A revolution in the way we work was heralded by the onset of the novel coronavirus in 2020 – an event that precipitated unprecedented investment in remote work and collaboration technology.
In the present day, long after coronavirus restrictions were altogether removed, remote and hybrid working solutions remain a uniquely popular option amongst the working population.
According to recent ONS statistics, over a third of UK workers spend at least one day a week working from home. Not only that, but a separate study found that more than half of UK workers would think about leaving their job if hybrid working was removed as an option by their employers.
But business leaders and executive managers are understandably concerned about the lightning shift to a new mode of working. For some, remote working stands as an unknown quantity – and presents its own unique challenges in ensuring workplace productivity and motivation.
Thankfully, there are some simple interventions a business can make to preserve, and even boost, productivity amongst remote-working staff. Here are some core approaches, and the benefits they could provide.
Dedicated Remote Workspaces
Remote workers have unparalleled comfort and flexibility but also it is assumed that the workers in question have a suitable environment in which to work.
In fact, many do not have a dedicated space in which to work, with 40% of remote workers reported having worked in bed at least once.
There are various reasons a dedicated space may not have been feasible, whether due to budgetary restrictions or space concerns. Either way, you as a business could provide your remote employees with the means necessary to work from home comfortably and safely. An ergonomic chair and desk can go a long way to improving individual situations.
Your staff will also have equipment needs in order to work from home effectively – something that, if addressed on a company-wide level, can ensure productivity is boosted for all. From a hardware standpoint, remote workers will need laptops powerful enough to work with, and peripherals such as screens, mice, and keyboards to enable ergonomic work. From a software perspective, cloud collaboration tools can enable better teamwork and access to work files.
These provisions are not insignificant, though. The combined cost would be considerable for even a relatively small team; with long-term productivity protecting long-term profits, a secured business loan may be a shrewd decision to assist with short-term investment.
Lastly, there is no real substitute for solid, conscientious people management when it comes to securing productivity. In-person management may not be possible with a remote-working team, but this does not preclude team leaders from tracking and analyzing performance.
KPIs should remain the primary method for tracking individual growth and effectiveness. Regular check-ins with individual staff members, coupled with quarterly appraisals and re-evaluations, ensure active accountability is retained.