09/10/2020, 155 views
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Remote Work Productivity Killers and How to Mitigate Them

Remote work is new to a lot of individuals and companies. But as a manager, you have the more challenging task of ensuring employee productivity even from a distance. It’s not very easy when you can’t just walk up to their desk like you would before, but it's definitely possible.

The first step to mitigating productivity killers is identifying what they are. Be wary of these tell-tale signs when trying to maximise the productivity of your remote employees:

1. Blurring the lines between personal and work life

Offices are built for the sole purpose of providing a conducive environment for work. A work from home setup, though, may not be the most ideal given how easy it is to blur the boundaries between our personal and work lives.

What you can do is to encourage your employees to find a specific space at home for work. And while you don’t have complete control of what they do at home, implementing a specific work schedule can help maintain routines. This is something that you also have to observe simply by keeping communication strictly within those work hours. Don’t expect your employees to be always available even if they’re just at home, as an Academy of Management study explains that this increases the risk of stress. This ‘always on’ work culture hurts their motivation and performance, as well as their overall well-being.

2. Being surrounded by distractions

It’s also harder to minimise distractions at home than in an office. Their attention can be divided because of other demands, such as their family or household chores. Social media is also a problem — it’s now more challenging to stay away from these tools that keep us in contact with the rest of the world.

A simple solution is to use an employee monitoring software like Kickidler to encourage your team to stay on top of their tasks. The Autokick update also comes with self-monitoring tools to help remote teams. Employees can use this productivity monitoring tool to see how much they actually spend working versus idling around.

3. Lack of access to the proper technology

Modern workplaces rely heavily on technology, and so without access to it at home, it can put a serious hamper on productivity. Companies that have tech-intensive jobs need to supply these tools, but according to a survey by Procurify, only 53% of their respondents covered the cost of remote work essentials. Companies should provide their workers with what their work requires, such as computers, printers, and faster internet.

4. Poor ergonomic setup

Another must-have for a home office setup is ergonomic furniture. Poor ergonomics impacts one's health through a number of ways. It can cause chronic neck and back pain from poor posture, and increase stress and fatigue — which no employer wants for their employees.

If you can’t offer the ideal desk and chair setup, what you can do is teach your employees how to improve theirs. Pain Free Working’s guide to ergonomics notes that a chair with adequate back support is a good place to start. Make sure that it’s adjustable so the feet remain flat on the floor to avoid back pain. Their computer screen should also be at eye level to minimise the risk of shoulder and neck pain. And if you can, remind your employees to take breaks so they can walk around.

5. Lack of supervision and access to information

Being unsupervised can also lead to a decline in productivity. They may feel disconnected from work and unsure of their contribution to the organisation. Furthermore, working from home can result in feeling socially isolated, which can be bad for morale.

As their leader, it’s your job to keep communication constant. Have regular virtual meetings to update the team of company matters. Inc. also suggests hosting video calls to get some face time with your employees. Check in on them informally, too, so they know you care about their well-being. These efforts can help workers combat loneliness, maintain motivation and morale, and increase productivity.

Article written by Bethany Godwin
Exclusively for kickidler.com

Kickidler Employee Monitoring Software

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