If you are among the companies struggling to implement a remote work setup with your team, don’t worry. You are not alone.
Supervising your workforce was already a challenge before the pandemic. You would go to work and see the operations. To ensure everything was going well, you would check on your team and see whether everyone was efficient and productive. And if something went wrong, you would communicate with them, set a meeting, and resolve whatever problem was at hand.
However, overseeing an entire workforce and ensuring everyone is efficient and productive can be a big problem with a remote work setup. It’s challenging to check everyone’s tasks and keep everyone on the same page because you don’t get to update each other all the time. Plus, the pandemic is taking its toll on everyone’s mental health, thus affecting their efficiency and productivity.
According to a survey, one in five employees worked from home before the pandemic. Now, 75% are on a remote work setup. This is due to the restrictions imposed by the government to prevent the spread of the virus. Some companies had to cost-cut as they struggled financially, too.
It’s now up to the companies to step up and operate despite their employees working from home. This setup challenges not only efficiency and productivity among its workforce. It also challenges how it can keep the mental wellness of its employees while being stuck at home.
What You Can Do to Streamline the Workflow
According to a Harvard Business School study, remote work had an impact on work-life balance. Meetings were more frequent and longer by 48 and a half minutes. In addition, sending emails was more frequent, and some of these emails were sent beyond office hours.
Yet, despite these statistics, 16% of Americans would still want to work remotely even after the pandemic. Experts are saying that remote work is here to stay.
If this is, indeed, the future of the workplace, how will you improve your team’s efficiency and productivity? The answer is to streamline your workflow and introduce digital tools to improve productivity. Here’s how:
Invest in a communication platform
By communication, we don’t just mean Zoom or Hangouts. We don’t mean holding endless virtual meetings that only drain your employees. Invest in messaging apps for businesses like Slack, Zoho Cliq, Microsoft Teams, and RingCentral.
These apps allow you to check how your team is doing and see how people communicate and share. They have features that will enable people to huddle as a team or talk privately when needed. They have collaboration tools, perfect for teams that work mainly on file sharing and exchanging of ideas. Some of them also have their own video conferencing features. Subscriptions range from $3 to $6 per month.
Invest in tracking apps
Stick to your calendar and remind your teams of deadlines to meet. You don’t have to do this manually as there are apps like Timely and Toggl to track time at work. These apps also serve as your time-in and time-out to check attendance and working hours. Some apps also offer screen recording features that will monitor your workers’ desktop activities by the minute. This can be annoying and intruding on the privacy of your workers, though.
Invest in consultancy services
Because your workforce is limited, hiring consultancy services is more efficient. For example, data input and analysis of your budget and spending can be tedious and require your team to work in the office. Instead of keeping your entire accounting team, you can hire a consultancy expert on digital finance analytics for your financial records.
You can also outsource simple tasks like graphic design or video editing if needed. Or you can hire a virtual assistant to do all the overseeing and check-listing for you.
The most important thing for you to do as an employer is to accept the fact that remote work will be here for long. This is the new normal. Thus, you also have to understand that your employees are dealing with so many things at home. It was different when they were working in the office, and their only focus was work. Now, they have to deal with their families at home while adapting to the changes brought by the pandemic. Therefore, remote work can be stressful, too.
The least you can do for them is provide them with the tools to make work more efficient and manage your expectations accordingly. Times are tough. Don’t make it harder for your people.