Remote work has long appealed to workers, but it remained an out-of-reach ideal for many until the COVID-19 pandemic pushed businesses worldwide to rapidly transition to at-home work models.
According to the 2021 American Community Survey, the number of people working primarily from home has tripled since 2019. And if you look at recent surveys, remote teams aren't going anywhere anytime soon. In fact, 56% of respondents working from home due to the pandemic stated that they would quit or look for new jobs if their employers required them to work in-office again.
So, since remote work is here to stay, how can employers motivate remote workers and ensure they remain productive without direct supervision? Well. If recent productivity stats are any indication, simply switching to a remote model positively impacts productivity. In fact, 90% of people believe their productivity levels when working from home are equal to or even higher than their levels in the office.
However, executives and managers still have a lot on the line, which is why productivity management is an essential skill set for the new world of remote work.
First, what is productivity, and why does it matter?
Productivity is a measure of efficiency in the workplace based on the amount of work accomplished in a given period. Generally, the more work employees complete during a shift, the higher their productivity level. Productivity is essential for many reasons, but it becomes extra crucial for remote teams.
When companies excel at productivity, they typically enjoy benefits like:
- Reduced overhead and expenses
- Enhanced job satisfaction and fulfillment
- Greater revenue generation and profitability
- A maximized return on investment for every team member
- Improved employee health and well-being
- Faster launch times
- And more
However, the employees benefit, too. Employees with high productivity tend to be happier workers. So, when you create an environment that promotes productivity, you give your workers room to thrive. But how do you do that? How can you create a productive environment in a remote environment?
What is productivity management?
The benefits of remote work productivity are clear. The question is how you accomplish that without your employees feeling stressed, unappreciated and close to burnout. Setting objectives and ensuring everyone understands your expectations is a start, but it takes more than that to get the most out of your remote talent.
The answer? Productivity management. Productivity management is the establishment of processes and frameworks to increase productivity in healthy, efficient ways.
Every business with remote teams and global talent must find the right combination of tools, resources and processes to keep its employees motivated and efficient. What really matters is that the system works for the remote workforce and the managerial staff in charge of implementing the system.
The role of management in productivity
The managerial team is often the best resource for productivity management. This is because they work closely with remote teams and fully understand each member's strengths and weaknesses. This insight allows them to delegate work in a manner that takes advantage of strengths while minimizing weaknesses while still enabling team members to grow and develop new skills over time.
When management isn't in the same building as the remote work team each day, they can use technology to launch a variety of productivity management programs. As a result, remote teams can function with greater autonomy while the managers still oversee efficiency and productivity.
7 productivity tips for managers
So, how can your managers boost productivity while improving employee morale? The following tips shed some light.
1. Use time-tracking software
Time and attendance tracking software is one of the best ways to keep tabs on your team's productivity level. When you use time and attendance tracking software, it's a win for everyone. Managers get the insight they need, and employees get peace of mind knowing their hours are being tracked. Time tracking software can also help your managerial team identify missed time and determine the cause, allowing them to provide constructive feedback to remote teams and boost productivity as needed.
2. Schedule virtual stand-up meetings
Stand-up meetings are quick, informal sessions that allow team members to update one another on their goals, progress, setbacks, and other essential details. Scheduling at least a few stand-up meetings into the workweek ensures that your remote team is always on the same page. For some teams, starting or ending each day with these brief virtual gatherings is the best approach. Others might not need to meet as much. In fact, too many meetings can also hinder productivity. So, be thoughtful with meetings to ensure they're helping productivity and not hindering it.
3. Implement real-time employee monitoring
For the best insight, consider real-time employee monitoring, which allows you to see what each employee is working on at any given moment. When you use a solution like our Workforce Analytics & Productivity Platform, you can also capture screenshots, track time spent on individual projects and generate reports. With reports like these, you can quickly discover how your remote employees spend their time and work on ways to eliminate distractions.
4. Schedule regular 1:1 check-ins
Managers should prioritize 1:1 meetings with their remote employees. It's a way to talk about productivity, but it's also a way to check in and make sure your remote employees are doing okay. Meetings allow virtual and global talent to voice concerns and feel that they are valued and understood by management despite their physical distance.
5. Develop an integrated feedback process
Feedback can go both ways. While managerial teams are tasked with one-on-one meetings to provide workers feedback, remote teams also want to feel like they have a voice in the company. That's why finding an integrated approach to allow constructive feedback is a good idea. Your employees should have a fast and convenient way to ask questions, raise concerns, or make suggestions that could lead to valuable, time-saving company changes. The more insight you gain from virtual workers, the more informed your managerial team is when they make critical decisions.
6. Boost motivation with rewards and incentives
Who doesn't love a good reward? When there are incentives for working harder and reducing errors, most employees will feel more motivated to focus during working hours. You can also use rewards programs to encourage employees to focus more on tasks that are often neglected or pushed to the back burner. Moreover, recent stats show that reward programs positively impact productivity.
7. Utilize the right project management tools
Finally, you can't expect high productivity from remote teams if they aren't adequately equipped to meet those expectations. Look at your project management tools and determine if they're helping or hurting efficiency. If you're uncertain, maybe it's time to ask your remote teams about their experiences with the tools currently in place. Technology is rapidly expanding for the remote workforce, so be sure your employees have the tools they need to thrive.
Supercharge Your Remote Team's Productivity Management with Outstaffer.com
One of the best ways to boost productivity is to make sure you have the best talent. With the right people and skills, productivity becomes more attainable, and management becomes a breeze.
That's where Outstaffer can help. As your Employer of Record, we enable you to hire, pay and equip the best talent from around the world – without any liability or HR hassles. Then, with our #WorkFromAnywhere platform, we offer real-time employee monitoring and automated attendance tracking tools so you can keep track of your employees' productivity – no matter where they are.
Schedule your free demo now to learn more.