The idea of remote work has been around for a while. Future of work is in remote. Companies that adopted technology 2 decades emerged successful while others that didn’t adopt vanished. Now, companies that don’t prepare themselves for remote work will find it difficult to sustain in the long run. While the remote trend is still at a nascent stage, this Covid lockdown has led to a situation where companies are expected to run their businesses on remote. This has virtually fast forwarded the growth of remote work. Though there are a lot of benefits like reduced infrastructure cost, improved work life balance, maintaining the productivity of your employees is a challenge. Let’s see how you can meet productivity during this lockdown and emerge stronger as a company and as individuals.
1. Plan your week in advance
As a startup founder, you are expected to have a long-term vision for your company. While managers have quarterly roadmaps, it is essential to plan for each week during remote work. This avoids a lot of assumptions and saves a lot of time for the team. Because teams are well informed, and they have a clear idea of what is expected out of them during this week. This helps your teams and employees to productively block time for things that are the most important for your weekly deadline. They can identify the activities, tasks and deliverables that create a huge impact on the weekly goal.
When you work in remote, you can’t directly interact with your employees and team members. Hence, there is a need for a continuous feedback loop. This ensures that your employees are well informed of requirements and improvements, if any. With a one-week plan and a goal, you can provide quick feedback. It also helps you to identify problems quickly and fix them. Hence, plan a week in advance and make your team aware of the expectations from them during the week.
2.Setup an office space
Discipline plays a vital role in ensuring high productivity. Your employees should feel like they are working in office. Ask your employees to set up an individual office space where they are expected to only do work. This separates professional work from personal work. And as they work from there, it helps them to imbibe more self-discipline. Once they cultivate that habit, it becomes easy for them to work like the way they worked at office.
Ensure that they are available during office hours. At times, some employees might feel lonely. Working at the same time helps them to talk more with their peers and help them to avoid such thoughts. Also, it enhances the work environment and improves the work culture of the organization. As everyone works during office hours, it becomes easy for others to interact with others and get clarifications on any showstoppers that stop them from going ahead with their tasks. A consistent schedule can do wonders for a remote team. It helps you to conduct meetings, daily check-ins and other such activities that keep the company on track.
In a normal workplace, normal communication is enough to interact with team members. Whereas, overcommunication plays a vital role in working together as a remote team. When everyone is spread out, talking to them on a regular basis and making them understand the essentials of daily activities become extremely critical. This is where communication tools play a huge part in bringing the team together as a unit. Ensure that you use a seamless communication tool for employees to converse with each other. Products like intercom, Trello etc. (add other products) help your team to easily chat and communicate with each other without hassles.
Measuring the work done by each employee is extremely important in any organization. In a remote workplace, it becomes difficult to track everyone and understand what they have done? Are they productive? This question keeps coming up across founders and managers who run the show. At the end of the day, what matters is the output. In a virtual workplace, companies slowly become output driven organizations. There is more emphasis on deliverables from each employee. This is good for employers in the long run as the focus is only on output and getting things done. All other things become either redundant of secondary. You can easily track deliverables using different Product/Project management tools. Products like Jira, Asana, Aha, Notion etc. help you to create roadmaps, projects, tasks and assign it to specific team members with a scheduled deadline. As they work, they can easily add updates in project trackers created for a specific task. This eases your work and helps your team to be more productive by focusing on the deliverables.
5.Ensure teams are well connected
To collaborate more in a virtual workplace, ensure your teams are very well connected with each other. Conducting regular meetings is also important to ensure that everyone is in sync within your team. Try meeting scheduling tools like Meetaide, Calendly, etc. and schedule prompt meetings to get a wholistic picture of how teams are operating. Conduct all types of meetings like one on one, round robin, collective and group meetings. The more you communicate in a remote workplace, the better your productivity becomes.
Ensure teams are well connected