How to Improve Employee Productivity While Working Remotely?

Employees worldwide have had to go remote thanks to the pandemic. As a result, this disrupted every office routine, from from weekly updates to in-person meetings, brainstorming and recreational activities. To stay afloat, businesses have to reinvent these tasks and workflows to fit the new normal and improve employee productivity.

But how can businesses ensure they stay productive with distributed teams and little to no control over employees or business processes, you ask? Therefore, this article elaborates on a few strategies that business owners and leadership teams can implement to ensure employees remain productive, remote or not. So, let’s get started!

Five Ways to Improve Employee Productivity with Remote Work

1. Improve Employee Productivity by Providing Greater Autonomy to Your Teams

An office environment is incredibly beneficial for managers in succeeding as it lets them be physically around people. All they’d need to do is walk up to an employee’s desk and check in on them if they’re unsure about their progress. Certainly, this gave them the power to quickly identify and address any problems with in-person interactions.

But with distributed teams, these dynamics don’t work anymore. And having employees out of sight might tempt managers to message them to see how their work is constantly progressing. This doesn’t just take up more time but also kills focus by shifting context. Thus having a balance between the two becomes incredibly important.

Additionally, if an employee misses a deadline, sit with them and understand the roadblocks preventing them from achieving goals. Then work with them to help them eliminate them and perform better. Lastly, ensure employees don’t have to compromise on the quality of work due to stringent deadlines.

2. Improve Employee Productivity by Creating a Wholesome Work Environment

Certainly, every company spends a considerable amount of time creating a welcoming space where employees can feel excited about coming into work. 

Research shows that well-designed workplaces improve employee productivity and well-being.

As a rule of thumb, businesses should ensure that home offices feel precisely the same. You want your employees to be in a place where they instantly shift to a work mindset to maximize productivity. For this purpose, employers could provide a fixed amount of money to employees to create a great home office. 

Also, give them additional tips, resources, or help minimize distractions while also managing time. By showing them you care, you will earn their loyalty, and as they become more organized, they will naturally improve their ability to deliver on a timely basis. 

It’s a win-win.

3. Improve Employee Productivity by Automating Expense Reporting to Maintain Solid Business Financials

The pandemic has taken its most significant toll on Finance teams. This has happened because all traditional financial reporting occurs on a 1×1 basis. With distributed employees, Finance teams were expected to bridge the gap with no additional help. 

Furthermore, with a 57% increase in expense fraud from November 2020, Finance teams have been pushed to their limits beyond exhaustion to verify all business-related expenses to hunt for erroneous reports manually. To fix this problem, business owners must consider automating and simplifying expense management for all. An easy start would be moving to an expense management software to streamline all aspects of expense management and protect their financial bottom line.

Benefits of Automating the Expense Reporting Process:

  • By automating all time-sensitive processes, Finance teams gain complete control and visibility into company-wide expenses.
  • The expense software automates pre-submission checks, ensuring all submitted reports are compliant with company policies.
  • Finance teams save additional time by not matching credit card transactions to bank statements as the cloud software instantly reconciles CCC expenses.
  • It also adds a layer of security for all your sensitive financial information.

4. Improve Employee Productivity by Adopting Remote Collaboration Tools

Certainly, remote collaboration tools help bridge the physical gap between your employees. Almost every department in your organization – Engineering, Customer Support, Design, Marketing, and Finance – will significantly benefit from collaborative technology. 

Productivity is no longer dependent on location.

Here are some tools that you can use to enhance collaborations between your employees:

  • Zoom for all your meetings
  • Hypercontext for collaborative meeting agendas
  • Google drive, a cloud storage for all your documents
  • Notion to document anything, anytime, anywhere
  • Trello for project management across teams
  • Saleshandy, a sales engagement platform
  • Sender, an email marketing platform
  • Fyle, for seamless expense management process

5. Improve Employee Productivity by Encouraging Employees to Have Non-Operational Meetups

As teams take so much of their time just adapting to newer working methods, it leaves little to no time for them to connect on a personal level. HRs can play a significant role here by encouraging non-operational meetings where employees can connect. This would promote the forging of new and unique bonds between employees regardless of the miles between them.

While minor interactions may seem irrelevant from the outside, they give employees a chance to relax and connect with those who share similar challenges with them at work. This encourages them to talk amongst themselves and find new solutions to combat the problems at hand. 

Why Do You Need to Improve Employee Productivity

Since the onset of the pandemic, 31% of businesses worldwide have automated at least one core business function, a McKinsey study reported. Business leaders need to understand that every team is unique, and what’s worked for one might not always work for another in the same way. With change right around the corner, the companies that eventually survive would be those who embrace this and scale for success.

About the author:

Rahul believes everyone has a story to tell. If he isn’t writing one, he’s hearing one from someone.