Productivity is important for organizations to sustain their business. While it is encouraging to see companies paying close attention to the productivity of their employees, they need to engage reliable communication methods to help employees become more organized, motivated and productive while they are working from home (WFH).
Impact of WFH on Productivity
A recent report titled “Remote-Work Options Can Boost Productivity and Curb Burnout” found that employees with access to remote work had a lower rate of burnout at work due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The COVID-19 pandemic triggered the WFH arrangement, an ideal for organizations to follow as a norm temporarily, which has now continued for the past two years. It has been found that 82% of Employees prefer working remotely.
Remote work gives employees the flexibility to be productive and be connected to their team and office from anywhere, usually their home. According to a report by Owl Labs, in 2021, 70% of those who worked from home during the outbreak felt that virtual meetings were less stressful, and 64% now prefer hybrid meetings.
Managing Remote Employees
One of the biggest concerns and challenges for remote managers is how to lead their teams virtually. When you’re not all together in the office, it can be difficult to track performance and build a strong team culture. Every employee wants to believe in their work, be acknowledged for their contributions, and feel a sense of purpose towards their work.
Managing employees remotely depends on leadership style and organizational policies that usually apply to office management. The essential procedures you practice measuring the productivity of in-house employees can also be followed for remote employees digitally. When leaders develop a trustworthy culture with colleagues, they can easily manage their teams wherever they are.
We will discuss five best practices to follow to maximize the productivity of employees working from home.
1. Policy for measuring productivity for employee WFH
Fundamentally, productivity is a measure of the output of work per unit of time. You can add more business-oriented solutions to your productivity measurements, such as customer satisfaction levels, sales growth, or increase in website visitors. Therefore, the first step to measuring productivity is to develop a strategy that clearly outlines the metrics that matter. This will help you find the right tools and procedures. Transparency will let employees know exactly how you measure them so that employees will believe in it and help prioritize their work.
2. Define KPIs for every role
One issue with measuring productivity is that different jobs have different metrics. KPIs (Key Performance Indicators) serve as a reference for evaluating processes and making improvements. In other words, they are key metrics selected by the company to measure the progress of employees, teams, departments, businesses, etc.
Goal-based work helps to expand the scope to measure productivity. Your team may include remote workers who sell, develop software, write blog posts, market your service, etc. You will need different goals set for each of these roles.
Employees are expected to follow workforce compliances, work policies, and procedures while keeping up with the KPIs.
The targeted goals provide simplified evaluation for team performance. Many organizations practice SMART goals that are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and timely.
On the other hand, employees should communicate regularly about the progress and status of the work at hand. All predefined priority tasks work with proper planning.
3. Use an employee productivity tracking system
Employee monitoring software for remote teams is required to track work and monitor results. Nowadays, many variances of cloud-based project management software are available in the market. They help keep everyone on the team on the same page. Consider using different project tracking systems for teams that do different things, such as software development, support, or marketing.
For example, in support operations such as customer support, a series of contact center workforce management software is available to help manage the call center workforce. This software implements workforce management strategies with key features like skill mapping, tracking employee time, performance review, etc.
To make sure that the employees don’t get burnt out which will automatically affect their productivity, organizations with customer support teams are enabling ticket deflection systems. This also helps enterprises to track agent’s productivity by calculating the resolution rate of support tickets.
4. Project planning to include milestones
Find a way to bundle measurable distributions for each task assigned to employees. It is possible to track the progress of the work with clear steps.
Employees can properly mark progress with the tasks, and you can track results live. Since there are clear stages, employees can report progress daily instead of waiting until the end. The status of milestones gives you reports and visibility. You can see that the staff is making the necessary progress to complete the work on time.
Dividing a big task into milestones helps you gather essential data for planning future projects. You can track the time it takes to reach each milestone so that you can plan an excellent project for the future. It is recommended to create a weekly work schedule and a list of the tasks you want to complete.
5. Track time utilization
To measure employee productivity, it is essential to keep track of the time spent on a task. One thumb rule for measuring productivity is the ratio of output/time. Using online employee productivity tracking software helps automatically monitor how much time employees spend at work. At the end of each week or month, you can see the exact data of how many hours each employee worked.
You can derive the productivity scale by taking the number of tasks completed or the amount of output produced by an individual.
Working from home can lead to higher productivity than a typical office cubicle depending on your setup. The practices mentioned above enhance productivity through remote work. More and more companies are adopting remote working. To gain productivity, make sure your employees are comfortable, organized, and healthy so that their productivity stays up to company standards.
The author Dennis P. Reed possesses a vast experience in the IT industry, especially in the domains of website and mobile app development and digital marketing. He writes on topics encompassing the above mentioned domains and is considered a maven in his chosen field – Information Technology.