How to improve staff productivity in virtual workplaces

Wednesday, March 31st, 2021 00:00 | By
Workplace. Photo/Courtesy

Ndirangu Ngunjiri  

There’s no doubt that the coronavirus pandemic has drastically changed the business landscape, with governments and companies encouraging employees to work remotely. 

Remote working, especially during these tense, uncertain situations can leave staff feeling distracted, isolated, unmotivated and stressed. 

To overcome these challenges, employers should explore ways to manage and collaborate with employees and enable employees to connect with each other.

Below are some of the ways that you can help your employees productive while working  virtually.

Set clear expectations: The employees only know what you expect from them if you tell them.

Strike the right balance between what your employees delivers now and what you know they’re capable of.

Look at each employee’s past performance data. This can give you an idea of their limits.

Don’t micromanage: Wanting to stay on top of everything that goes on in your business is natural.

However, it shouldn’t involve constantly telling employees how they should do their job.

But micromanagement can hurt employees morale and performance. This destroys productivity. 

Equip your team with tech and productivity tools: Equipping staff members with new technologies allows them to stay on the same page no matter where they are working from.

These tools might also help keep employees more productive and connected after Covid-19 fears lessen and people go back to physical working environment. 

Provide emotional support: Because working virtually can contribute to loneliness and negative emotions, you should do what you can to provide emotional support to employees.

In a fully remote work setup, managers should also be more available than usual for check-ins and other questions that may come up given the unfamiliar circumstances.  

Team leaders should additionally encourage self-care among their employees, who mentally are trying to adapt to remote work, the stress of new environments and the stress of daily updates around the pandemic.

Encourage dedicated workspaces: You should encourage the creation of home offices that are separate from communal space.

In some cases, offer stipends to help workers create appropriate, productive spaces for remote work.

Dedicated workspaces can help free employees from the normal distractions from home life. 

Dress for success: While it may not sound important to be dressed for business while working from home, psychologically it does help many employees to be wearing sweatpants and pajamas while trying to be productive.

Dressing up can also mentally help the workers feel better, thus making it easier to focus on checking important tasks off your list.

Non-work interactions: Creating time and space for workers to talk about news, hobbies, and other topics just as they would have done in the office helps them relieve stress and feel better connected. 

Over-communicate: Communication should be frequent, candid, consistent and tailored to be personal. If staff don’t have information, they make their own inaccurate conclusions. — The writer is the Managing Partner Watermark Consultants—ndi@watermarkconsultants com

More on News