Remote working has gained popularity over the last year because of the pandemic. In the U.S alone, more than 42% of the workforce continues to work remotely.
Many employees enjoy the benefits of remote work:
- No hassles of commuting
- No need to spend hours fully dressed up to meet up with clients, and
- A more flexible work schedule
But, with all those perks, remote working also comes with a unique set of challenges. Remote employees face challenges of isolation and feeling disconnected from their teams. Their feelings aren’t unfounded either.
A study comparing the promotion rates of remote and in-office employees found that remote employees weren’t as likely to get a promotion. This was regardless of their performance. It’s a case of out-of-sight-out-of-mind.
Additionally, remote employees also struggle to unplug. As the divide between workplace and home gets blurred, remote employees are working longer hours.
Companies, however, are beginning to recognize this. Leaders are beginning to recognize that their remote employees have different needs than those in the office. They’re leaving no stone unturned when it comes to engaging their employees and maintaining their productivity. They invest in best practices and leverage essential tools to seamlessly develop their remote or even hybrid employees.
This post will break down some of the essential tips and powerful tools you can use to maintain your remote or hybrid employees’ productivity and set both you and your team up for success.
Developing Remote Employees: The Best Practices
Developing remote employees can result in better performance which is necessary for a company's growth. Here are some best practices to ensure that you’re doing your part to maintain and maximize your remote employees’ productivity.
Create Clear Guidelines of Remote Working
Guidelines for remote working are crucial to define every employee’s responsibilities and expectations. Your company needs to communicate what needs to be accomplished and how it’s to be completed. This way, remote employees understand what you expect from them and are encouraged to complete their tasks effectively. And if you provide them with an employee hour calculator, they can also calculate their time better."
In the guidelines, you can also define the company goals. It inspires the employees to set a timeline that they can work within to achieve the goals. That is how you can keep them motivated even when they are telecommunicating.
Create Team Building Activities
Remote employees are more prone to loneliness. They can't meet their teammates and co-workers in person. In this case, you can create team-building activities to bring your team closer together.
These games will strengthen employees’ relationships, build trust, and achieve team goals, leading to better employee engagement.
Check-In With Your Employees Regularly
Regular check-ins are essential to ensure that you cater to remote employees’ needs to do their job successfully. It is an effective way to provide direct reports with valuable feedback, making sure that the line of communication is always open.
This type of communication can lead to engaging conversations between you and your employees. It helps you make sure that your remote employees are not alone and encourage them to ask for help if they struggle while working on a project. This, in turn, will make employees stay engaged with their work.
One way companies are helping to support remote employees is through mentoring programs. With remote mentoring programs, remote workers access role models who can offer guidance and advice both personally and professionally. Check out our Remote Mentoring Handbook where we go into detail about how to be great mentor in a remote environment.
Equip Your Employees With the Technology They Need
When working remotely, your employees’ productivity depends on reliable, high-performing quality equipment or tools. Therefore, providing them with software is an excellent way to ensure that your remote employees are well-equipped and all set up to succeed in their roles.
Remote working tools simplify the process of managing remote employees, keeping them productive and growing professionally. When they can get tasks effortlessly done, it would be much easier to stay motivated and keep in touch with their remote co-workers.
Essential Remote Work Tools You Should Provide
Thanks to the internet and the rapid growth of technology, tons of remote work tools are available to allow your employees to connect and collaborate. Here is a list of remote work tools that you should provide to your employees.
Project Management Software
Project management tools or software make it much easier for your employees to work together. They can track their progress on each project. It allows them to create to-do lists (both for individual and group tasks), set deadlines, assign tasks to other members, share files, and more.
This tool helps your employees maintain quality management and all documentation exchanged throughout any project, whether for an explainer video campaign or even meeting agenda with a client. Some of popular project management tools in the market today include:
Communication is the foundation of good remote work. Good communication will help remote employees ensure that they are all on the same page. That being said, more than 20% of surveyed remote employees say that their biggest struggle is to communicate with their teams or co-workers.
To avoid this, you can leverage communication tools (e.g., instant messaging app, video conferencing, and more). Here are some top communication tools many remote employees can use:
Cloud Storage and File Sharing Tools
Since your remote employees can't utilize their office's internal storage, they can upload and manage their files using cloud storage. Providing them with robust cloud storage can help them access and manage data relatively simply and pain-free.
With cloud storage, they can upload, share, secure any type of documents -- even collaborate within the same files. It can make good teamwork more achievable. Below are some of the best cloud storage software you might consider using:
Remote working can be an advantage or even a blessing for some of your employees. They can work flexibly and have more autonomy in how they work. With these tips and essential tools mentioned above, you can ensure that you can maintain your employee’s productivity and work performance effectively -- no matter the distance between you and them.
If you apply these tips and leverage these tools, you can create a smoother workflow, communication, and seamless remote working experience for your employees. Remember, happy employees create happy customers.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order). Find him on Twitter and LinkedIn