As businesses across the globe struggle to regain footing amid the COVID-19 crisis, one thing becomes clear- remote working is the new normal. Even as lockdowns are being lifted, more and more companies are encouraging employees to work from home. This is because employee health and safety are the top priorities for them. At the same time, there are some major concerns about employee productivity because no one can deny the challenges of working from home.
It often translates into more distractions, the pressure of social isolation, and fewer ways to interact with the team. Certainly, these factors elevate the risk of lost productivity. However, everything’s not lost because employers can overcome these productivity challenges by finding innovative means to manage people and ensure seamless collaboration between them. Here are some measures that HR managers can implement to get employee productivity racing even as they operate remotely.
Provide them the right tech and productivity tools
Right now, adequate support for your team can make all the difference. And the most important way to boost productivity while working remotely is to provide them the right tech tools. Essentially, these should be the ones that facilitate communication, collaboration, and productivity. The wish list includes project management tracking apps, messaging apps, and video conferencing apps to have all the areas covered. These apps do a great job of enabling managers and employees to be on the same page and continue delivering seamlessly, regardless of their locations.
Implement daily check-ins
As HR managers are no longer able to meet employees and people are not connecting personally through water-cooler chats, there are bound to be problems. Fortunately, you can get all set with a daily check-in routine for setting priorities for the day and fostering connections between people. You can expect to create a sense of normalcy with a morning check-in via phone calls, instant messages, or video chats. Give them the flexibility to hold such sessions one-on-one or as team meetings. An all-hands meeting once in a while will also keep everyone’s enthusiasm going and boost the productivity of the team as a whole. Encourage people to follow a professional dress code and virtual meeting etiquette to make things normal.
Realign HR operations
When it comes to making people more productive, you need to ensure that they feel secure and comfortable. A proper and streamlined process boosts confidence and resumes normalcy even as the complete work structure is revamped. Realigning HR operations can go a long way. Start by investing in a software solution to automate HR workflows if you don’t already have one. Look for one that has an onboarding platform that works seamlessly with leading HR systems because you would want new hires to be productive right from day one. Additionally, it should also be capable of streamlining other operations like scheduling, payroll, performance assessments, leave management, offboarding, and more.
Encourage dedicated workspaces
The biggest hindrance to productivity as people work from home is the absence of dedicated workspaces because you cannot expect people to deliver peak performance amid distractions. Now that remote operation is already a norm, managers need to encourage the creation of dedicated home offices separate from communal space. Several companies have even come up with the idea of stipends for employees to create appropriate dedicated spaces for remote work. Such spaces can help people in maintaining focus and staying on task, which can make them as productive as they would be in the office.
Prioritize emotional well-being
Right now, people are going through tough times, and working from home can make things even worse by contributing to isolation and negative emotions. In such a situation, employers should go the extra mile to provide support and prioritize the emotional well-being of the employees. Setting the tone for virtual offices is a great way to reassure people and instill confidence in them. HR managers should be available for check-ins and resolving concerns related to unfamiliar circumstances. It is equally important to encourage self-care among your team because adapting to remote work can be a stressful practice. Advocate for the value of creating and following routines for work, exercise, and rest.
While good communication and interaction go a long way in maximizing the productivity of your team, you should not forget about team building. People who bond well are able to cope with stress and deliver performance and productivity despite the challenges they face. HR managers need to facilitate non-work interactions among remote employees to bring them closer. Even while you stay on top of scheduling, give them ample time for small talk, just as it happens in the office. Think of creative ideas for team-building exercises and happy hours on a weekly basis. You will surely have a happier and more productive team working from home!