How to Maximize Productivity through Remote Workers
This article is by freelance contributor Lucy Wyndham. She began her career in architecture and real estate before taking a step back to spend more time with her family as a writer and editor.
Remote work is growing in popularity, and it's expected that the trend will continue. Working from home or from a coworking space is desirable for both the worker and the employer, as both are finding costs cut through the practice. Employers are finding that remote workers actually maximize productivity, perhaps because they have more flexibility than office workers. There are a number of ways to maximize productivity by using more remote workers.
Make Sure It’s a Good Idea
A grocery store, for example, cannot have remote workers. However, more businesses are figuring out how to divide work between offices and home workers. Look through every part of the work process and find out what can be done remotely. Many companies are sending their customer service work to remote workers, as well as paper processing and non-confidential customer information maintenance. Other companies are finding remote workers improve cost effectiveness and productivity. Ditching the office might work for some employees and not for others however, so conduct a survey and if possible, let some employees try it a few days a week and see how it affects performance and team dynamics.
Do As Much As Possible Online
Once you switch to doing as much as possible online, you’ll get used to having remote workers. Collaborate online, have conferences online, and communicate online. Today’s technology allows companies to have meetings, communicate, file share, and do much more online. The days of handing off an office memo or paper are over. Everything is becoming digitalized. Practice before outsourcing, then switch to increased online communications.
Watch the Clutter
Believe it or not, those digital files can quickly get disorganized. Make sure to set up everything so it makes sense to everyone involved. A remote worker who spends time looking for documents spends less time on important projects. Make sure to go through documents regularly. Throw out unnecessary digital documents and make sure all documents are filed correctly.
Share a Calendar
Consider the old-fashioned whiteboard in the office that told everyone about the next big meeting. This is where the digital calendar comes into play. Find a shareable calendar to get everyone on board for company meetings and other necessary events. Make sure remote workers are made aware of the calendar and pay attention to it for important meetings.
Consider a Home Office Stipend
Look in the budget to see if there is room for a stipend to give workers who are beginning to build a work environment at home. Not everyone has the space to devote to a full office, but other items, such as software, still cost money. Give a little extra to get the employee started, then expect increased productivity in return.