There’s no denying that remote working has its perks, especially in 2020, and the COVID-19 crisis we all face. However, remote work has been known to make people feel isolated, unappreciated, and lonely despite its advantages.
According to Business 2 Community, over the last five years, the number of remote workers has grown by 44%. In addition, 46% of managers actively check in on their remote staff to check on their progress and wellbeing, contributing to a culture of performance
But how can we establish a well-rounded remote workflow which will make employees happy and ensure that projects are done on time without burnout? Let’s take a look at the upside of creating a performance-driven remote work culture, as well as the practical ways to do so in 2020.
Photo by Chris Montgomery on Unsplash
Advantages of Creating a High-Performing Remote Work Culture
Given the current social distancing climate, remote work conditions have become a necessity. While your employees may be somewhat forced to adapt to remote work, their experience can still be positive and enjoyable.
According to Small Biz Genius, 75% of employees prefer remote work due to fewer distractions, with office noise being the primary concern for 60% of them. Such distractions, coupled with short deadlines and a need to cooperate with others on a daily basis, can cause severe employee burnout without proper management.
However, by shifting your workflow to a remote environment, you can have much better control over staff interactions, individual coaching, and progress tracking. Opting to curate and innovate by creating a performance-driven remote work culture will bring several important benefits to your table, including but not limited to:
- Decreased sense of isolation and a feeling of belonging
- Decreased distractions and margin for error for the staff
- Improved performance overview and data tracking for managers
- Improved staff interactions and long-term relationship building
- Increased sense of ownership and agency with individual employees
Creating a Performance-Driven Remote Work Culture
1. Cover the Technicalities
In order for your employees to perform at peak efficiency, you should enable them to do so from a technical standpoint. Depending on how you hire employees, you should ensure that each person has stable internet and a device which they will use to work properly.
For example, if you are a small-scale startup with employees within a state or country, you can provide them with rudimentary laptops intended for work. Likewise, you should be the one to decide which remote work platforms will be used for file sharing, chat, progress tracking, and other technicalities. Make sure that these elements are covered and that every staff member has equal access to work-related resources to ensure an even level of productivity.
2. Establish Expectations & Goals
Your staff members will undoubtedly have different ideas on what professional development or day-to-day workflow should look like. In order to design the perfect employee experience, you should define common goals and expectations with everyone on the team.
While things like “team check-in once a week” might be logical to some, they won’t be to others on your team. Do your best to listen to everyone’s suggestions and act as an intermediary, not as an authoritarian figure. Pin the expectations and goals you settled on so that everyone has access to them and so that no one can ignore them going forward.
3. Rely on a Mutual Schedule
Similar to expectations and goals, you should settle on a schedule which works for everyone on your team when it comes to official meetings. According to Tech Jury, 40% of employees prefer remote work due to scheduling flexibility, with 82% who feel more trusted when they work from home.
Given that 9-to-5 commute isn’t an issue in remote work conditions, regular meetings and check-ins shouldn’t be an issue. Define a schedule which works for everyone but doesn’t insist on hours-long mandatory work sessions. Trust your staff to finish their work on their own time and simply deliver results during the scheduled meetings.
4. Transparent Communication
You should do your best to avoid animosity and conflicts within your remote team as much as possible. To avoid this, you can employ team coaching, teambuilding, as well as casual chatting with everyone involved. Make it clear that team divides and one-on-one chatting should be avoided so that everyone feels welcome.
While differences of opinion are unavoidable, you should aim for professionalism and mutual respect between your team members. Once they are gathered around a common goal, your team will perform better than before and leave personal differences at the door.
5. Track SMART Goals
As the project lead, your job is to make the duties of each team member as clear as possible. A great way to do so is to implement the SMART methodology to your goal-setting activities. SMART goals will provide your team with attainable, numeric, time-sensitive goals which are easy to understand and keep track of.
Most importantly, they will allow you to keep an eye on potential bottlenecks and advise the team on how to proceed. That way, you will be able to reevaluate goals on the fly and ensure that the required work is done on schedule and within budget. A culture which drives performance can benefit greatly from a goal system such as SMART – make sure to give it a go.
6. Recognize & Reward
Lastly, constantly working to further the company’s goals will surely cause the team to become demotivated and burned out over time. To avoid this, you can introduce simple rewards and tokens of appreciation, which will help drive performance in your remote team.
Rewards such as discount coupons, digital goods, or even lunch (if you can coordinate its delivery remotely) can work wonders for your team’s morale. Depending on the size of your team, you can also showcase each employee’s work, let them speak about it, and talk about what motivates them. A smart reward and recognition system will ease the tension in your team and make sure that everyone feels appreciated beyond day-to-day work they deliver.
There are a plethora of options at your disposal when it comes to improving your employees’ remote work experience. Platforms such as Job Flare offer extensive employer resources, which can help improve your remote work culture and enable your employees to develop as individuals.
You should speak to your employees and talk about what they would like to do more and what less in your daily remote operations. While remote work may be advantageous for a number of reasons, it contains just as many pitfalls and bottlenecks as physical office work does.
Bio: Dorian Martin is a writer, digital guru, and a graduate of Computer Science and Mass Communication, working with top dissertation writing services in the industry. He is an aficionado of marketing, blockchain, and data science industries and enjoys providing help writing personal statement documents to students and job seekers alike. Dorian is also a blogger and contributes to his blog by writing opinion pieces and how-to guides in his areas of interest.