Improving the Productivity of Remote Teams

Rowena Jade10 Nov 20

The global pandemic has caused a massive shift in the country’s workforce with more people now working from home. Now, a massive shift like this isn't without growing pains. Teams and managers have had to make a significant adjustment in order to make the transition as smooth as possible. And while this began as a temporary thing, the BBC's article on remote working details that some areas in the UK are considering to make the shift to remote work a little more permanent.

With that being said, some teams may still be struggling with the remote working setup. This could prove to be troublesome in the long run, especially for companies who are considering long-term remote working setups. To help you out, we've prepared some tips to help improve productivity in remote teams.

Promote a Work-Life Balance

One of the biggest obstacles to productivity is burnout. While it may seem counter-productive, overexertion or working long hours could actually be hurting your team. Indeed, burnout has become a serious problem that has been plaguing the global workforce. So much so that the World Health Organization has classified burnout as an occupational phenomenon, as it's really starting to take a toll on people's health.

Teams that work remotely are just as susceptible to burnout as teams that work in offices. Work is work and can still take a toll on your team's well-being no matter where that work is done. Now, the question is how to prevent burnout in your remote teams. One way to help prevent burnout is by teaching your team how to set boundaries at work. Instil a culture where they aren't expected to work outside their regular work hours. When done correctly, this should help prevent burnout as they'll be spending ample time recovering and resting outside of work.

Emphasize Wellness

Wellness can have a huge effect on productivity. In fact, Entrepreneur's feature on corporate wellness programs highlights productivity as one of the main benefits of prioritizing an employee’s wellness. This shouldn't be too surprising, as employees that feel good on both a physical and mental level often work better. So how do you go about promoting wellness for your remote teams?

While it may be a little more difficult, there are wellness programs you can employ remotely. Pain Free Working's article on successful wellness initiatives details that a self-care bonus can go a long way into improving employee wellness. This is because it incentivises your team to take the initiative and seek out things that'll improve their overall well-being. Be sure to be receptive of your team's definition of self-care, as it can range from online counselling to getting the right amount of sleep every night.

Practice Good Time Management

As we've already discussed in our piece on The Cult of Busyness and the Death of Productivity, the amount of time one spends working does not equate to productivity. It's better to work efficiently rather than spend an extended amount of time on one task. This is why good time management is one of the best ways to achieve productivity. This is especially true for remote teams, as the team members have free rein on how they manage their time and their workload.

One time management strategy you can teach your team is the Pomodoro Technique. The technique is simple. All you have to do is break down your working schedule into 25-minute chunks with a five-minute break after every 25-minute cycle. After completing three cycles, you may then take a 30-minute break. This technique helps manage burnout, all while helping your team stick to a consistent working schedule.

exclusively written for by Rowena Jade

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