Our traditional work culture and company structuring have evolved, but has your management style? Remote-first companies boast increased productivity on their own, but if you’re looking to take this a step further, you’ll want to evolve your management style in a way that results in stronger trust and greater autonomy.
Increasing Workers’ Productivity at a Permanent Remote-First Company
While it’s always hard to pass the reins or even give them some slack, workplaces that give their workers increased autonomy see improved job satisfaction and productivity. Not only that but amplifying this can be simple too! We’ll discuss that below, but first, we have to say:
Good For You!
Not only for taking the time to work with your employees to help increase their productivity, but for embracing a remote-first structure.
The benefits from remote work are well-documented (for you, your workers, and your company) and can include financial savings, no negative-impact commute, schedule flexibility, significantly better work-life balance, and increased productivity as compared to traditional working conditions and culture.
Taking this a step further and improving it further for all slides involved is an impressive and noble ambition — but now: how do you go about it?
Help Them Create a Good Space
Most companies invest in their physical office spaces to create a comfortable and productive place for their workers to be as efficient as possible — and this should be no different for remote-first companies!
If you can’t afford to buy your workers all standing desk converters or secondary monitors, though, consider at least giving them tips on how to create a good home office space, resources to explain how important it is, and express that you genuinely care or even gift them something small to start them off right, like a unique pair of socks that help you say “welcome to the company!” or a cute pair of compression socks to combat the negative effects of sitting at their desk all day.
Make Communication Your Main Focus
You may be remote, but you should never be (and your employees should never feel) removed.
Join Our Small Business Community
Get the latest news, resources and tips to help you and your small business succeed.
With your team scattered across the globe, you’ll want to put a major focus on communications in order to avoid members ever feeling removed, to track and organize projects, acknowledge good work, promote wellness, and to help you be on the lookout for signs of distress or burnout in your workers.
So, pretty much, for EVERY reason.
Make Connections, No Matter How Small
Embrace a friendly “how was your weekend?” or “happy Monday!” to get everyone on the same page, and avoid becoming too stark and formal in your messages.
Along with this, preceding a work-related message with something as simple as a “how was your weekend?” can subtly open up communication and personability from both sides.
Also, it gives you the opportunity to get a glimpse into your workers which will only help you to increase their productivity further.
Give Your Employees the Opportunity to Feel and Show Their Pride
It can be hard for remote workers to feel professional or proud when they’re sitting at home in their pajamas.
It may seem insignificant, but something as simple as a company t-shirt that they can wear like a uniform to get their pride, inspiration, and excitement on is all it takes.
No gift is too big or too small, and things like tote bags, mugs, and even stickers can make great corporate gifts for your remote employees no matter what the occasion!
Let Your Workers Do What They Do Best
There’s only so much you can do to boost your workers’ productivity, and the rest is up to them — so make sure you aren’t standing in their way.
Most people know (or quickly figure out) their most productive working times, rhythms, and when they need a break to recalibrate. Your best bet is to let them take advantage of this!
Teach Best Practices
It’s not enough to provide a list of software for them to download and use.
You’ll want to teach your workers what to do, like mute their mics on Zoom calls when they’re not speaking, and you’ll want to teach them what not to do, like send excessively long text-based messages when they could instead use something like Loom to take screen recordings with commentary.
Provide and Define Clear Goals
Checking in on your workers is innocent enough, but it can quickly become overbearing or overwhelming for them if it happens all the time.
For remote workers especially, this can mean a lot of time spent thinking out and typing responses or in video calls, as well as having to break focus and shift mindstates.
In other words, this means a MAJOR productivity killer. You’ll want to provide and define crystal clear goals, deadlines, and updates. Follow it up by having some trust in your employees to do their jobs without constant oversight.
Limit Video Conferences and Meetings
From having to pay more attention and be even more present than in actual meetings to having to drag themselves out of bed and away from their much-needed rest at 4 a.m. because of time zone differences, video calls can be a negative part of the day for a lot of remote workers and can zap their productivity completely.
No matter the goal of the meeting, it can normally be accomplished in a more effective and efficient manner.
Celebrate Holidays and Special Occasions, Still
Even if you can’t fly your workers out for a holiday celebration, you can still make an impact! Because it will be harder, though, you’ll want to make sure that you keep your celebrations extra fun and light!
Consider starting workers’ birthdays with a Zoom call where everyone gets a screen turn to say happy birthday, sending genuinely funny novelty gifts that will make your WFH employees smile on holidays, or even purchasing a symbolic desk accessory or software subscription for your Allstar employees when they get promoted or hit an anniversary date!
Remember: Remote — Not Removed
For many managers, increasing workers’ productivity means walking over to an employee’s desk to check up on them every time they get a chance, stopping their freelancers and contractors to ask them a million questions every time they come into the office, and gathering with the team to discuss issues every time they come up.
With a remote team, though, these same dynamics won’t work. But just as our traditional work culture has evolved, so have our management techniques, and, as seen above, they aren’t all that complicated — so for productivity’s sake, make sure you’re evolving alongside your company!
Some other articles you might find of interest:
Make your business rock with these business plan writing skills:
Would you like to know how investors value a startup?