With a lot of businesses moving to operate virtually in the wake of COVID-19, many employees are adjusting to remote working as the new norm. Remote working comes with its own challenges, including lack of human interaction and distractions from one’s surroundings, just to name a few, writes Claudio Cardile, ANZ Managing Director, Barco.
It’s important to support your employees during this time so they can continue to do their best work and keep the lights on. Losing track of productivity is a sure-fire way to make it even harder for your business to navigate this unchartered territory.
A boost in productivity can have a big impact not just on the operational efficiency of your business, but on your overall employee engagement. A productive team will likely revel in the benefits of a more manageable workload and less stress, boosting employee morale and loyalty. At a time like this, keeping busy and doing good work can even help your team to feel connected and committed.
If your team is navigating remote working arrangements, here are three practical ways to help ease the transition process and keep your employees engaged.
- Communicate with employees, no matter where they are
You need to be on the same page as your employees to get things done efficiently so team members should be able to effectively communicate, no matter where they are working from. Of course, if people are in the same space it is as easy as walking over and talking to someone. But with so many businesses now working from home, it’s important to find a way to communicate with your team no matter where they are.
Our recent The Future of Meetings research found that almost two-thirds of Australians say they find it more difficult to participate in a meeting when it is remote. And with two out of every five participants having trouble hearing in remote meetings, it is evident that many businesses don’t have the right tools in place to meet and connect with employees remotely.
Look into tools that enable better meetings so you can communicate clearly and seamlessly with your team. Whether you use Zoom, Microsoft Teams, or the many other tools available, enabling clearer meetings means you’ll be more aligned with employees.
The benefit of these tools extends beyond efficient working. For our teams in Australia and New Zealand, boosting morale and engagement in the current environment is a priority. We have set up regular team meetings designed as open virtual coffee catchups. Our team members join with a cup of coffee and have a casual conversation with colleagues. The session is open so anyone can drop in to say a quick hello or stay for half-an-hour to feel connected and less isolated.
- Collaborate in real-time
The best ideas come from working as a team. Working in silos is a thing of the past – even if people can’t physically meet and collaborate. Teams need to collaborate in real-time to be able to progress their work during this time. From Box to Google Suite, there is a range of tools available that allow teams to work on shared documents whenever and wherever they are.
Not only do you get a better quality of work, but it also helps streamline the time your employees spend on corresponding with each other to get the job done.
- Plan and track activity
Inevitably your business operations would have been impacted in some shape or form by COVID-19. Disruptions to your day-to-day operations with the shift to remote working can sidetrack employees’ focus, but it is important for the business to keep on track. Being able to seamlessly plan and oversee your operations remotely will help ensure each team member has a clear understanding of how they can best support the business during this time.
Project management tools like Asana and Trello allow users to track tasks, move ownership of key tasks to and from each team member and create different boards for new projects. These intuitive, easy to use tools can do wonders for planning and project management, giving every team member a snapshot of what needs to be done so employees can prioritise their tasks and projects to keep things running smoothly.
In times of uncertainty, employees now rely on their employers more than ever to help them navigate this new way of working. The onus is on business owners to equip their employees with the tools and processes that enable them to maintain work productivity. Supporting employees to stay engaged and remain productive during this time will help you weather this unprecedented environment.
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