With arguably the biggest global crisis in recent history, the way we work and live has flipped upside down. Hundreds of millions of employees around the world transferred from the usual office setting to working from home, all in order to protect public health and safety, as well as their own.
For many, this work setting has also brought on many challenges. You can see parents complaining or making jokes on social media about how it’s downright impossible to work at home with kids (such as: today, my coworker ate crayons). Millennials with roommates find it impossible to have video conferences in their tiny apartments. Regardless of the industry they work in or their position, every remote worker is facing challenges, even those who were working remotely before the crisis.
For most people, the biggest challenge when working remotely is staying productive and motivated. The combination of a shattered routine with an uncertain world and manic tracking of news would be confusing for anyone. That’s why we’re bringing you some of our most important hacks for productivity.
Employers Tracking Productivity of Their Employees
Tracking Time for a Better Overview
It can be extremely complicated to track the work process, hours worked and productivity of your employees, but time tracking for each task is one of the best ways to do so. Decide on software or an app that you will use company-wide and that you can later use to analyze how employees spend their work hours while working remotely.
It’s important that it’s easy to use and doesn’t take up too much time for employees to set it up or start tracking. For people who are not used to remote work, you may need to introduce tracking time to calculate hours worked from home.
With precise time data reports, you will have the same quality of overview of working hours and productivity as you would in an office.
Define and Clarify Remote Work
For many employees, switching to remote work can be confusing and raise many questions. When you first introduce remote work, it’s likely that you will receive dozens of questions that are to do with working hours, breaks, tracking time, days off, communication, setting meetings and much more. Addressing all of these individually will take ages, so it’s smarter to set up a company policy for remote work, document it and stick to it. If needed, you can use the help of writing professionals to craft precise, clear guidelines documents for remote work during a crisis.
Check in Often
When you leave your employees to work without oversight for longer spans of time, either their productivity will drop or they will feel like they have too much freedom, in a negative sense. Employees generally like receiving feedback and a clear definition of tasks and what they are supposed to work on.
When the whole company is working remotely, it’s harder to define these tasks for each employee, so you actually will have to give them a certain degree of freedom. Nevertheless, you can check in often and see how they're doing, check on the status report, etc.
Host Weekly Video Conference Meetups
A great way to stay in touch with employees and the one that comes closest to actual face-to-face communication are video conference calls. Not only will they raise morale and foster human connections in these challenging times, but they are also a good way of keeping productivity up. Aim to have them as often as possible, but don’t let them interfere in daily work too much.
If you work in close-knit teams, you can even host Zoom parties or video team-building activities. This will remind your employees that you’re all in this together and with productivity and motivation, the company will stay strong.
Take Structured Breaks
Many people wrongfully associate productivity with working a lot. However, the formula of productivity also includes your outputs, which means that it’s theoretically possible to have lower productivity with more hours of work. Not only is it possible, but research shows that it’s likely.
When you feel burned out, your output will drastically decrease, even (and especially) if you start working longer hours. Unfortunately, the chances for burnout are higher than ever due to the increased anxiety and stress of living in 2020.
To start with, you will need to shake off the misconception that the more you work, the better. Given that you’ll likely feel guilty about taking breaks when working from home, you have to structure them and set a designated time for each.
Delegate Tasks that Take Up Too Much Time
Remote work has cropped up some important issues about work that many of us weren’t aware of before. One of the most important ones is the importance of prioritizing and focusing on a smaller set of tasks at a time. To do that, you have to delegate those tasks that take up too much of your time or that simply aren’t priority at the time.
For example, if you don’t like writing or you feel like it’s taking up too much of your time at work, you can delegate to a writing service for high-quality writing.
If you’re in a managerial position, you can delegate tasks to your subordinates. If not, you can delegate to freelancers, independent professionals or agencies.
Work in your Designated Office Space
“It’s important that you set a particular time of day and a particular place where you work. People often say it’s confusing to work from home because the line between sleeping, working, cooking, eating and resting is so blurred. The reason that it’s blurred is because you haven’t drawn them properly”, says Maya Geller, a writer at Best Essay Education.
Conclusion to Remote Working Hacks
For employees who are used to office work, switching to a remote working environment can be undeniably hard. It takes a toll on routine, structure, but unfortunately also on productivity and motivation. To tackle this issue, it’s important that employees have an intrinsic wish to stay as productive as possible, aided by their employers.
As employers, the best way to track productivity is to track time your employees spend on each task. This will give you the most precise and clear picture about how work hours are spent outside of the office. Other than that, it’s important to stay in contact as often as possible and try to check in with your team via video conferencing at least once a week.
Track Hours Worked When Working From Home
For employees and employers.