Productivity is a tricky enough thing to foster in an office environment, so it is understandable that managing remote teams makes it significantly harder to achieve.
Thankfully, with the right tools and strategies in place, teams can be just as productive when working remotely as if they are on-premises, so here are just a few top tips for those in need of them.
1. Using a remote access server instead of a VPN
Employees will inevitably need to make use of files and data stored on business systems when working remotely, and for many organizations the default option is to give everyone a VPN account so they can use in-house systems remotely.
Read more – 10 tips to improve employee satisfaction
However, there are downsides to this, including the sluggish performance that use of a VPN will almost invariably introduce. Therefore it can be quicker and more productive to implement a remote access server from which mission-critical documents can be harnessed by individuals and teams. You can learn more here about remote file servers to understand why they have risen in popularity recently.
2. Avoiding an over-prescriptive approach to communications
With the rise in remote working, many businesses have got involved in a mad scramble to unify every aspect of their operations, including which platforms are used for employee communication.
While it may make sense in some areas to avoid fragmentation and to get everyone on the same page, this is not a workable solution in lots of organizations, in part because multigenerational teams are not at their most productive when everyone is being forced down the same narrow avenue.
Instead, consider giving remote workers the freedom to pick and choose from the communications solutions with which they are most comfortable. That is not to say you should throw out the idea of having a centralized approach altogether, but rather that you should combine this with a willingness to allow a little leeway. So for those who prefer email to instant messaging, or phone calls to virtual meetings, you can be sensitive to their needs and also enhance their productivity as a result, rather than being draconian about the communications tools used.
3. Overcoming hardware bottlenecks
Expecting employees to work productively away from the office without equipping them with the gear that will let them do so is unfair in the modern era, so businesses should instead bear the responsibility of providing suitably powerful hardware for this purpose.
This will also allow you to overcome a few of the hiccups that are associated with BYOD culture, which is often adequate when it comes to personal smartphone use, but can be a sticking point in terms of worker-owned laptops and desktops.
In addition, by providing computer hardware to everyone in the team, you will be making it a level playing field, rather than leaving some members at a disadvantage simply because they have not upgraded their laptop in a while.
4. Setting targets
Improved productivity is often attainable only if you are willing to lay out a series of goals and also put in place a plan for how you and your team will go about achieving them.
This is especially true in a remote working context, where individuals may not have the same levels of motivation as they do in the office because they are isolated from their colleagues and potentially feel like they are under less scrutiny from their managers.
Break down goals on a daily level, as even having small but achievable milestones to hit when working remotely can be the difference between feeling disconnected from your role and actually becoming more engaged and interested.