The pandemic brought with it several changes in the way businesses operate. Employees have been given the chance to work from home as part of remote workplace set-ups. Despite there being a paradigm shift in the business milieu, studies have shown that employees working remotely show a 47% increase in productivity.
Nevertheless, WFH (Work From Home) does come with its own set of challenges. Employees are likely to face issues like communication gaps, loneliness, and fatigue. Additionally, recreating the office environment at home is a challenging task because of a range of factors that hinder productivity. This also makes it harder to adjust to working regular office shifts from home.
As a leader, it is crucial to not get overwhelmed by the challenges of remote or hybrid working setups. Here are a few steps you can take towards ensuring that employee productivity is not hindered as they work from home.
1. Set up a proper workstation
As a working professional in any remote or hybrid role, it is important to have your own designated work zone at home. This helps in recreating an office-like discipline at home, where one has the luxury of a dedicated spot for themselves, with all the other infrastructure they need to work efficiently. It also ensures that you can work with little to no distractions. Additionally, ensure that your employees have all the technological and infrastructural support they need. This includes a stable internet connection, a working computer, and any other equipment to help with getting work done.
Here are a few tips for employees setting up their home office:
- Identify a room or spot in the house that has the least number of distractions.
- Make sure that you do not confine yourself in a closed working place. For example, you can pick out a corner in your lounge from where you can have an inspiring view of the garden.
- However, do ensure that you get decent Wi-Fi coverage.
- Use an ergonomic chair to help you avoid physical strain.
- Make sure that the table and seat heights are ergonomic for you.
- Ensure that your table is set up in a way that allows you access to any tool you might need for work – pens, notebooks, display tablets, headsets etc.
- Make sure that the workstation or PC that you are using is powerful enough to handle the workload that you might throw at it.
2. Communicate and Collaborate with Teammates
Interactions within teams play a big role in bringing about a sense of engagement. It isn’t easy to replicate the same environment of interaction and communication that one gets in an office. However, it goes a long way to take an active part in any efforts made towards the same.
Invest in collaborative software and communication applications for your employees. These should enable them to work efficiently together as well as communicate openly. This helps boost employee engagement as well.
3. Maintain a Fixed Work Schedule
One of the factors that has a negative impact on work from home productivity is extended office hours. Employees frequently express concerns regarding work shifts being extended beyond their designated work hours. This could be due to increased pressure from clients or problems with connectivity. Nonetheless, increased work hours directly affect employee engagement and in turn, productivity.
If your employees are forced to work irregularly, they will be less inspired to bring in their best at work, since the consequences of working over time frequently can wreak havoc on their health as well as their motivation levels. This is why it is important to be organized and establish a consistent work routine. Fix the work hours that an employee has to log or the stipulated time period when they are to work.
4. Ensure an Optimal Work-Life Balance
Fatigue and stress-related drops in productivity are closely tied to employees being overworked. It is crucial to make sure that an optimal work-life balance is maintained, both in office as well as at home. However, making sure that employees don’t over-work themselves while working remotely may be challenging. Here are a few tips that your employees can follow:
- Be diligent with your calendars and block time for when you have chores or other personal work to tend to.
- Be sure to update your availability status icons on collaboration platforms.
- Be punctual when it comes to joining calls for meetings.
5. Invest in a Digital Adoption Platform
Among all the other problems that hamper your business productivity when working from home, training your employees also becomes a big challenge. Small businesses can train their employees via video conferencing, but bigger organizations have several constraints that prevent them from using such simple methods.
As software technologies progress in terms of complexity and interoperability, enterprises find it harder to get their employees to adopt the same. This issue is amplified when it comes to remote onboarding and training. Here’s where Digital Adoption Platforms step in to ensure maximum productivity. DAPs help in the following ways:
- On-screen guidance, walkthroughs, and tool tips for the interfaces presented to the user.
- Ensures business process compliance by prompting users in real-time when a certain process is not followed
- Employees have 24×7 access to all training resources and can learn at their own pace from anywhere in the world.
There are several other ways in which a DAP can help boost employee productivity, in turn, helping companies quickly see RoI on their tech stack. For enterprises looking to ensure work from productivity is at an optimal level, the Apty DAP is an apt fit.
Working from home has several advantages and disadvantages. For people not accustomed to remote working, coping with adverse working shifts can be a challenge. Long and persistent working hours take a toll on the physical and mental health of employees. This leads to disturbances, increased stress levels, and several other issues. Therefore, it is crucial to devise a proper plan to improve work from home productivity.