Remote work has dominated the modern workplace. Some people love it. Others – not so much.
However, even the best workers struggle at times with the challenges of remote work. Whether it’s technical issues, distractions, or lack of communication, employers must be able to step in and help their employees out. With the worldwide pandemic soon to be ending, many employees will face the decision of deciding to work from home or return to the office.
For those who continue to work from home, it is essential to support them as much as possible. Many studies have seen several benefits for employees working from home who are supported by their management or HR. In fact, 77% of remote workers say they’re more productive when they’re working from home. With 5 tips and ways to help you successfully help your employees work to their full potential while working remotely, we’re here to help!
Remote Work Tip #1 – Access to Tools
I’m sure that no one was expecting such a sudden and drastic turn to remote work – let alone the people currently working out of their makeshift offices! While it’s true that time has passed since the full change to remote work, it is without question still clear that there’s been a lot of difficulties readjusting for many at-home workers.
While several people have easily transitioned to working from home full time, there are still employees who would greatly benefit from employers helping them adjust. The Muse reports that many employees still have difficulties with the tools available to them while working remotely, often describing technical challenges or not having access to the equipment they would otherwise have in the office.
Companies need to keep in mind that they have a responsibility to ensure solid remote work productivity for their employees. The first step is reassurance that employees have access to all the tools and equipment they need. Equipment such as company computers or laptops that are high speed and peripherals such as cameras and microphones are absolutely essential. A comfortable chair and office desk and consistent access to high-speed internet are all tools that employers should provide for their employees if needed to recreate the perfect in-office atmosphere needed for peak productivity.
If you already provide benefits such as these but they aren’t being used commonly by employees, it may be because it’s not documented anywhere! Have you considered taking a look at AirMason and building an online employee handbook where employees can access information anywhere at any time? We’ve helped many companies engage their employees and create the necessary policies for employees to feel connected – how about taking a look at how we could help you?
Remote Work Tip #2 – Coworking spaces
When taking a look at your employees’ accessibility and space to do their tasks, it may be an easier and better solution to instead invest in providing employees with a membership to a coworking space for them to access. Certain employees have distractions and difficulties at home that they cannot avoid, because of that, it is important to keep these alternate arrangements in mind.
As the pandemic becomes a thing of the past, coworking spaces are emerging as a more and more viable, and even preferable, option for remote workers. Available in every large city worldwide, these spaces provide workers with the opportunity to remain productive while still remaining remote, but not alone. A study done by the Global Coworking Unconference Conference found that 84% of coworkers say working in a coworking hub makes them more motivated versus working in an isolated or more dysfunctional environment.
Taking a look at the coworking spaces available for your employees is one remote work tip that’s guaranteed to positively impact employee mental well-being as a whole!
Remote Work Tip #3 – Employee Handbook
Do your employees know about all the policies or benefits you offer? All the protocols and procedures? How about the new remote hires as well? We don’t blame you for not having a centralized source with all the necessary information and updates, but it’s never too late to start! Whether it’s old and outdated or fully non-existent, updating your employee handbook and spending the time to build a source of information for your employees is a fantastic way to help remote work productivity.
Here at AirMason, we’ve seen companies struggle with centralizing their information and making sure that employees are engaged with all of the information that’s available to them. Top companies around the world see the value of employee handbooks, and we’ve helped them build perfect handbooks essential to their employees!
Remote Work Tip #4 – Check-Ins
With the rise of the digital age, you’d think that employees would be more connected than ever. However, studies have shown that the transition to a remote work environment has had many negative effects on the mental well-being of employees. Loneliness is one of the largest concerns for remote workers, as oftentimes employees struggle to compensate for the loss of social connection commonly seen in the office. Arthur C. Brooks touches on the impact of the rise of remote work in his article “The Hidden Toll of Remote Work” – where he explains the staggering social isolation that has emerged from this pandemic.
As an employer, your employees will look up to you for going above and beyond to focus on ways to fight off loneliness and feelings of isolation for your employees. One of the best methods to achieve this is by setting check-in times with employees to see how they are doing and what blockers they may be facing. We touched on the importance of mental health in a past blog entry, however many of the same points apply here! By prioritizing mental health, your employees will remain productive and connected and far less isolated or distanced despite working remotely. After all – mental health is wealth.
Remote Work Tip #5 – The Chance to Socialize
As time has passed and strides have been made in eradicating this pandemic, more and more opportunities for in-person meetings and events have finally opened up. For employees at your company, that means more opportunities for your team to finally see each other again in person and a return to normality.
While there definitely are financial benefits to maintaining remote work as a large percentage of organizations around the world are already transforming themselves to remote-only workplaces. However, in-person socialization is still incredibly important, if not more than ever before. As mentioned in the above point, certain employees require the ability to form in-person connections with one another, and these opportunities are the perfect chance to appeal to the social needs of your employees.
Of course, we always recommend only focusing on this point when it is safe to do so and appropriate as per government regulations local to you. It is incredibly important to consider as restrictions continue to loosen and connectedness to your employees is more important than ever.
How has Your Organization Handled Working Remotely?
We’ll be the first to admit that the change to remote work has been a difficult time for all of us. With unexpected surprises and struggles along the way, it’s beyond important that your organization focuses on how to help your remote workers be as productive and looked after as possible. Investing in your employees now is an investment into your company long-term.