Improving Remote Results: 5 Ways to Optimize your Team’s WFH Productivity

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Ever since countries all over Asia Pacific have begun to practice community quarantine, organizations big and small  have transitioned to a remote set-up. For realists, reverting back to normal seems like a distant dream. Now working from home, employers can find it difficult to track progress, especially when the line between rest and responsibility starts to blur.

Measuring employee productivity may not be as clear-cut as it would look in a physical office setting, but it is possible. In fact, studies have shown that people tend to work best when they are comfortable. Below are five ways to measure work-from-home productivity.

Be results-oriented 

One erring judgement organizations make when transitioning to a remote set-up is that traditional practices done in the office can simply be brought online. It’s important to note that employees are no longer stuck to their desks with the time dictating progress. The best way to go about it is to put a prime on results over working within a time frame. In this set-up, it enhances overall accountability and allows people to do tasks at their own pace without sacrificing the quality or quantity of output.

Most organizations turn to objectives and key results (OKRs) using key performance indicators (KPIs) to monitor performance on a daily basis, taking note if an individual has accomplished all tasks asked of him. This could easily be tracked on Google Sheets or more advanced tools like Slack’s Nikabot and Teamline bot which keep track of work performance based on essential metrics.

Prioritize tasks

Due to the increased accountability brought about by remote work, the responsibility to do better heightens. Like with all things, there needs to be organization when it comes to approach. Instead of viewing tasks as tedious to-do lists, encourage the team to emphasize milestones.

One way to maximize productivity is to hand out a clear  timeline of what needs to be done for the week. Most importantly, remind members to set realistic deadlines that can be easily accomplished within a day. Project-planning platforms like Trello can help delineate which urgent tasks are to be done. With clear deliverables on the table, it’s easier to be selective of which task gets most of their attention.

Hold weekly checkpoints

Although there are several tools of communication at your disposal, it’s still ideal to hold weekly stand-up meetings with the team for quick status updates. In doing so, there is increased transparency across all departments while being as efficient as possible. Having to report task progress increases accountability. Any unclear instructions or concerns may be easily aired in the conference without the trouble of slow responses from higher-ups.

Additionally, it also becomes an avenue to boost morale among workers as they are reminded about the value of teamwork and productivity. Seeing other faces — even virtually — can also provide a semblance of normalcy, making the remote experience humane.

Require attendance checks

While time spent on work cannot always be an effective basis to one’s own productivity, time management has never been more crucial during this period. Since being physically present is no longer an option, it should be replaced with an individual’s readiness to be in “work mode” throughout the day. In this case, having the team clocked in for the day ensures that each person is present online and available for contacting.

Whether or not an organization works on a flexible time, there are pros to having consistent work hours for yourself. Being in a proper headspace for work  does wonders to productivity.

Separate work from play

With the home and the office merged into one, there is a need to mentally separate the spaces of work and play. Solutions to this can be found in the separation of platforms. Keep all work-related matters outside of Facebook. Ideally, have the organization hop on an application that’s free from social distractions like Workplace or Slack in order for members to be fully immersed in work.

Of course, boundaries for work should also exist. Scheduling calls during lunch or after work hours should not be tolerated as there is a need to respect an individual’s time to recharge. At the end of the day, it is still up to the organization to ensure the physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing of its employees, even when work is remote.

The global pandemic has compelled the workforce to adjust at a quick rate, but there is no reason organizations should be hampered from producing the same results it normally does in an office setting. With no one watching over employee shoulders, the time to emphasize accountability through these five measures of productivity is now. Ultimately, what matters is the results, not location.

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