Checklist to Increase Productivity of your Remote Team

Checklist to Increase Productivity of your Remote Team

Stanford economist Nicholas Bloom’s two years of the study shows that remote work improved employee productivity by 13% and also saved company almost $2000 per employee and this was just a travel agency in China. In the opposite side of the world, AT&T saved $30 million by eliminating workspace while Cisco Internet Group reported saving a whopping $277 million because of remote employee productivity. These numbers declare a simple notation that outsourcing to remote workers is the present and future of human resource practice.

Remote work is a win-win for all!

Remote work has often seen to benefit both employees and employer. Companies including remote work as an option make a definite statement that the work metric they care about is progress and completion of a project rather than the desk hours their employees put in. While employees opting for remote work make a statement that they are willing to be flexible and highly communicative in their work.

Productivity is a crucial metric for analyzing employee’s growth and something that is outright labeled to be low for work from home employees, but stats say otherwise. Remote workers have higher productivity and also greater efficiency as compared to office workers. Remote workers find it easier to adjust their work according to their schedule and work themselves in their peak efficient hours, getting higher efficiency. Having no one to micromanage promotes decision making and problem-solving approach of employees.

Employees save a lot of money as remote work eliminates the cost of commute and rent. Reduction in the amount of time spent on unpleasant commute also benefits a remote worker as it lowers stress and boosts morale. Remote work allows millennial and younger workers, who are currently pursuing college, to work removing office commute hassle. Working from home also provides employees with more significant family interaction and hence making one happy. A happy employee is a productive employee!

Companies providing an option of work from home have a significant advantage in cutting down office space, saving a major chunk in spending! Aetna, an American managed health care company, shed 2.7 million square feet of office space and saved $78 million. Another saving benefit is from the cost eliminated in rent of accommodation and other allowances for office commute.

Remote work also helps in acquiring and also retaining talents across the globe, making the team more skilled and highly diverse. Start-ups which are working on efficient work from home policy scale faster than start-ups using traditional policies, as they don’t have office space and HR restrictions for growth. Last but the most important of all, company opting for remote work policy also makes a significant contribution in reducing the carbon footprint from automobile emissions and hence creating a positive environmental impact.

Which brings us to the point that if remote work is highly awarding, then why still many companies and CXOs fail in taking advantage of it? Reason comes to be that maintaining and keeping remote workers productive is tricky on its own. To overcome this, we’ve made a comprehensive checklist on how employers can increase the productivity of remote workers.

Checklist to get the best out of your remote team!

  1. Hire the right people: The first and most crucial step is to hire the right talents. With talent galore across the globe, companies have great options to choose from. You need to make sure that any worker you hire from any part of the world must be highly flexible with work, meeting timings and be very communicative. Hiring international workers may be tricky because of the language and time zone difference, but diverse team members bring different cultural and regional thinking to a team, creating a broader aspect. Also, before hiring, every employee needs to be cross-verified by recommendations, suggestions, or a quick screen check on the internet. Establishing trust on remote workers is key to greater ease in work.
  2. Keep communicating: Even though remote work gives excellent comfort to employees in case of work hours and freedom to work in an environment and state that they feel right in, a company should always have a daily team or individual meetings with every remote worker to get work progress and also to brainstorm on better ideas. Using free professional video calling platforms like Zoom, Remotes or Google Meet, one can facilitate a large number of team members in one virtual room just like an office conference room where any team member can join and leave. All of these platforms provide a facility to create and use a single room that can stay online 24/7.

  3. Stop Micromanaging: Research has found that one of the prominent reason for low productivity of an employee working in a small size company because of constant micromanaging by team leaders. While guiding a worker is necessary, but micromanaging decreases morale and confidence in the employee. Such employees are more probable to create lesser advancement in work, be less creative and more likely to leave. Letting remote workers make decisions and work choices eliminate such problems while performing a comprehensive review of their work also promotes positive relations.
  4. Let your workers communicate with each other: Companies should not forget that even remote workers are part of your office and that they have other team members as well. Team collaborations is a factor that brings in ideas and work abilities together, increasing productivity. Apart from work, workers should be able to know and able to reach out to each other, just like an office team. Tools like Trello display every task assigned to team members making sure that every remote worker stays in loop of the current work progress by other workers as well.
    Communicating tools like Slack build a professional as well as a casual environment where employers can make groups for work, give big shoutouts to all team members and also one-on-one chat between all members.
  5. Use the OKRs – Objective and Key Results System: OKR or Objective Key Results is a popular management strategy for goal setting for remote workers. The purpose of OKR is making sure everyone knows what’s expected from them at work. Employees define objectives and measurable key results to the whole team, while remote employees move in the same forward direction trying to achieve those key results. OKRs give big benefits of productivity, focus, and company culture while being lightweight and easy to operate. It has been used by tens of thousands of companies and most of the Fortune 500.

But how to measure productivity?

Measuring productivity is a tricky job as there is no particular reference to the measure being positive or negative. Productivity is a natural measure of outputs over input, so higher the work done in lesser the time possible will result in high productivity. 

To measure output, consider the critical results reached by remote workers for a project and for inputs, use tools like Toggl or Harvest to find how much time was spent to accomplish those results. These productivity tools allow the estimation and actual time is taken calculation for each different objective that a worker can mention. Also note at what frequency the work is being revisited for corrections or additions which could define the complexity of work and the process of completing it, both which can be changed for higher productivity.

Take a chance and perform the same measure to your office workers and compare the results with remote workers. Which one prevailed as more productive? Maybe this could make you rethink your business model!

Outsourcing work to a remote team is a positive trend that enables you to lower spending, access & retain talents, increase coverage and diversify your team. Using this comprehensive checklist, any CXO can increase the productivity of the team and other added benefits of high morale, confidence, and creativity in your remote workers, ensuring greater success.

 

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