a sense of autonomy and trust, which in turn can make for happier individuals. Why not reward your employees and recognise them when they perform exceptionally well? Give them a pat on the back for successfully taking on new responsibilities too! This way, you keep your team fired up to put in the effort to achieve more.
Along with keeping your team motivated to ensure productivity levels are high, partnering with the right third-party companies are equally important to keeping your business operations streamlined. DHL Express offers cross-border express shipping to ensure your goods reach your customers on time.
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