The demands for remote work that were spurred on by the COVID-19 pandemic are challenging business managers today. Major changes in ways of working have taken root and already seem to be part of a new way of working. A clear example of this is remote working, which many companies are implementing for the first time in teleworking policies. However, almost three quarters of the companies have difficulties in adapting to telework as a new way of working.
The paradox of remote work…
Its advantages are undeniable, both for companies and employees. However, a remote work management must be verified and validated by both the employee and the company for its effectiveness to be positive and productive. If this is the first time managers are managing remote employees, it can be a challenge to ensure that employees are productive, engaged and thriving. Of course, the transition to remote work removes the personal context that helps us interact. It also provides work flexibility, convenience and people can feel freer and, if done correctly, increases productivity in getting things done.
Managers should be aware that remote work can create feelings of isolation among team members. For example, if you are used to seeing your colleagues or clients every day, the feeling of isolation can creep in quickly. Consider that this new remote work environment can also affect concentration, sense of teamwork and creativity. It’s not something that is often talked about, but if we want to help our teams stay healthy, happy and ultimately productive, we need to recognize and manage the high-stress environment that remote work can become for many people. That’s why below we bring you a series of tips to help staff working remotely.
Tips for achieving remote work efficiency
1.Set expectations early and often.
Providing guidelines, setting boundaries and going over the basics are some of the most important steps when embarking on a remote work project. There will be many questions, so managers and leaders should be accessible and provide clarity on priorities, milestones, performance goals and so on. Managers should outline the availability of each team member and make sure they can reach them when needed. And just as in the workplace, they should keep workers up to date on policy and personnel changes, company successes and tips for working from home.
Working remotely requires constant communication to keep everyone informed of any changes. A communication balance will keep everyone on the same directional line and make each team member as efficient and productive as expected. Also, leaders should model behavior around employee work hours, such as setting expectations around responding to any emails and after-hours work texts. This helps employees maintain a healthy work/life balance and prevents them from suffering from burnout, which, without the physical separation between home and office, can be more common when working from home.
Incredible as it may seem, keeping remote employees’ work motivation high can be a real challenge for companies. Nowadays, it is essential to use tools to help achieve this. An example of this is business coaching from its digital modalities, such as the ChVmpion Mind platform.
2.Track workers’ progress.
What works in the office may not work with remote work. Instead of long meetings, hold short virtual meetings. Apply this thinking to team resourcing, scheduling and action planning.
Have your employees have a work schedule, along with the tasks they are expected to complete in a set amount of time. This will calm fears and doubts and give your team the structure they need to perform their duties. Remember, just because you don’t see them working in their cubicle doesn’t mean the work isn’t getting done. Trust the process. Trust is an important part of remote work; a feeling of uneasiness may be normal at first, but with the terms and conditions set and the assignments received, remote work will win you over.
3. Emphasize communication in remote work.
It is crucial for managers to communicate with their staff to effectively practice remote work because it keeps workers informed of deadlines, available resources, work-related challenges and managers’ expectations, including work schedules. In addition, consider which communication tools are best suited to the culture of the team: email, text messaging, phone calls, video conferencing, an intranet channel; among others, finding that delicate balance between constantly sending text messages and emails to employees and the counterpart where there is zero communication is critical.
4. Remember to listen when it comes to remote work.
Leaders and managers must be good listeners and convey trust and respect. It is important to ask about workload and progress without micromanaging and over-communicating. Surveys are an often underutilized tool that can help you listen to workers’ opinions; it is a tool you may well use to learn more specific employee opinions. A survey from time to time can help you learn some of the less obvious realities of your employees’ remote work situation, which will drive decision making and generate the expected efficiency and productivity.
ChVmpion Mind: A tool for remote work organization and flexibility
When it comes to working with remote work teams, the key is to allow for flexible schedules to maintain consistency. Although, a concrete plan is a must, as such, you must be open to adjusting strategies as needed. Business coaching, from ChVmpion Mind, is an excellent option to ensure that employees working remotely can meet all their professional goals and objectives. At the same time, they manage to stay motivated and in tune with the synergy that is needed within an organization.
It is necessary, then, to make these employees the makers of their own achievements, through commitment, good use of their time and, above all, the acquisition of positive habits that allow their growth, both personal and professional. All this is possible with ChVmpion Mind and its 21-week plan where leaders and employees achieve everything they set out to do.
Keep in mind…
It shouldn’t matter whether your employees choose to put in their hours in the morning or at night, as long as the work is completed and is of high quality. So, does it all boil down to setting up a sufficiently specific and clear organization that allows flexibility and commitment to go hand in hand? The answer is yes, and both aspects are equally important. In this way, is it possible to achieve the efficiency and productivity required for a good work performance? Absolutely yes.
Remote work according to Neuroscience:
Neuroscience has found that remote work can have both positive and negative effects on the brain and on people’s mental and physical health.
On the one hand, remote work can reduce commuting-related stress levels by 70% and allow for greater flexibility in time management and work-life balance. Also, it can increase autonomy and a sense of control at work, which can improve motivation and job satisfaction.
However, some challenges associated with remote work have also been identified. Social isolation and lack of face-to-face interaction with colleagues can negatively affect people’s emotional well-being and mental health. Fifty percent of employees who work remotely experience depression and anxiety at some point. And is that, the lack of separation between work and home can increase stress and work fatigue and decrease productivity or, failing that, the ability to disconnect and relax outside working hours.
“We are social beings for better and for worse and if we don’t celebrate the good with others or share our toxic thoughts with people who can help us, we will be damaging our immune, emotional and cognitive systems”
Jose L. Melendez CEO and Co – Founder of ChVmpion Mind
Neuroscience suggests that remote work can be beneficial in certain circumstances, but it is important to take steps to address the challenges and ensure that social connections and work-life balance are maintained.