How Do You Encourage Your Employees to Work Their Hardest While Remote Working?

How Do You Encourage Your Employees to Work Their Hardest While Remote Working? was originally published on Ivy Exec.

According to the recent American Opportunity Survey, McKinsey found that 58 percent of Americans can work from home at least one day per week, while 35 percent of those surveyed said their organizations allowed them to work remotely five days a week.

What’s also clear is that workers want to have flexible and remote work.

Eighty-seven percent of respondents said they would take opportunities to work from home if their employers offered them. Indeed, companies have developed remote and hybrid work schedules to encourage employees to accept positions at their organizations.

But the question for many employers is how do I encourage my employees to work their hardest while remote working?

Certainly, many managerial strategies support remote workers’ success – and some that stop them in their tracks.

Here, we’ll discuss some ways to encourage your remote employees to reach peach productivity.

🤔 Is remote work as productive as in-person work?

One of the worries companies have when offering remote work is that their employees will be less productive than they would be in the office. This isn’t true, especially when taking into consideration the real concern that some employees would quit if they were offered remote work options elsewhere.

Stanford professor Nicholas Bloom recently found that nine percent of remote workers reported being more productive at home than at the workplace. This study supports another FlexJobs survey where 96 percent of workers said they were equally or more productive in their homes than at the office.

Of course, not all work-from-home plans are created equal. Managers should set specific policies and plans that boost remote work efficiency.

👉 Help your team to practice smart working-from-home practices.

One of the best ways to encourage remote employees to work their hardest is by making sure they aren’t burning themselves out at home. Some remote employees may fail to take breaks, which, if prolonged, will make them less efficient in the long run.

Workplace performance consultant Chris Dyer suggests that remote workers focus for 45 minutes, then take a 15-minute break each hour.

“It’s too easy to sit there for four hours and never get up. Walk the dog, have a snack, take a mental break,” he said.

At the same time, workers shouldn’t feel like their whole house or apartment is their office. They should create a specific spot in their homes where they can focus and get rid of distractions.  

“If you don’t have a separate room, find an area with minimum traffic flow or a corner of a room off from the main area. Set tight physical boundaries around your designated workspace that is off-limits for housemates. If possible, only go to your designated space when you need to work,” said author and workaholism expert Bryan Robinson.

👉 Create and clearly articulate your expectations and preferences.

Remote work is less effective for employees if you don’t convey your expectations effectively.

If they don’t know what you’re looking for, how you prefer to communicate, or when they should have their projects completed, they will not be as efficient as they otherwise could be.

So, be sure that you’re telling your employees when you’ll be available and how you prefer to be contacted. How quickly will you respond to emails?

Will you be available to chat on Slack at a certain time each day?

“The need for excellent communication is even more important when employees work remotely. For remote work to be a success, everyone has to know what is expected of them – the scope of the work, the deliverables, and the deadlines. There should be no room for ambiguity,” said Donna Fuscaldo for Business News Daily.

👉 Support your employees in creating their own work schedules and plans.

The appeal of remote and hybrid work for many employees is that it is individualized. They don’t have to be at their desks at a specific time of the day for a set number of hours. So, one of the ways managers decrease remote workers’ potential is by forcing these employees to act as though they’re still at their nine-to-five offices at their homes.

Instead, you should create schedules that are unique to each of your team members. If one wants to come into the office twice a week, you should aim to accommodate them. If another wants to work from 2 pm until 10 pm, you should aim to make this happen. As long as your employees remain productive, give them what they want, within reason.

“If you’ve got 12 team members, that’s 12 different sets of needs you have to meet. If you want performance, make sure they are engaged,” said Gallup content manager Adam Hickman said.

👉 Communicate more often than you would have before – but not by scheduling endless meetings.

Most virtual work experts suggest that remote workers must connect more often, perhaps for a short time daily.

However, you don’t want to have endless meetings where your employees regularly, or they will certainly get burnt out and fail to achieve their goals.

Two experts suggest that 15 minutes is the sweet spot meeting time – it can be used “to pass along information quickly and make decisions expediently.”

Encouraging Your Remote Employees to Work Their Hardest

Remote workers are less likely to be productive if they’re not working from home efficiently, setting their own goals and preferences, and working with a manager who articulates transparent policies.

If you’re able to develop remote work practices that work for your team, you’re likely to see their productivity match or exceed in-person levels.

Want to boost your own efficiency? Read our article “The 7 Commandments of Working From Home for Leaders.”

By Ivy Exec
Ivy Exec is your dedicated career development resource.