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Productivity and Remote Working – A Manager’s Guide


It’s something of a truism at this point to say that 2020 didn’t exactly go to plan. Practically every corner of life has experienced some form of paradigm shift. For office workers, the workplace has transformed into a remote setup with reduced oversight and increased flexibility. As the new year is upon us, this situation is unlikely to vanish for some time.

While the advantages of working from home are obvious, maintaining the productivity and morale of your team can prove challenging. Remote work presents unique obstacles that directors must face if they’re to keep things operating smoothly. This post will outline some key ways you can keep your employees happy and productive in this new world of remote living.

Re-evaluate Your Goals

Measured, intelligent planning is a cornerstone of good management. If you haven’t done so already, it’s critical that you make sure your company and employee targets are compatible with the current situation.

Targets that aren’t designed to fit a remote-working environment are far less likely to get the results you need. Practice SMART planning; plans that are:

  • Specific and precise about what you want
  • Measurable and easy to track
  • Achievable and realistic
  • Relevant and conducive to success for your company
  • Timebound with clear deadlines

Leverage Your Employees’ Flexibility

Remote working can give employees an increased sense of autonomy and flexibility. As a manager, you should see this as a very positive thing. If used correctly, this freedom can transform your team’s productivity; it’s all about delegating effectively.

It’s time to take stock of your company’s workflow and make informed decisions about how best to use your employees’ time. Productivity apps like Timeular give detailed insight into how long you and your team are spending on specific tasks. In an environment where flexibility reigns supreme, lean, precise delegation is the best approach.

Use Blocking Software the Right Way

If you feel there’s a company-wide issue with employees wasting time on non-work-related sites, blocking software is available and can limit what your team is able to use, we can point you in the right direction dependent on your needs. It’s worth remembering that this approach might not be the silver bullet you’re hoping for. People like to feel valued and trusted; limiting your employees’ sense of autonomy may actually damage productivity in the long run.

This isn’t to say that blocking software can’t be effective. It’s just worth using a measured approach. If you believe there’s an issue with time wasting, and you’ve tried other ways to address the issue without success, good blocking software can maintain employee focus and significantly boost productivity.

If you’re able to find a suitable compromise, like built-in blocking breaks for employee lunchtimes, you’re far more likely to see success with this approach.

Final Thoughts

This has been a bleak year for productivity, but there are ways to overcome the situation. With the right planning and effective teamwork, remote working need not get in the way of success. For more advice and resources in managing productivity the right way, check out our 2021 Productivity Super Guide which we will be releasing next week.


Further Reading

Get great results from staff working from home in 2021 (ccsnet.co.uk)

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