Has your Connecticut business had to make a transition to remote employees over the last 12 months? The majority of businesses have needed to make these adjustments and many are planning to have employees continue to work from home permanently even once the pandemic has passed.
The number of permanent remote workers is expected to double this year and there are many factors impacting this major workforce transition. These include:
- Uncertainty about the future and the need to keep operations resilient
- Cost savings for both employers and employees
- Ability to downsize facilities
- Fewer sick/personal days taken
- Improved productivity due to fewer interruptions
Companies have also spent the better part of the last year putting cloud software tools in place to make it possible for employees to work from anywhere and access the data and communications needed to keep a business operating virtually.
This move to work-from-home (WFH) employees brings a challenge with it. How do you gauge productivity when employees are not in the office?
The lack of ability to ensure that employees are still working just as hard from home has often kept companies from considering remote working in the first place. However, the pandemic has forced the issue.
The good news is that because of all those great digital software tools, there are many ways to stay on top of team productivity when your team is working from home.
Unified Cloud Communication Hub
Supervisors and employees can feel cut off from each other if they do not have a place for everyone to virtually gather when they are telecommuting. It is important to strategically adopt technology that can keep communication flowing.
A platform like Microsoft Teams can be a virtual office where everyone knows that they can get in touch with everyone else in an organization. This helps you to keep on top of productivity by giving employees a way to receive and report on tasks.
Some of the helpful tools in Teams to aid productivity:
- Custom status messages (at lunch, on call with customer, etc.)
- Direct and channeled team messaging
- In-app collaboration on Microsoft files
- Voice and video calls
- Alerts and @mentions
Hourly Time Tracker
There can be a few bumps in the road when employees that work by the hour begin working from home. They might forget to write their time down and if it is being tracked manually then it is time-consuming to track hours by project.
You can solve both issues by using an online time tracking tool like Clockify or Harvest. These apps make it easy for employees to track time while working from home. They just click to start and stop the timer and can assign projects to each time segment.
Reporting helps companies track hourly productivity easily and many of the tracking tools come with the ability to take screenshot intervals if needed.
Track Productivity by Task
A better gauge of productivity for employees that are not hourly can be through the tasks completed successfully.
Employees do not all work at the same pace so when you are judging who may be ready for a raise it may be helpful to use tracking by task completion to see who is a superstar performer.
- See how tasks are progressing through a process
- Communicate directly on a task card
- Assign users to tasks
- Due date and alert settings
- Tasks and updates are not lost in a sea of emails
Implement Short Morning Video “Touch Base” Meetings
8 out of 10 people surveyed say that their business either has average or poor communication. Communication is even more vital when employees are working remotely and cut off from the typical interactions that you have when working in the same place.
Confusion over priorities can happen often and employees end up being less productive. This leads to more frustrated supervisors because they are not on the same page.
You can start the day off right and ensure everyone is on the same page about expectations and priorities by having a short 10 to 15-minute morning meeting via video every day. It is important to give meetings a hard stop and not allow them to go longer than planned to ensure that they remain productive.
These can be a way to touch base on a project deadline, ask questions about confusing priorities and keep tabs on team productivity.
Let Employees Know What to Expect
If you just send your employees home to work without any guidelines, it is a recipe for problems. There are many issues that can come up that can make for an unsure employee.
For example, should they tell someone when they begin work in the morning? Do they use their personal mobile phone to call customers or can they access a company line? How does their manager know that they are on a break or at lunch and when should they take breaks?
Put a remote working policy in place that addresses these areas:
- Hours employees are expected to work
- How they “clock in and out” each day
- Methods of communication with those inside and outside your organization
- Whether they can work flex hours
- Use of status messages in team communication tools
Get Help Putting Productive WFH Workflows in Place
Sound Computers can help your Connecticut business transition successfully to an efficient and productive remote workforce.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 860-577-8060 or reach us online.