Today's workspace is no longer confined to the four walls of an office - an increasing number of employees connect and collaborate virtually. But what does this mean for productivity, and how can companies help their teams ensure they're making the most of this change?
The Future of Work is Hybrid and Remote
The growing trend toward hybrid and remote work is unmissable. 74% of companies in the United States are currently using or planning for a hybrid working model, and 32.6 million Americans are projected to work fully remote by 2025. Alongside this shift in company policy, a staggering 98% of workers prefer a model that allows them some form of remote work flexibility.
The rise of remote work isn't just about flexibility - it's also about enhanced productivity. A recent study showed that 62% of employees report feeling more productive when they work remotely. Additionally, 86% of workers state that being able to work from home makes them happier, and research shows that workers are 13% more productive when happy.
But how many companies are truly prepared to maximize the full potential of their employees during this ongoing shift to hybrid and remote work? Read on for 5 ways to help your team make the most of remote work.
5 Tips for Boosting Hybrid and Remote Work Productivity
1. Invest in Remote Collaboration Tools and Software
With more employees working from home at least part of the time, the collaboration tools companies use play a pivotal role in the success and productivity of their teams. Traditional video conferencing tools, though helpful, barely scratch the surface of what's needed to equal the collaboration of an office. Despite this, 64% of companies have not updated their video meeting technology since the COVID-19 pandemic started. Companies have an opportunity to find the best solutions that meet the needs of the future of work, rather than sticking with tools that are just serviceable.
Platforms that are purpose-built for learning, working, and creating together, such as Engageli, help teams stay connected and productive. Engageli incorporates innovative features such as work tables - rather than isolated breakout rooms - and built-in collaborative documents and white boards. AI technology embedded in the platform helps teams save time and focus on problem-solving together. Investing in the right technology is a critical differentiator for companies looking to maximize remote employee potential, and platforms like Engageli are leading the change.
2. Keep Lines of Communication in Virtual Teams Open and Frequent
Studies have shown that effective communication can make companies up to 25% more productive. However, frequent and effective communication can be difficult without the right tools and best practices in virtual settings. Remote workers don't have the spontaneous opportunities to connect through side conversations in the hallway or at the lunch table that are common in the office.
To avoid losing information along the way, companies can develop communication best practices that work for their teams. Suggestions include:
• Communicate early and often through multiple channels, including video and text
• Following a meeting, send an email summarizing the topics discussed and outlining action items
• Create channels for regular updates on projects teams are working on
• Align on schedules to allow for touch points, both across time zones and locations
• Make time to talk about non-work topics to foster connection between team members
3. Set Clear Team Goals and Project Deadlines
When teams are working remotely, making sure everyone stays on the same page can be a challenge. By setting clear goals and deadlines for important projects and initiatives, teams can effectively prioritize work and manage their time. Clearly documenting these goals and deadlines in a central location will further help teams stay on track and foster a culture of accountability.
4. Prioritize Employee Health and Wellbeing
It’s easy to blur the boundaries between work and rest time, and working remotely can make the lines even easier to cross. Employees can forget to take a break or work into the evening without the social cues of the office. To maintain productivity and prevent burnout, it's important for companies to develop a work culture that supports employee physical and mental health and wellbeing. Suggestions include:
• Encourage team connection through regular social events, both virtual and in-person
• Remind employees to take regular breaks, such as a walk outside
• Encourage physical activity and hobbies outside of work
By creating a culture that values employee well-being, companies can ensure a motivated and engaged workforce that is ready to tackle challenges head-on, no matter where they are working from.
5. Plan Needed, Purposeful, and Collaborative Meetings
During the COVID-19 pandemic, "Zoom fatigue" became a common term to describe the exhaustion associated with taking too many calls on video conferencing tools. Endless video calls can drain an employee's energy and reduce their productivity. To prevent this, make sure to schedule meetings that have clear objectives and are genuinely needed to make the most of the time together.
Additionally, using a collaborative platform like Engageli allows teams to seamlessly connect through video, text, and collaborative tools in a way that feels natural. Instead of leaving teams feeling drained, tools like Engageli can encourage creativity and connection.
Join the Conversation on Remote and Hybrid Work With Engageli
As more and more teams go remote, it's crucial for companies to adapt and equip themselves with the right strategies and tools. Embracing the hybrid and remote work model doesn't just mean sending employees home with a laptop; it means rethinking team collaboration and communication, and the equipment we use to allow both.
Interested in diving deeper into the future of remote and hybrid work? Join our upcoming EngageLIVE on September 12. Dana Sednek, the former Intuit Head of Learning Enablement and renowned expert in digital transformation, will discuss the truths and debunk the myths surrounding the ever-evolving work culture and environment.
Reserve your spot now and be a part of the conversation shaping the future of work!