Organizing remote work is a challenge for any business owner. Read on to find workable strategies to maximize the output of your distributed team.
The pandemic has had a significant impact on the world, particularly in the workplace. Due to the virus’s health limitations and consequences, businesses and industries have been compelled to implement remote working regimes for their employees to minimize direct contact and prevent the virus from spreading.
However, it’s notable that the COVID-19-related massive transition to remote work is only a part of the broader global trend towards distributed workplaces. The benefits to both employees and businesses are fueling a workplace revolution, with hundreds of companies letting their staff work remotely.
A flurry of studies on the benefits of remote work for everyone involved has been released in recent years. Remote employees, according to research, are more likely to be happier and have a better work-life balance. While remote employees encounter obstacles, they are more likely to take fewer sick days, stay motivated for longer periods, stay in their employment longer, and value their freedom above salary rises.
However, some studies suggest that remote employees underperform when operating remotely, which might be due to various intervening factors. Here we explore these factors to show how to oust the performance barriers, from technical to human ones, and maximize the value of your distributed workforce for the company.
Employees Who Work from Home Underperform
Despite all of the advantages that remote workers enjoy, there are a few disadvantages to working from home. The most common difficulty faced by remote employees is disconnecting after work, which ruins the work-life balance and prevents people working from home from relaxing after the working day.
Apart from that, loneliness caused by the disconnect from coworkers, distractions at home, working in different time zones, taking breaks or free time, having unreliable Wi-Fi, buggy operating system or a slow Mac, and a lack of proper resources are common problems among remote employees causing them to underperform. Let’s consider some of these factors in more detail to see how you can help your remote staff.
A Sluggish Computer
Your employees’ computers may become sluggish for a variety of reasons. It may take some time to manually detect and solve the problem, so we recommend equipping your staff’s computers with efficient cleaners that perform regular checkups and optimize the devices’ operations.
A good cleaner usually runs maintenance applications, frees up RAM, and makes other tweaks to help your Mac operate faster. So, you’re likely to feel the benefits of cleaner use very soon, expressed in the adequate performance of business tasks without hardware-related bottlenecks.
Management of Projects
The most challenging aspect of remote work is project management with a physically scattered team. Managers, whether they operate both in-house and remote workers or an entirely remote team, are responsible for ensuring that deadlines and objectives are met.
Communication gets more complicated in such conditions, and individual progress track gets increasingly complex, which gets problematic for lengthy projects and large teams.
Fortunately, there are tools designed specifically for remote work management. To assign tasks and measure progress, you can use various PM tools and techniques, allowing optimal task organization, communication, and progress tracking.
The most common issue for remote teams is setting up proper tools and channels for collaboration and teamwork. If the team members share an office, they may readily engage with documents, objects, tasks, and each other. But how can a team collaborate on the project when they are scattered across the globe?
A solid communication channel is the most critical prerequisite for remote collaboration. Sending piles of emails every day is not a solution; you need team collaboration tools, such as Slack or Asana, to arrange all tasks and store progress files to update all team members on every step.
Just last week it was reported that Iranian hackers targeted an aerospace defense contractor in the United States in which its employees were the prime target in credential-stealing attack.
The same can happen with employees working remotely, for instance, your hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in their routers, take them over to carry out DDoS attacks, or steal data from the employee’s workstation.
To make sure not to fall for such attacks make sure your router’s firmware is updated to the latest version, you are not clicking a link sent by an anonymous user and a reliable anti-malware solution is actively scanning for threats.
Dealing with Distractions
Distractions hinder productivity enormously, making remote working difficult and jeopardizing team development. Distractions at home are a considerable bottleneck for remote work, which requires proper staff training for smooth adaptation to the new work environment. Once you give staff new time and focus management techniques, equip them with noise-absorbing headphones, and clarify project timelines, the work may go much faster.
Remote work is not everyone’s cup of tea, so some employees need extra time to adapt to new work routines. You, as a manager, can monitor staff performance and address the barriers and bottlenecks as they emerge. Don’t forget to keep both individual perspectives and the project goals in mind so that your staff feels your concern and remains focused on the joint business objective at the same time.