Remote work is the new normal nowadays as we deal with the pandemic. Even your kid’s piano lessons are being done over the internet. While you may think that your remote work setup is fine, the truth is that a lot of remote workers are not getting the most from their situations. For example, they might have time management problems or other issues. The result is a system that has a lot of room for improvement. If you want to get the most from your company’s remote work operations, here are some things that you can do.
Communicate On Multiple Channels
One of the essential problems that many remote workers have is that it can be difficult to get hold of anyone. Without a central office, you can’t just get up from your desk and go to the person you need. The problem is that if your main channel for communication is not available or needs active checking. For example, if your company only works via e-mail, then you will only be able to connect to others when they respond to your e-mail. It sounds ridiculous, but some companies still use e-mail as their primary method of communication for remote work.
If you want to keep everyone in the loop, you should use multiple channels of communication. There are several messaging apps available, with Skype as the most popular. Video calls are a great way to communicate because it feels like a real conversation, where you can see all the visual cues. Besides video calls, people have smartphones and other methods of real-time communication like group discussion services like Slack and Zoom. These can be very important if you need immediate info or action.
Your IT team should be exploring all the potential options and coordinating with your employees, so everyone gets the necessary software and tools for the job.
Limit The Meetings
One of the more popular features of remote working is the group meeting over Zoom or other platforms. This is when employees can connect with their coworkers and get an update on what is happening. It’s important to provide this since the remote work situation can lessen the sense of belonging a person may feel in an organization. This affects their productivity and even result in them leaving.
But meetings can also be a big pain. The time that your people spend in a meeting can be better spent on something more productive. A solution to this is to change the structure of your meetings. It is better to have multiple short and small meetings rather than a single long meeting with the entire company in attendance.
For one, limit your meeting size to three to five people. This is a much more manageable group instead of large groups of ten or more. With a large group, there will be a lot of people idly listening when they could be working. Additionally, research shows that smaller groups can be more productive. The other limitations would be the frequency and length of meetings. If possible, you should have meetings up to 75 minutes in length. Considering that some major meetings can last up to three hours, that is a lot of time savings. Frequency should also be an issue but a set meeting time every week is better than daily ones.
Learn To Unplug
Another issue that comes up with remote work is that it can be difficult to shift from work mode to relaxation mode. Since the home is the workplace, the mind cannot find the disconnect from work. It can be tempting to keep on working. This makes it possible for workers to be always “plugged” into their work. Research shows that this results in people working more at home than they did at the office.
If you want to avoid burnout, you should take steps to fix the work-life balance of your employees. This could be a topic of one of your meetings. You should work with your people to set up boundaries that your employees can follow. For example, strictly stopping all work after a particular time can help. Having them work only eight hours a day can be a big help, the remaining time is for family and hobbies.
Remote work is the wave of the future. But it isn’t perfect yet. There is still a long way to go, and you may have to tweak your operations a bit to get the best results. But once improved, your operations will be vastly improved.