How to Extract The Maximum Productivity From Your Remote Team
Many organizations around the world are at a make-or-break stage. Or, they have been residing at that junction for an awfully long while ever since the COVID outbreak.
Organizations realize that teams that can work remotely, must work remotely. You look at it any other way and business will suffer. Resultantly, most companies are rushing to reap the obvious benefit of remote work – to keep operations afloat. There are quite a few ways in which working remotely can benefit the organization.
Most remote teams are high on productivity
Every which way you choose to look at it, entire teams and the individuals that make them are way more productive when they work remotely.
If you look at the larger picture, remote work has a huge impact on organizational productivity. Global Workplace Analytics suggests that if half the US employees who can work remotely, actually did, they would generate five million man-hours of work per year of work. That translates into a mean $270 billion of additional annual revenue.
Even generally, modern employees agree that working from home ups their productivity. As many as 4 out of 5 employees have stated that one of the major reasons they wish to work remotely is owing to the rise in productivity.
The truth of the matter is all employees that work remotely are able to work in a more relaxed setting, and more often than not that allows them to be more productive.
The Obvious Cost Advantage
Remote work allows teams greater efficiency across the board. On the flip side, it also immensely cuts down costs for the company. That itself summaries one of the key benefits of remote work – companies do more work for less expenditure. This works both at micro and macro levels. Here are some obvious expenses that you can save:
- Office rent
- Equipment and furniture
- Custody and maintenance
- Electricity expenses
- Overhead costs and transport expenses
Ctrip alone saved $1900 per employee by just letting the employees work from home. On a macro level, Dell has saved $12 million this year only on real estate.
The cost benefits aren’t just for the company, though. Employees are personally saving thousands of dollars yearly on travel expenses alone. Similarly, they can also reduce other costs like educational fees and family-related costs.
Besides monetary costs, remote teams are also far more efficient with time. More often than not, remote employees work at times when they are at their peak productivity and are not bound to show activity during the business hours. While employees work less than three hours in traditional offices, they are way more productive when they choose when they can work.
When more work is done in less time, the organization gets more time from their employees. This time can be used to up productivity even more or take on new projects.
Remote Teams Attract High-quality Talent
Recruiting new employees is definitely not up the priority list for most organizations amid the global shutdown. Even then, qualified candidates are actively looking for expanding their career opportunities in 2020.
70% of employees believe that the ability to work from home is important for them. Gen Y and Gen Z are even more inclined to value remote work facilities than the older generations. Of these people, 8 out of 10 employees are college employees.
Moreover, remote work allows recruitment to happen on a global scale. Since the team can be spread across the world, you can recruit talent from anywhere. While this has been possible all along, it can now be done all the more easily while working remotely.
Three Ways to Transition from Traditional to Remote Operations
For starters, you need some proper planning if you want to shift operations from real to virtual offices. Upon that, doing it in a helter-skelter manner may do more harm than good. What really helps is an organized plan of action. Here are three ways to do it.
Get the expectations straight
Working from home is a totally new experience for many employees.
They might or might not know what to expect or what management will expect of them. So you need to set the expectations straight right at the start. The very first thing you want to deal with and help your employees deal with is their newfound flexibility.
You want to provide them with maximum freedom in terms of mode and timing of their work. At the same time, you expect them to complete their assignments on time and meet the work standards of the company.
You have to tell the employees that WFH doesn’t mean they work whenever they want. They still need to meet maximum productivity standards. Yes, you can let them decide which time is the most productive for them.
Despite putting an onus on comfort, you should reiterate that the employees should not value comfort overwork. Being at home should not mean that they are not “at work.” Do not worry. Your employees will soon figure out how to leave work at work. Always give your employees the freedom to use their individual time as they want it utilized.
Adjust the work environment
The business will definitely have to go through several changes as teams make the digital leap. When you are identifying specific things, find out:
- Which processes or parts of processes need to be changed
- Which team members might have to work differently
- What tools are required to complete the tasks
- The communication channels that work best during these times for your team
Whatever these changes might be, you will have to make sure that your employees understand them as well as you do. If there are changes in the workflow, explain them to your team. Also tell them why these changes are important instead of slamming upon the team.
Always work to bring back focus on what has not changed. With employees having to undergo so many changes rapidly, it is important to ground them in some semblance of normalcy. Discuss with your team the rationale behind the new workflow. Remember, take them into confidence before they smell any hints of lack of transparency.
Help them out with technology
One thing heavily determines how teams perform while working from home. That thing is technology. Make sure you plug the entire team to the best of technology. There must always be a number of technologies that your team can leverage to enhance productivity.
VICE PRESIDENT, HEAD INDIA OPERATIONS