Working from home means more distractions, fewer ways to interact naturally with fellow employees, and more social isolation — all of which can lead to less productivity. Here are a few ways you can keep your team productive while they are working from home.
1. Equip your team with tech and productivity tools
First and foremost, one of the most important ways to help teams succeed while working remotely is to get the tools to help them stay connected and productive. You can begin by asking a simple question “When working from home, I have access to the resources (e.g. equipment, technology, support services, etc.) I need to do my job effectively.” to gauge how satisfied they are with the resources they have.
2. Set clear expectations
While managers can no longer get daily face time with employees, it is important to create a daily check-in routine to set priorities and foster connections. A morning check-in via video chat, phone call or instant message can create a sense of normalcy. These check-ins can be one-on-one or held among small groups.
3. Encourage dedicated workspaces
Many employees have never needed dedicated workspace in their homes, but if they are now regularly working from home, managers should encourage the creation of home offices that are separate from communal space.
Dedicated workspaces can help free employees from the normal distractions from home life. Even if this office is a temporary makeshift space — such as a guest room, basement, attic or walk-in closet — this can help them create normalcy to their daily work-from-home routine.
4. Check-in regularly
In a fully remote work setup, managers should be more attentive to challenges and obstacles that may come up given the unfamiliar circumstances. Besides supporting employees through overcoming such challenges, leaders should additionally encourage self-care among their employees, who mentally are trying to adapt to remote work and the stress of daily updates around COVID-19.
5. Don’t forget about non-work interactions
Finally, one last thing that may not be obvious to managers is the importance of facilitating non-work interactions among remote employees. Creating time and space for employees to talk about non-work topics — just as they would have done in the office — helps them relieve stress and feel better connected. One sure way to productivity is through employee engagement and this cannot be achieved without team-building exercise to forge connections among employees.
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