6 Considerations for Optimizing Remote Worker Environments

Remote Workers

Did you know that according to Stanford research, 42 percent of the labor force is now working from home full-time? Although this is a great way to keep your team safe and is a flexible and comfortable way of working, many businesses are afraid that remote working can lead to a lack of productivity, missed deadlines, and subpar work.

However, with some measures in place you can ensure that your employees are just as productive. Read on to learn our top six work strategy optimizations for your remote team of workers.

1. Utilize Chat Applications

One of the main business concerns when it comes to hiring a remote employee is communication. There’s the justified fear that communication won’t be as seamless or instantaneous compared to when everyone is working underneath the same roof.

Collaboration is especially important when teams are working on projects with tight deadlines, or they’re running into bugs or issues that need fast fixes. This can easily be rectified through the use of chat applications. Here are a few of the most popular:

  • Skype
  • Microsoft Teams
  • Slack
  • Asana
  • Google Docs

These apps provide a platform for free-flowing conversation that’s similar to in-person office environments. Team members can also share Word docs, PDF files, PowerPoint presentations, and more through these platforms. Many of these platforms have low monthly costs depending on the number of users.

2. Video Conferencing Technology

Another fear is that remote business won’t be as productive when there’s a lack of oversight with workers at home. However, video conferencing technology is able to fill in the gap to provide oversight and meetings all from the comfort of everyone’s home. Managers can use this technology in order to hold meetings as well as to request detailed reports from their employees.

Many have screen-sharing capabilities so that employees can present their data or reports easily. This also makes it easy to hold meetings and presentations in order to keep everyone accountable.

The best part is that these apps are usually able to accommodate desktops, tablets, and mobile phones.

3. Focus on the Results

As your team shifts to working from home, you’ll soon find that you’re not able to keep track of their work inputs the same way you did at the office. This means you won’t be able to fully determine how long they’re working each day, the number of emails they sent, or the number of calls they took.

While there is time tracking software available, for the majority of industries it’s important to shift your focus away from the inputs and onto the outputs.

This means that you’ll want to measure success and productivity based on the project deadlines your team is able to meet versus the number of hours it took to get there.

4. Encourage Breaks

As your team makes the shift from working in the office to at home, anxiety and burnout become more common. The European Foundation for the Improvement of Living and Working Conditions ran a report in 2017. They found that 41 percent of employees suffered from higher levels of stress compared to those who worked in the office.

With this in mind, it’s important that you remind your team that breaks are still an expected part of their workday. You can set an example by setting your own lunch and break hours that are visible on a shared calendar. Although this seems as if it would be less productive, frequent breaks actually boost productivity because they help avoid burnout.

5. Promote Connection

As your team battles feelings of isolation and stress, it’s important that you also promote connection. This can be done by scheduling at least one day a week when people need to come to the office in order to work.

However, if this isn’t possible, you can also schedule certain times of the month or the week when you have “casual hangouts” or conversations. This can be as simple as sharing what you have planned for the weekend, recipe ideas, book discussions, and more.

You can also utilize chat platforms for these discussions. Along with a channel for work, you can create separate channels that are for non-work topics. This helps your team stay connected and boosts productivity by warding away burnout.

6. Secure Work Environment

Last but not least, it’s important that you become familiar with virtual or cloud desktops and cloud architecture. One of the top benefits of using a virtual desktop is data security. Your employee’s work will be secured through advanced encryption methods and you can even require multi-level authentication.

Data loss is unlikely because it will be backed up through multiple layers; productivity won’t be reduced by employees who experience power loss, for instance. Your employees are also able to access the company’s files and data from the comfort of their own home. They won’t need any extra special permissions in order to access the files they need.

Work Strategy Optimizations to Increase Productivity

As you can see, these work strategy optimizations shift your focus away from inputs such as the number of work hours, emails, and calls answered. Instead, they help you prioritize outputs such as the number of tickets resolved, deadlines reached, and tasks completed each day. This shift of focus can help save workers from burnout and gives them the flexibility they need to configure work from home schedules that work for them.

Moreover, tools such as chat applications, video conferencing technology, and virtual desktops make it easy for employees to connect with each other and keep their data safe.

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