Home Office and productivity: how to motivate employees?

Although remote work has been pointed out as a trend for people management for some time, some companies were resistant to the adoption of this work model. One of the main reasons was the lack of knowledge about the relationship between home office and productivity.

 

The COVID-19 pandemic changed that reality. Social distancing is the main recommendation from health authorities to minimize the spread of the virus, as a result, organisations were forced to transfer their operations to their collaborators’ homes.

 

Remote work was the solution found for businesses to remain productive and bought a challenge to managers: to keep teams stimulated and motivated remotely. In this post we will tell you how to keep your employees engaged while working from home.

 

Have an efficient communication platform.

 

Establishing a satisfactory relationship between home office and productivity is directly related to an agile and transparent internal communication. Before the pandemic, leaders and managers were always at the disposal of the teams to answer any question, encourage, compliment and correct any flaws and mistakes. It was simply done by going to the employee’s desk or scheduling a meeting.

 

This does not need to change after adopting telecommuting. Since this work model was already adopted by many companies before the pandemic, there are several communication platforms that facilitate the contact between organisation representatives and their coworkers.

 

In addition to the traditional programs which the main objective is to hold videoconferences, there are applications specially developed to corporate communication, a valid investment not only during pandemic times and home office, but also for the company’s daily basis operations.

 

Establishing an official and formal channel for exchanging messages brings a variety of benefits to the organisation. Having control over the messages exchanged and having protection against information leakage are one of these benefits.

 

Review goals

 

There are differences in the stipulated goals for people working from home and for those executing their duties in the office and they should be considered during social isolation.

 

It is necessary to think about the company’s role in the midst of the pandemic, to what extent its services are essential to the society at this moment and adjust its objectives for that period. In general, unrealistic goals demotivate and reduce productivity. Be conscious.

 

Besides setting up goals consistent with reality, it is important to recognise the efforts to achieve them. Even though leaders and employees are physically distant, recognition via messaging, calls, e-mails or even posts on social media are essential to increase motivation, engagement and teams’ productivity.

 

Define metrics and manage time

 

The implementation of home office must be done as part of the strategic planning, however, in the current context, the companies would not have enough time to prepare for it. Therefore, some telework definitions might be misunderstood.

 

Working outside the office gives the wrong idea of flexibility. It means that many coworkers understand that the work can be done at any time of the day, as long as the daily objectives are met.

 

This idea is not completely wrong. However, it is necessary to have an efficient control over productivity and time management, avoiding that teams end up surrendering to distractions of the domestic environment and delay some deadlines.

 

There must be a distinction between departments that should follow the traditional working hours – customer service, service to suppliers and other partners – and those who can work in accordance with their deliverables and deadlines. Next step is to define the resources that will be used to track their work.

 

To do so, the company can use tools such as Trello, that allows the leader to distribute activities to team members, establishing deadlines for their completion and monitoring the delivery of tasks in real time.

 

Set up standards

 

In general, discipline is the key element to implement organisational processes and for their success, it is even more important during remote work regime. Try to establish standards in the following points:

 

  • Communication with supervisors and managers: the most appropriate communication channels and available time to chat in real time;
  • Customer service hours;
  • How to report to managers and how often;
  • If there is a workday control and how it will be done;
  • Company’s trading hours that must be informed to clients and suppliers;
  • What periods should be saved for meetings and how often they will occur.

 

Provide good work infrastructure

Communication is the secret to maintain a relationship between home office and productivity, and it is the responsibility of the company to provide appropriate resources so the dialogue can happen in a fast, safe and fluid way.

 

In this sense, it is not enough that managers are available. It is necessary that the infrastructure provided has high quality and is adequate to the profile of the employee.

 

For example, if the company uses shared spreadsheets. Each employee fills in the information according to their results, allowing other employees to have access to that information, in real time.

 

At first glance, it is a simple solution for the routine. However, it is important to take into consideration the size of the file, the volume of data inserted and if it can be easily used in each coworker’s personal computer.

 

In this case, it is recommended to test the resources suggested in this article, requesting feedback from coworkers regarding the possible tools to be adopted by the company. Remember that the concept of productivity is to deliver more in less time, so, simplifying workers’ daily activities is crucial.

 

As you could see, technology allows remote work and productivity to go hand in hand during this period of social isolation. Even so, it is important to meet with coworkers, even remotely,  to maintain the alignment between team’s work and company’s objectives. Communication is even more important during pandemic times, so invest in it!

 

Has your company adopted remote work? Share your experience with us. Leave us a comment.