5 Tips to increase Remote Employees’ Productivity
Remote work is the new norm in the American workforce. According to a report published by FlexJobs, in 2017 nearly 3.9 million Americans reported working remotely. This figure has jumped by 115% since 2005 and will continue to gain momentum.
As a manager, ensuring that your remote remains productive can be a challenge. It doesn’t mean the odds are against you. You merely need to revise your methodology.
Consider using the following tips to increase productivity with your remote team:
1. Implement a Process for Tracking Progress
A recent report published by the Project Management Institute states 37% percent of failed projects reported were a direct result of poorly defined milestones and objectives. Having clear expectations and communicating them is paramount for project productivity and success.
Establishing parameters will enable you to track progress at any time. The objective is to make sure every team member uses these parameters regularly and adequately.
Examples of parameters include:
– How to measure success?
– Which milestones should be reported?
– Do you require weekly reports?
– Should all project-related discussions occur on a single tool or platform?
When your remote team understands and implements these parameters, you’ll be able to see and track their progress.
It is a must to use project management software when managing a remote team, and this is a unified platform that will collect all data and documentation and track progress. It will also be easier to enforce company-wide procedures with such a tool. Employees can use this software as a communication platform.
3. Restrain from being a ‘helicopter manager.’
A Stanford Study found that remote workers were more productive than regular employees. Why? Because their managers didn’t micromanage them. Micromanaging or helicoptering undermines autonomy; remember this is what remote employees value the most. If you’re using an established process to track work, there’s no need to micromanage. Encourage remote teams to be productive on their own.
4. Provide Consistent Feedback
A feedback-driven environment is critical in a remote setting. Keep in mind, and remote workers are unable to receive pats on the back for work well done. But their work still needs to be acknowledged so that they can continue to work well and improve aspects that aren’t good.
Feedback helps correct errors and inspires employees to work better. Provide input that praises their work and provides helpful criticism at the same time. Strike a balance between these two aspects.
5. Keep All Communication Transparent
All communication with employees and management must be transparent. It ensures everyone is on the same page. A 2017 study with 1,100 employees found up to 75% of remote workers were unable to fight for their concerns. They also felt that colleagues made project changes without informing them. Lack of transparent communication makes remote employees feel left out, causing them to lose motivation and become less productive.
Regular communication via updates, feedback, video or voice calls, and chats will alleviate many of these issues. More importantly, keep these employees in the loop when it comes to changes in company policies, updates, meetings, etc.
A project management software from ViduPM can be your most effective tool in promoting productivity amongst remote employees.