Adjusting to New Worklife Norms: How To Maintain Productivity with a Remote Staff

As the current pandemic seems to stretch out through more and more pages of our calendars, most of us are coping with major adjustments to our personal and professional lives (at varying levels of success). 

In most office spaces, tumbleweeds are rolling across the carpets in the place of desk chair wheels, and that high pitched western whistle fills the silence instead of the clattering of keyboards.

For those lucky enough to still be working, odds are we’ve been doing it mostly from home for several weeks. And with the end dates for social distancing seemingly getting pushed back the moment they’re stated, odds are you’re preparing for several more weeks as well.

Though our return to business as usual can’t come soon enough, in this interim period of uncertainty, it’s vital to make sure your organization is taking all the right steps to ensure maximum productivity and connectivity among a remote staff. 

Below, we’ll share some tips on how to do just that. 

Equip your teams with everything they need

This is a fairly obvious first step to take, but it is nonetheless a critical one to avoid any initial lags in productivity as a workforce transitions to home offices.

Many of us can underestimate the specifics commonplace at the office that we’ve become accustomed to: laptops, multiple monitors and corresponding cables, shelves, wireless mouse/batteries, phone headset, legal pads, etc. Make sure everyone takes an inventory of their workspace, takes home what they need, and works with corporate services to get additional equipment required to make their home office as productive as possible. 

Furthermore, the COVID-19 stress on supply chains has made replacing some of these essentials locally much more difficult, and shipping times are far longer than usual. Remind employees to be particularly careful with their electronic equipment.

More face time

While some owners may be leery about transitioning towards staff working primarily from home, many others have long been transitioning towards a partially remote workforce. Before COVID-19, 70% of workers globally reported working from home at least once per week. 

Months of working from home involuntary, though, can certainly pose threats to productivity and engagement, especially for organizations who are less experienced at managing it than others. 

Relying on internal communication software featuring video conferencing features (Teams, Zoom, Google Hangouts, etc.) is one impactful, simple measure you can take to keep everyone connected and keep morale humming. 

Scheduling a 15-minute meeting each morning among teams or departments allows everyone to get some face time with their coworkers. In a time where every other stimulus encourages separation, a little window each day for some healthy social interaction can have benefits that stretch through the rest of the day. 

Schedule one-on-ones

Communication is perhaps the single most important tool at your disposal. The previously mentioned meetings are a great first step, but more direct, intentional communication is still necessary. 

Addressing the state of affairs company-wide via a video conference is a step most organizations have already taken, and some may even be utilizing this method of cohesion weekly. But we recommend taking this one level further and finding a way to meet with each employee individually. 

Depending on company size, this may have to be divvied out among managers and department heads, but for those who can, getting in front of each individual contributor to check-in, address any questions, and air out any concerns personally can drastically promote employee engagement and promote productivity. 

US Tech Solutions

Looking for workforce solutions in these challenging times? Our team of industry experts at US Tech Solutions is still hard at work connecting great talent with great companies.

Get in touch with us today to hear how we can do it for you.