The pandemic has shifted what we once thought of as the traditional workday. With one in four employees working from home in 2021, new commonplace methods of operation have produced an entirely new set of challenges for teams, especially for those companies that had not yet adopted remote work into their overall strategies. While some teams have been consistently productive throughout quarantine, it’s important to consider the effect that remote work can have on individual, first-time remote employees, and how a company’s strategy can adjust to accommodate those struggling employees.
Below we described some helpful ways to think about employee benefits in a remote capacity.
1. Boost Productivity with Effective Tools
Companies everywhere can expect to battle the occasional ebbs in production. Much of that challenge for the individual employee comes from their ability to adjust to working from home rather than in a collaborative office environment. With vaccinations becoming increasingly available and following a tumultuous year of working from home in a pandemic, there has been an intensifying yearn for the reopening of offices.
However, with no definitive timetable for re-openings, workforces will still need to function at least partially remotely for the time being, calling for extra effort from teams and managers alike to maintain an effective level of productivity. Here are some assistance and specific tools that companies can provide in order to help their people stay productive.
- Time tracking system: With an effective project management solution like actiTIME, you can enter and track daily activities into an easy-to-use timesheet. In addition, you can compare scheduled hours to actual time spent on a project (both on a team and an individual level) in order to properly allocate employees to tasks and plan for future projects, allowing you to be the most efficient with your team’s time.
- Offer in-home accommodations: Oftentimes, home offices do not constitute effective workspaces. Companies can aid team members by offering tools that encourage them to be as productive as they were back in the office, such as providing a second monitor, ergonomic desks or chairs, noise-cancelling headphones, printers, scanners, and more for better ability to perform.
- Utilize communication tools: It’s more critical than ever to have a platform that allows for effective communication between teams, whether you’re dealing with virtual meetings or day-to-day conversations or questions in order to maintain efficiency. Recognize the specific needs of your organization and learn about some of the best communication tools available for remote teams.
2. Offer Resources to Help with Home Buying
Renewed public interest in home buying has been compounded by the overwhelming spike in remote work. Many working professionals and urbanites, who may have only rented out their city apartments to stay close to the office, now have the liberty to effectively work in areas with significantly lower costs of living.
For those employees looking to sell their properties and plant roots in a new area, an employee relocation package can be of great service. Companies can offer financial assistance for moving costs or real estate expenses, offer temporary housing, or even provide online tools that can assist them in finding local houses on the market. In addition, a flexible start date and adjusting salary to account for the gap in cost-of-living from an old city to a new city will elicit a smoother transition for employees, especially in terms of finances.
Your company can further assist its employees in the home buying process by developing and utilizing relationships with lenders or moving companies. Besides formal partnerships, you can provide guidance in this area by including homeowners insurance or legal assistance in a comprehensive benefits package to facilitate an easier transition for employees.
To further help your team make the best decision for their financial well-being, consider offering a home buying seminar as a benefit. Not only do these types of events help disparate team members stay personally connected with each other, but they also will help ensure that your employees work from a location and space that is conducive to their productivity and success at work.
3. Provide Compelling Reward Systems
Employees who feel recognized for their good work tend to yield over 20% higher productivity, which is critical in a time where so many professionals have felt isolated and disengaged. Even if you already have a rewards or recognition system in place, there’s a good chance that this system will need to be updated in order to translate to a fully remote workforce. This means you’ll have to reconsider what employees want to be recognized for as they work from home, and how you can go about rewarding them. Let’s look at a few specific examples:
As working from home stays dominant for the majority of workforces, managers don’t have the opportunity to stop by their team members’ desks and check in on the status of their projects, meaning that they need to create a distributed work team that can tackle priorities without much external support. In these situations, creating a culture of accountability allows your team members to fully own (and be fully recognized) for the work they do, while simultaneously creating long-term expectations for remote work.
Keeping your remote team engaged might also mean switching out that Friday happy hour perk for rewards around workplace flexibility. You can reward employees who continue to deliver their work with new opportunities to personalize their schedule during their time away from the office. This might mean compressing the workweek into four 10-hour day shifts, rearranging your office hours to earlier in the day, or switching to a temporary part-time contract.
By recognizing and celebrating your team’s wins in spite of these emerging challenges, you’ll not only keep up morale but also reinvigorate your employees for continued productivity and success.
Employee engagement, motivation, and overall wellness go hand in hand with performance. Whatever methods organizations can implement to support their employees is worth exploring. When the individual employee is productive and efficient, the team as a whole can be dynamic and promote the success of any business.
For more information on ways you can be time-efficient and productive, or to see how actiTIME van help your team, visit our blog.