Where some organizations had worked from home in place for decades, many businesses still needed to ponder over quick strategies for making WFH a part of their regular workflow. The transition was quick to implement but not the way businesses need in order to maintain the balance between sudden workplace diversion and personal lives. The consequences were big and so did the pressure on employees. There was an enormous surge in searches for remote jobs specifically after the pandemic-induced lockdown. People across the world accepted the situation as it was. Small or big organizations had the backup of technology that could work swiftly in the era of everything coming to a halt.
As months rolled on, global leaders began to worry about the staff productivity and started looking for technology solutions like employee monitoring software to monitor their employees. Managers were sticking to the fact that teams cannot be efficient enough if they are not working at the same place. This juggle between taking care of homes while handling crucial office projects at the same time gave rise to less work productivity and more chaos. What happened next? See it yourself.
What’s the situation now?
A Gartner, Inc. survey of CFOs revealed that 74% of companies plan to shift permanently their 5% of on-site workforce to remote positions post-pandemic. (Source)
Working efficiently while staying at home is not equal for everyone. Be it the supervisors handling major projects and teams scattered across multiple regions or the employees who need to show their productivity and prove their tasks’ achievements. Whatever the situation is, working while staying at home is not actually work from home. Many factors dominate the liability and accountability of employees and managers towards work. Where the major factor like communication plays a crucial role in binding the teams together, supervisors have to make sure that employee connectivity should be more about productivity and not wasting important work hours. Now, as employees have confined themselves to limited home-office space around sitting or dining area; organizations have become used to the hybrid work culture. They know and understand the employees’ potential difficulties. The one and only bottleneck in building a secure and healthy remote work culture is employers’ uncertainty on employees’ productivity. What they are doing and how they are performing when no superior is around?
Are employees productive during remote work?
How well do you know your employees? Is it the lack of trust that organizations need to implement manual supervision when everyone is dealing with difficult scenarios or get help from innovative monitoring technologies. Since remote work has been implemented, supervisors and managers across global organizations are still finding it difficult to cope up with employees’ work status. There are no second thoughts on the fact that employees are balancing themselves between personal lives and office work; they cannot control certain circumstances to deal with. In those situations, work from home issues can pile up and take a toll on the mental health of employees; eventually leading to less work confidence and dying productivity. During such circumstances, all they need is constant support, complete communication and real-time collaboration. Thus, in times of need employees know who they can turn up to!
Having adequate strategies and employee monitoring tools can help. However, it also depends on business to business. Some businesses choose to implement hybrid work culture wherein employees can get the option of working from the home or office. Whereas other organizations only enable remote work where employees work from different regions but not from office. Your business strategies will decide how you want to thrive. Let’s move forward to some important and long-term fixes that can help your business achieve long-lasting results and get satisfactory productivity output from employees.
A few tips to check and maintain remote work productivity
Businesses cannot achieve complete productivity until they have complete strategies and technology at their disposal. Employers must enable a firm foundation for flexible working through things like effective policies and governance. They have to rethink the people programs which at first were not designed for remote workforces. Therefore, employers have to dig in more to make work efficiency better and keep their employees productive than ever before. Below are some quick tips for business heads to ensure that they are going in the right direction for fostering remote work productivity.
Create a culture of trust and transparency
When trust is the foundation of business relations, smaller indifferences and disagreements between colleagues are easy to resolve. Managers have to ensure that their teams are working with each other and not against. Trust as solid support in a company give productive workers hope to build with their leaders. When employees feel they share the same goals and values as their supervisors; they are more likely to be productive. However, an organization that implements excessive work monitoring and hides it from their employees can break that trust; leading to opposite effect like a disengaged workforce. To strengthen work efficiency, it is important to make employees understand that you as an organization have some strict rules in place which they have to follow for better work analysis. If employees would understand the organization’s point of view and why employee monitoring software is crucial for their productivity; they will put more effort into their jobs, eventually.
Build a collaborative approach
If leaders decide to go ahead with workplace monitoring no matter if it is home-office or the actual office space, any potential conflict between employers and employees can be mitigated by working collaboratively. Open communication, prior engagement with staff members, superiors’ involvement in planning and development can bring everybody on the same page. Transparent communication and education is the key to any strategy that your business will adapt during remote work. Organization leaders should be clear on how employee data will be generated and what they will do with the data to foster productivity across the business units. Leaders must give assurance to employees that they will always have the means to voice concerns and raise issues. For instance, if employees feel their data is being misused to pressurize or bully them into unrealistic targets; they should open up and come forward.
Thus, to bring work efficiency in a hybrid work environment, remote collaboration software can be a useful tool.
Track progress with employee monitoring software
To keep a hybrid workforce productive, make sure that they are not wasting crucial work hours sitting idle and surfing the internet for no good. Businesses can use programs like employee monitoring tools that do surveillance while keeping employee integrity in mind. Without putting employee privacy at stake businesses can do justice to their vital work hours that should be spend in office activities and not everything else at home. There should be certain protocols for managing and collecting employee data. Such efforts or measures should only boost employee productivity and not make them feel spied on and untrusted. To prioritize privacy and maximize work efficiency, identify the specific scope and purpose for monitoring which will be to track their task progress and overall time spent being productive. This will help businesses to understand the differences between employees putting in more effort and those who are barely working.
Work from home issues is here to stay. However, to achieve sustainability in remote work it is better to understand your employees’ perspective on work, how they want to progress, what is boosting their productivity and the things blocking their path to progress. By building a foundation of trust among employees and helping them understand where they are lacking; businesses can benefit from remote work productivity in the long run.