The pandemic first made employees turn towards remote work, but the boosts in productivity and employee wellbeing were clear enough that remote or hybrid work has become expected in many industries and fields.
However, with this change comes challenges. Keep your workforce productive and engaged while in separate locations is a top priority for managers.
The first and most important tip is to create a productive work environment for remote workers.
It’s vital to ensure that they have access to the same tools and resources that are necessary for their work. This includes document sharing, chat software, video conferencing, and all other necessary materials to help them get their job done.
You may also be required to set your remote workers up with user devices, like laptops, tablets, mobile phones, or even WiFi access.
Communication is one of the most important aspects of any work environment. It's even more important if you are unable to interact with your team in person.
One of the best ways to get your remote workforce to stay productive is by using communication tools like Microsoft Teams. With this tool, your remote workers can chat via text, voice, or video chat. They can also screenshare, which makes it ideal for project collaborations and meetings with clients. This is a great way for employees in different locations to collaborate on projects that are time-sensitive or require multiple people’s input.
Teams also offers a central location where employees can share information, discuss projects, build a community, and collaborate on assignments in real time.
In addition, it makes it easy for managers who are located far away from the workplace to be more involved and keep tabs on what's happening at their office remotely.
Cloud platforms, like Azure or AWS, allow employees to access a server from anywhere and even use it as a file storage system. If an employee needs to access a document from another location, they can log into the cloud and retrieve it without any hassle.
If there is any issue with connecting remotely, you can also set up virtual desktops on clouds so that employees don't have to worry about making sure that all of the software they need is installed on their computer or mobile device.
The mobile apps for these virtual desktops make this process even easier for employees since they can connect them in the palm of their hand.
If your employees are working remotely, it's important to promote the use of collaboration tools and apps. As managers, we need to make sure that our remote workers have access to all their tools so that they can collaborate effectively with one another. This will help keep projects on track and improve productivity.
A good platform to utilise for remote working is Microsoft 365, a suite of cloud-based services that includes several tools to help people work remotely. The platform is a good choice for remote workers because it provides them with the tools they need to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world. For example, Microsoft 365 offers data storage, email, calendar and office productivity tools. In addition, there are collaboration features available for teams to work together on projects.
Another tool is Google Docs, which allows people to share documents and collaborate with other team members without any hassle.
However, if you want even more control over your remote workforce, consider using a virtual private network (VPN) to establish an encrypted connection between your office and wherever your workers are stationed.
As a manager, one of the most important things you can do for your team is schedule regular video conferences. Video conferences through apps like Microsoft Teams or Zoom help employees feel more connected because they see their colleagues in person. They are also much easier to hold than face-to-face meetings because it’s convenient and time efficient.
Scheduling meetings with multiple people is simple through shared calendar tools like Microsoft Outlook. Meeting invites reflect each person’s respective time zone, taking away the potential for confusion and missed appointments.
Regular meetings are crucial when managing remote workers because they provide an opportunity for everyone on the team to get together face-to-face and discuss what's going on in their day-to-day lives, share updates on their current project, or simply take time out of their schedule to connect with one another outside of work hours.
It’s easy to assume that because your employees are working remotely, you can take over their tasks and micromanage how they complete their projects. This can be frustrating for both parties.
Remember to give your remote workforce autonomy and let them do the work that they're capable of doing. Removing yourself from the equation will allow them to be more productive and engaged in their work. In addition, it shows that you trust your employees, and fosters a culture of respect.
The right apps and tools can help your remote workforce stay connected, productive, and engaged. These tools vary depending on what you need them to do.
The remote working specialists at Essential Tech have all the tools, apps, and expertise to help you find the perfect remote working solutions for your business. Talk to them today.
We listen and learn to understand your business challenges, so we can deliver effective solutions that meet your specific business needs. Speak with an expert now!