To slow down the spread of COVID-19, many companies in the United States were forced to adopt a remote work setup. In Morris County alone, there are more than 7,500 confirmed cases as of this writing, which means a lot of businesses will be letting their employees work from home for a few more months.
Remote working is a good way to decrease expenses, reduce absenteeism, and increase productivity. However, as the honeymoon period of working from home passes, your employees may eventually become less engaged and motivated.
How do you keep employees motivated?
Follow these tips to keep them productive while working from home:
1. Allow flexible working hours
Your employees’ home working environment may not be as conducive to working as your offices. For instance, they may have difficulty doing the same tasks at home because there are more distractions, such as household chores and kids’ needs.
Meet them halfway by allowing flexible working hours. As long as they can meet deadlines and stay on call, employees should be allowed to have a work schedule they're comfortable with. A more flexible schedule doesn't just motivate them, but it also makes them more productive with their tasks at work.
2. Minimize video meetings
The shift to a work from home setting paved the way for the rise of video conferencing tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. However, it can be pretty exhausting for your employees to attend too many video meetings, otherwise known as “Zoom fatigue.”
To mitigate this risk, minimize video meetings as much as possible. Find more efficient ways to communicate with colleagues such as email, voice calls, or instant messaging. Save video meetings for when it's absolutely necessary, such as to discuss an urgent matter with an important client or solve a critical issue.
3. Promote better time management
Because your employees are working from home, they can be easily distracted by household chores and other concerns.
Teach them techniques that promote better time management, such as:
- The 4D system – This productivity program involves four simple steps:
- Delete: Removing tasks that may waste your time, such as unproductive meetings and projects that don't have immediate benefits and take too long to complete.
- Delegate: Taking on important tasks but delegating it to someone else who may do a better job.
- Defer: Postponing essential tasks that can be done at a later time and scheduling them when you have the availability.
- Do: Finishing urgent tasks as soon as possible. These may be micro-tasks that can be quickly done, or bigger ones that require focus and building momentum.
- The glass jar technique – This method involves categorizing your work according to these classifications:
- Rocks: The most important tasks
- Pebbles: Important tasks but can be done at a later time
- Sand: Smaller tasks
Imagine that these three things are in a glass jar. To manage your time optimally, you should handle the rocks first. If you tackle the pebbles and the sand first, your jar will fill up more quickly without space for newer rocks.
4. Encourage de-stressing
Encourage your staff to relax and do something that makes them happy. This could be reading a book, listening to a podcast, playing a video game, or cooking a meal after their shift. Show them the importance of taking breaks, and setting boundaries for work and personal matters. This way, they become more energized and productive when working.
5. Acknowledge exceptional performance
Make an effort to recognize the outstanding work of your employees to keep them productive and motivated. Even if your entire team is working remotely, you can commend outstanding employees using the video conferencing functions of collaboration tools like Slack. And take this opportunity to encourage others to work hard as well.
This may also be a good time to offer professional training and development courses such as individual or group mentorships, webinars, or formal education. These will help your staff learn new skills that can push their career forward.
If your business is struggling to manage employees working from home, Online Computers can help. Our managed IT services will ensure your IT infrastructure performs optimally and your remote workers remain productive. To learn more about how we can take your business to greater heights, download our FREE eBook and get in touch with us today.
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