We know the adage, necessity is the mother of all inventions! If we translate it to today’s parlance, we can say that necessity is the mother of all innovations. The Covid-19 pandemic and the necessity of social distancing has brought about many changes in the way we work. Some of these changes are temporary and may be reversed after the .ness operations is the shift to remote working. WFH was already slowly picking steam before 2020 with nearly 50% of the American working population working from remote locations regularly or at least occasionally. Now, the Pandemic has accelerated a wider adoption of the remote working culture with more than 70% of the population working from home in the last few months.
In a study conducted by research firm Gallup, 74 % of businesses surveyed had conveyed their decision to continue with the remote working arrangement even after the pandemic situation eases out. Facebook CEO has announced that the company has asked 50 % of its employees to work from home for the next 5 to 10 years. Twitter has released an announcement making its intention to permanently shift to the WFH mode clear.
So it’s clear that the pandemic-pushed WFH trend is gaining a strong foothold to reach a high degree of permanence. But the one question that concerns managers have today is the productivity of its remote employees! Is there a dip in productivity? In a survey conducted by Willis Tower Watson, a renowned British advisory company about the impact of Covid-19 & WFH on employee productivity among global companies, 22% of the companies surveyed reported that there was no impact or a positive change in employee productivity while 15 % of respondents admitted that they are facing a negative impact. Productivity is what matters most to the success of a business operation as even a small lag can make a dent in business growth and profitability.
So how can managers ensure that their teams stay productive while working from home? How can they sustain motivation when employees are disconnected by distance? Here are some points of action to help managers deliver the same or better levels of performance when handling a remote working team
1. Get to know your employees well
Connecting to your team when you are on the same premises for more than 8 hrs in a day is difficult enough. Connecting to them and getting their attention when they are at a remote location is twice as difficult! The key is to get to know your employees – their needs and preferences well. Make sure that all your internal communications are tailored to those needs so that your employees find them relevant and engaging.
2. Use an interesting mix of Communication channels
Since your employees are dispersed across locations, it is important to focus on how you communicate with them. Relying only on one communication channel may not work very well if your employees are a diverse mix of gender and age. While millennials and Gen Z employees may prefer an app, older employees may be comfortable with emails and intranet. Communicating through diverse channels will boost employee engagement across all ages.
3. Make communication Easily Accessible
Another thing that employers and team managers must have in mind while communicating with their team is that the information they share must reach them on time, be easily accessible, and easy to share. It will help if your internal communications are mobile-friendly.
4. Foster connections through informal forums
While working from home does have its benefits, there is one disadvantage that makes it dreary for your team – the disconnectedness that comes with remote work! Missing the bonding that happens through the casual banter in the lunchrooms and hallways can make working from home boring and burdensome. One way to lighten the load for your team is to create a virtual space/ chatroom where they can chat informally.
5. Recognize accomplishments
When employees are working from home it is easier to get distracted and lose motivation. Recognizing individual accomplishments and sharing them with the rest of the team and the organization through your intranet portals, apps, or social media pages can spruce up employee morale and motivate them to do better.
6. Take feedback
It is important to double up efforts to reach out and communicate with your dispersed team members. But what is more important is to make sure that communication is two-way. Assess the effectiveness of your internal communication by constantly taking feedback from your team and addressing their concerns.
Change can be disruptive. But our progress depends on how quickly we adapt to the change and make the most of it. So the need of the hour for businesses today is to adapt and embrace the new WFH mode that 2020 has brought with it. In challenging times, like the pandemic we face today, productivity and other workforce issues can cripple businesses and even lead to closures. If you are looking for assistance in creating a strong, resilient, and adaptable workforce, contact us today. Rannsolve is a staffing & recruitment firm based in Texas with an impressive track record in providing high-quality, strategic staffing solutions for businesses in diverse industries. Partner with us and experience the Rannsolve efficiency in your hiring performance!