No one had ever thought that one day their entire team will be working from home. Some organizations offered the remote-working facility to their employees for sure. Still, most businesses preferred that their employees should work from the office. Only 7% of workers in the US and 10% of workers in Europe were working from home.
But now the times have changed. Work from Home is no longer a facility reserved only for managers, white-collar professionals, and C-level executives. Instead, it has become a new normal. Most companies are having their employees work from home. According to a report, 74% of them even have plans to have their employees working remotely after the pandemic ends.
So, work from home is the future. Still, ensuring productivity during work from home can be challenging. We felt this when we took the proactive decision of letting our employees work from home amidst the Covid-19 crises. It was a true test for us which pushed us – but due to the agile practices, we were able to manage everything efficiently.
In this blog, we are sharing some of the practices we followed while working from home and surely you can also benefit from them.
Best Practices to Boost Team Productivity during Work from Home
1. Use Good Communication Tools
Communication is an important element in the Work from Home scenario. You can’t compromise on it. You will have to make sure you always remain connected. Tools like Microsoft Teams, Skype Business, and Zoom can help a lot in this case.
Also, to make sure you have no problem during standup sessions, make sure you have a high-speed internet connection. Having noise cancellation headsets will also prove helpful in understanding the instructions better. We would also recommend you to back your meetings with corresponding slack channels for offline/side communication.
2. Ensure the Presence and Availability of Everyone
Just like the in-office culture, being available all the time is important in work from home scenario. Especially in such a scenario when all of your teammates are working from different locations, you never know when which member may need something from you.
So, make sure you and your team members are always present while working from Home. For this, you can use tools like Screenmeter and Teamlogger which let you know when an employee is online or offline and track your working hours. This will ensure there no presence silos.
3. Make Sure There are No Distractions
Distractions are the biggest productivity killer. Finding a distraction-free zone in the house, however, is very difficult. There are times when you are in a meeting and your kids might be crying in the background.
Incidents like these can turn out to be embarrassing. To overcome this issue, make sure your employees follow the basic hygiene of muting their microphones when not talking, and using noise-canceling headsets to block background noises.
Also, encourage your employees to share their WFH corners on corporate channels. You should know where your employees are working. After all, the environments in which your employees work plays a great role.
5. Make Sure Your Team Members Dress Properly
There is an age-old saying: “Dress for the job you want.” The way you dress plays a crucial role in your work productivity. You are relaxed when you are dressed in your slacks or jammies. On the other hand, when you are dressed professionally, you are psychologically more attuned to a work mindset and perform better. Moreover, you look more professional over video calls.
So, make sure your employees are dressed professionally while operating in the work from home culture.
6. Daily Stand-up Meetings are a Must
Daily stand-up meetings are another agile approach to ensure maximum employee productivity while working from home. These meetings will keep you updated on what a particular member of your team is up to and have they finished their tasks on time or not. This will also make sure their productivity does not slow down.
7. Allow Flexible Timings
You might emphasize that all employees should come on board and leave at the same time every day. However, being available for employees at the same time can be a little difficult when they are working from home. Some of them may have children to take care of. Others may have invested in gym or meditation sessions.
So, allow flexible timings if you want them to be the most productive. Let them see what schedule works best for them. But make sure they always remain connected so that they can provide the necessary information when someone needs it.
8. Gamify things a bit
Work from Home scenario appears exciting in the beginning. However, as days pass, things start getting boring due to the lack of face-to-face interaction and productivity comes down.
To prevent this from happening, you can introduce interesting concepts like Game of Pods. In this, we apply the gamification mechanism in enterprise processes to improve collaboration and healthy competition among the members of your team. The idea is to keep them occupied so that they give their hundred percent and become more productive.
9. Encourage your employees to enhance their skills
Employees perform better when they keep learning new technologies and enhancing their skills. This makes them more capable of meeting the changing market requirements and face new challenges, hence ultimately improving productivity.
So, make sure you are encouraging your employees to enhance their skills. At Softobiz, we are encouraging employees our employees to take up courses from O’Reilly so that they are always prepared for technological advancements. You can follow the same approach with your employees.
One thing that you need to know about work from home culture is that there is no right way to do it. You need to figure out what works best for your business. So, experiment as much as you can. Try new things to see if they work well for you or not. This way you will eventually figure out what practices are good for you and you will unlock maximum productivity during work from home.
In a Nutshell
Work from Home is not a temporary thing. Even after the Covid-19 pandemic would be contained and things would go back to normal, people will continue working from home. In simple words, it is most likely to become part of organization culture.
So, you need to come up with a proper strategy to boost team productivity during work from home. If you need guidance, we can provide the necessary guidance.