25 March, 2020 | Rebecca East

Helping your team stay productive at home

Did you have viral pandemic in your 5-year business growth forecasts? No, neither did we.

It is frightening to feel out of control, but while there are things we can’t plan for or change, there are others that we can get a grip on and do something about. One of those is how you manage your workforce through a challenging time, to make sure your business and teams stay intact, happy and engaged.

That, we can help with.

For many of us, mass remote working is going to become, temporarily, our new normal. But this is not a normal remote working situation. With the UK now in lockdown, these are challenging times – emotionally and practically.

A recent survey* found that 65% of respondents were actually more productive in their home office than at a traditional workplace. Yet staying productive when you have chosen to work remotely as part of your work/life blend is very different to staying productive when remote work has been forced upon you. It’s particularly difficult for managers, who are not only adjusting themselves, but need to ensure their teams are coping and continuing to thrive.

If businesses are going to get through this challenging time, productivity does need to be a priority, and the pressure is falling to managers to make sure output and engagement is maintained. But if that 65% statistic tells us anything, it’s that productivity and remote working can go hand in hand – if they are managed effectively.

We’ve pulled together a few tips to help managers keep their employees – and themselves – productive at home.

  1. Structure your day: This doesn’t mean following the usual working day – this is a different situation, especially for those with others sharing their home workspace. Help employees to decide on a structure and communicate it with relevant team members to keep collaboration running smoothly.

  2. Divide professional and personal: Encourage employees to find ways to keep work and life separate. This is harder in small spaces, but even simple steps like clearing clutter from your space before you start, and putting your work paraphernalia away at the end of the day can help.

  3. Keep sight of work goals: This is a tough time for every business. Make sure your teams know how important the work they are doing is, and the positive outcomes that will come from them. Some things have changed due to this crisis, but some objectives will be as valid and important as ever.

  4. Stay connected as a team: It’s easier for people to stay positive if they can see what others are achieving and how their work plays into the bigger picture. Make sure this is still visible as you all work from home.

  5. Set reasonable goals and review them: It can be tempting to write long to-do lists to spur people to work harder and see what they can achieve. Don’t do this. If workload is unachievable, people will feel discouraged and become less productive, not more.

  6. Log off: This goes for managers too! You will soon find productivity (and wellbeing) slipping if you let work spill into the rest of your home life – especially in the current home working climate.

And if you want to have a conversation with us about improving productivity as your team works from home, whether you have OpenBlend already or need a tool to help you through this period, give us a call on 01628 613 040. OpenBlend can be installed and implemented remotely, so you can start helping your managers and employees straight away.

*FlexJobs https://www.flexjobs.com/blog/post/remote-work-statistics/

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