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The pandemic has forced thousands of companies across the country — and the globe — to transition to remote working setups.
Work-from-home now becomes the new norm, and this won’t change in 2021. Information technology decision-makers expect the number of permanent remote workers to grow to 34.4% (before the coronavirus outbreak, it was only 16.4%).
Indeed, remote work is a great solution for many businesses. According to various surveys, telecommuting is beneficial for personal productivity and allows accomplishing more with less time.
Yet, remote work may affect teams’ efficiency and pose communication challenges. To ensure that your team remains productive while working remotely, check out the following strategies.
Start with personal productivity
If you want to increase remote team performance, ensure that each team member has everything needed to be efficient. Talk to your employees, understand what they need and give them advice on maintaining the elusive work/life balance. Rethink your own working routine and encourage others to do the same. Remote work organization may be challenging, so take some time to establish it. If you need any tips, check out our post on personal productivity while working from home>>
Help your employees create a productive workspace
A clean, organized, and comfortable work environment improves performance. If the company budget allows, assist your team in creating favorable workspaces in their homes. Whether it’s a small corner or a dedicated room, the area should mentally prepare you for being in the active mode. Communicate with your team to figure out what they need (a chair, a table, or maybe a web camera) and try to accommodate their requests as best as you can.
Use collaborative software
Digital tools are a must for remote team collaboration. Knowledge management tools, videoconferencing apps, and project management platforms are powerful team productivity drivers. As mentioned in our ‘How Collaboration Software Improves Productivity’ post, collaboration software paves the way for more proactive and open communication between your employees. Also, it provides a streamlined approach to tackling projects and issues within your company.
We highly suggest trying visual messaging tools as they eliminate misunderstanding inside the team. Give Nimbus Capture a try. With it, you can show your colleagues exactly what you see on your screen by sharing a screenshot or screen recording. You can also easily annotate your visual message with arrows and highlights so that you can show your coworker clear instructions.
Organize an informal meeting on stress prevention
Since remote work tends to blur the line between work and life boundaries, virtual teams are more prone to stress and burnout.
According to Amy Quarton, associate instructor for the online organizational leadership program at Maryville University, one of the biggest contributors to job burnout is pessimistic thinking. In her
interview with NBC News, she stresses that one of the best ways to combat this is with meditation and yoga.
You can organize an online master class on stress prevention techniques. If your team isn’t into yoga, encourage them to take a breather. Get the chatter out of their heads and onto paper. Suggest writing what’s troubling them in a journal or making voice recordings. You can also propose informal team-building meetings to help your team stay connected.
Give your team greater autonomy
In the office, managers quickly check in with their team and address problems right away. These dynamics don’t always work in a remote setup. Instead of hounding your team, entrepreneur Neal
Taparia suggests building stronger trust in your employees. Studies show that giving a person more freedom results in greater job satisfaction and even elevated productivity. Do your best not to regularly check in and start trusting your coworkers, so that they can do their work without constant surveillance.
To enable teams to work with greater autonomy, ensure that each of them has access to vital data. Explore knowledge and information management tools to find the perfect one for you. Check out
Nimbus Note, which can store all your information in one system. It allows creating super documents that include various content types: text, video, images, tables, databases, and even embeds from other websites. Even more, a handy nested structure and tags system organize your data in a clear hierarchy so that you will never lose anything important. You can set different access permissions for each person to control your data. Find out more details about organized virtual workspaces for team productivity here >>
Encourage informal communication inside your team
It’s also important to facilitate non-work interactions among remote workers. Positive emotions during online team-building meetings will help your employees relieve stress and feel better connected. It’s a great idea to provide avenues in your messaging apps and weekly conference calls to discuss news, hobbies, and other non-related topics. You can either leave a few minutes before or after calls to catch up with one another, or host a dedicated virtual party or happy hour to build rapport among your team.
Will life come back to its pre-pandemic state? We don’t know. What we know for sure is that we should adjust to the changes and try to get benefits from them. While working remotely, teams may face challenges. However, telecommuting is a great possibility to revise your collaboration and create a better working routine for your company. In the end, you may even build a more efficient workflow than you had in the office.
Written by Pam Mitchell and the Nimbus Team
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