There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that the COVID-19 pandemic has changed the way we did business drastically in 2020. Many businesses are using the option of encouraging more and more people to work from home. Several employees already work from home remotely but many others are yet trying to adjust to the shift in paradigm. It is a fact that working from home means a lot more distractions and lesser ways of interacting with colleagues manually and greater social isolation. This can lead to a loss in productivity. For overcoming these challenges there must be new ways to keep the team productive even while working remotely. Here are some of them.
Provide smart tools to your team
One of the more significant ways for the teams to succeed while working from home is to provide them the smart tools to be productive and stay connected. It is recommended to use project management software that allows you to automatically plan daily tasks, projects, and recurring work. You can also use tools for messaging or chats such as MS Teams or Slack, and video conferencing apps such as Google Hangouts or Zoom for the purpose.
While transferring the files across the chats convert to PDF to make sure their integrity is maintained. When you have armed your teams with the latest technologies, it permits the employees and managers to be on the same page despite working from different places. These apps will be the key to keep your teams productive and connected after the pandemic as people begin to get back to work.
Ensure daily check-ins
As the managers will no longer get the daily face time with their staff and the members of the staff will not be able to chat with each other at the proverbial water cooler, you must have a daily check-in routine as a significant way of setting up priorities and fostering your connections. You may establish a morning check-in through video chat, phone calls, or instant messages to develop a sense of normalcy. These check-ins could be held within smaller groups. The use of the smart tools mentioned above is vital for revamping regular check-ins. For instance, if you were used to holding daily all-hands in-person meetings you may switch to video conferencing apps to conduct a virtual version of the meetings every morning.
Encourage the employees to have dedicated workspaces
Several regular office workers were never in the need of having a dedicated workplace in their living quarters. But, now they are working from home regularly, so it might be a good idea for the managers to encourage them to create home offices that are away from communal spaces. In many cases, some businesses have offered stipends to their employees to create productive and appropriate workplaces for their remote work. These workplaces free the employees up from the usual distractions from their home life. Due to the school closures, several parents have to be at home with their kids. An office away from the family can help you concentrate and maintain yourself on the task at hand.
Dress for office work
Although this may not sound as significant to be dressed for office work even while working from home, it is a great help for the employees psychologically to not wear pajamas and sweatpants and try to be productive. When you are dressed up for work it helps you feel better mentally thereby making things easier to concentrate on checking off the significant tasks from your to-do list. The proper dressing also allows the employees to feel a lot more comfortable while hopping onto an impromptu video call with a colleague or a client.
One of the important things that might not be obvious to some managers regarding remote work is the significance of facilitating non-work chatting or interaction between different remote workers. You need to have space and time for the employees to talk about hobbies, news, and other topics of their interest similar to what they would have done in their office stay. This allows them to feel more connected and relieves some of the stress. One of the ways of doing this is leaving a few minutes before the video conferences open allowing people to catch up. You may allow some time after the conference as well. You may also wish to have virtual happy hours weekly to develop a bridge among the employees.