In nowadays, the ability to work remotely from home has become one of crucial importance for employment decisions. According to a survey by Statista, about 45 percent of respondents are working entirely remotely, with only 26 percent still working physically in the office. 48.4% of the global respondents considered the ability to work remotely very important. Overall, 87.4% of them indicated that it is a significant aspect of future employment decisions to some degree.
Benefits of Remote Work
Regarding the benefits of remote work, flexibility is one of the most critical factors. By interviewing over 2000 respondents, Statista shows that 67% of the respondents think that the most significant benefit of remote work is the flexibility on how they spend their time, and 62% of them think they can choose their work location.
For those who live far away from where they work, remote working is actually a life-saver, reducing the cost of the annoying and exhausting commute, including time and money.
3. Work-Life Balance
Work-life balance means more than splitting the time 50/50. When working remotely, for example, working from home, the work-life balance could be merely having more time spent on family issues or someone's own hobbies; it could also be better mental health and so on.
However, despite the benefits above, remote work does have its own drawbacks.
Drawbacks of Remote Work
1. Trust Crisis
Research shows that 38% of managers agree that remote workers perform worse than they do in the office, and 41 percent are skeptical of whether remote workers can stay motivated. An employee could be likely to be considered not focusing on working if he/she does not respond immediately when messages come in, leading to trust drops and further impairing productivity.
2. Lack of Communication
Unlike working physically in the office, working remotely means communications may be undergone via email, messages, etc., which is not as efficient as having face-to-face conversations. Also, the chance to chat with others is likely to be less, which does no good for the union and cohesion of the company.
3. Low Working Efficiency
It is like the difference between studying in the library and the dormitory; with more distractions existing around, working in the office is more likely to be more efficient than working outside of the office.
4. Overlaps Between Work and Life
For some, working remotely is conducive to their work-life balance, but for others, it only blurs the boundary between work and life. When working in the office, you're free to go when the clock hits 5, but things could be different if you're working from home. Others might not interrupt once you're out of the office, but they might continue texting you when you're working remotely even if the hour has already passed 5.
For employers, the question is, with so many employees working remotely, how to make remote workers work as productively as they are in the office?
How to Improve Productivity for Remote Teams
1. Trust is Key
According to a survey, employees who employers highly trust report less stress, more energy at work, and higher productivity. When employees feel trusted, they are more likely to feel like putting their whole selves into their everyday work. When highly trusted, they feel free to speak out what's on their mind and contribute with their thoughts without fearing being reprimanded or having others take credit for their expressions.
But trust is not just a saying; it has to be expressed in realistic ways. For example, stay moderate with monitoring. No one likes the experience of being surveilled. As long as your employees are responsive and can get their work done, it is time to put your effort into improving other aspects of the business instead of keeping tabs on what your employees are doing. Remember that trust is the key to forming a better relationship between employers and employees, which can result in a higher employee retention rate and increased productivity.
2. Strengthen Communication
Indeed, more than building trust between each other is required. You have to strengthen the communication between you and your employees, not only in quantity but also quality, to make them feel like they're taken seriously. For example, instead of using email or text frequently, you may shift to phone calls or video calls, whether in daily greetings or online meetings, to further understand what your employees are thinking of and how they are behaving. To implement higher quality calls, specific equipment is necessary to invest in for both ends. For example, equip your remote employees with high-quality speakerphones instead of making calls merely via cell phones. A good speakerphone delivers a high-definition voice and simultaneously blocks out the noise from the surroundings or other gadgets in the room.
The EMEET OfficeCore M3 is an ideal choice for working remotely, whether working from home or anywhere. It features 4 microphones that enable 360° voice pickup up to 5 meters, noise cancellation, echo elimination, and a full duplex. Its stylish and portable design with auto-switch mode between conference mode and music-playing mode makes it more suitable for the home office or anywhere else.
3. Task-Based Work
Task-based work is the new trend that companies worldwide are applying to enhance employee retention and productivity at work. Task-based work means decomposing the work into specific tasks and building corresponding expectations toward each task. Managing remote employees is challenging in terms of assigning work, considering the form of task-based work may be a good choice. If your employee can complete all his/her tasks between 10 to 4 and enjoy the rest of the time doing what they like, then why not? If your employees can finish tasks within 4 days, then why not？
Most companies find that task-based work better serves the productivity of their employees, especially when working remotely. Knowing clearly what and when to do is highly advantageous to asynchronous teams that are not in the vicinity and are distributed around the country or even the world.
4. Track Performance Instead of Working Hours
When accessing remote employees, tracking their performance is better than their working hours or presence. One of the most significant advantages of working remotely is the flexibility to choose when and where to work. It is no longer the traditional 9 to 5 working model where employees should strictly abide by the working time and location. Therefore, as long as your remote employees meet their intended targets and deadlines, whether they're working fully 8 hours or merely 6 hours a day is not a big deal. The point is his/her performance.
Consider giving your remote employees the privilege to work in their own ways, letting them do the right things at the right time, which may result in better performance and higher productivity.
5. Organize Employee Training Regularly
With time, people change, and so do the needs of the company. Proper employee training benefits employees by learning new skills and is also good for the company's growth. Overall, better performance is the most obvious benefit of employee training.
To organize efficient employee training, except for the right professionals, you'll also need professional equipment for a great experience for remote employees.
For the on-site, we recommend the EMEET Meeting Capsule, which is an all-in-one conference room camera that houses an HD1080P camera, 8 AI microphones and a 10W speaker. It features a 360° panoramic view, active speaker autofocus and 5 video modes for multiple scenarios, creating an immersive experience for remote employees, making them feel like they're attending the training themselves.
For the remote side, to fully participate in the training, video quality is greatly significant when it comes to presentations. In that case, the laptop's integrated camera is certainly not enough. Therefore, investing in your remote employee with a high-quality webcam helps a lot. The EMEET SmartCam C980Pro is a good choice for you to invest in for your remote employees. It is a powerful webcam that integrates an HD 1080P camera, 4 noise-cancelling microphones, and a loudspeaker into one, which delivers crystal-clear images and voice to the other end.
Though it is challenging to manage remote teams, knowing the pros and cons of remote working and the proper ways to improve your remote employees' productivity is worth the effort. However, there is only one formula for enhancing the productivity of your remote employees; it depends more on the current situation at your end.