Productivity at a distance

Everyone loves a good life hack, particularly business leaders.  Any new gadget or way of working that promises to make what we did yesterday easier and faster so that we can do more tomorrow than today attract attention.  The challenge comes when we realise that most tools and techniques are designed to work in a traditional office, when so much work nowadays takes place over distributed teams working at a distance.  

Here we welcome the return of David “Miz” Mizne from the 15Five blog with a series of remote productivity hacks to make any distributed team effort efficient…


Make your remote team more productive than ever

Productivity hacks help teams get work done more efficiently. However, productivity tips which apply in an office setting may not be relevant if you work with a remote team. It can be difficult to judge how effective a strategy has been if you’re not able to monitor your employees’ performance as vigilantly as you could in an office through an enterprise performance management strategy.

That’s why it’s important to modify your productivity hacks accordingly. The following tips will help managers ensure that their remote workers are getting work done with maximum efficiency. They’re designed specifically with leaders like you in mind.

Stay in touch

Engagement is key to productivity. According to Gallup, companies with highly engaged workers are 21% more productive than companies with low levels of employee engagement.

Thus, you need to seek out ways to keep your workers enthusiastic about their jobs and the company in general. Communicating regularly is often effective in achieving this. Employee surveys indicate that workers are more likely to view their managers, and the organisation as a whole, positively if they feel they have regular opportunities to communicate

Establish processes for keeping in touch with your remote team. Make sure you both give and receive feedback; a balanced approach to communication is most effective.

Encourage collaboration

The “water cooler effect” is well known among managers who want their teams to innovate and work more productively. When employees that work on separate tasks spend time conversing, they’re able to share ideas and help one another address weaknesses that may be impacting their efficiency.

Use communication tools to make sure your remote workers have the chance to collaborate. They’ll leverage each other’s, and the in-office team’s, strengths, resulting in greater productivity across the board.

Set short-term and long-term goals

With the right performance management software, it’s possible to set goals for both the long and the short term. More importantly, it makes it easier to monitor how successful your remote team has been at reaching those goals.

Your employees are likely to be more productive if they know you’re tracking their progress. You can enhance their productivity by offering incentives, like extra time off, public recognition, or monetary bonuses. According to a survey of UK-based workers, 85% report that incentives boost their motivation. They also feel the overall working atmosphere improves during periods when incentives are offered.

Thanks to digital technology, it’s easier than ever for managers to hire the best employees from anywhere in the world. This doesn’t mean you have to trade productivity for the convenience of working with remote teams. Apply these hacks, and you can enjoy the benefits of both.

Assistant Librarian (Promotions) at the University Library. An enthusiastic advocate of libraries, diversity, inclusion, equity, and social justice for all, inside and outside the workplace.

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