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4 Ways to Support Remote Employee Collaboration and Productivity

Working remotely doesn’t always come naturally to employees, especially among those who are used to the accountability of in-person workplaces. Remote work requires focus and restraint amid the countless distractions present in the home, and it lacks the socialization capabilities that come with physically going into the workplace. What’s more, remote employees often need to collaborate on different tasks. Without guidance, these conversations can become distracting and inefficient.

With this in mind, employers may need to step in to help facilitate productivity and attentiveness—particularly when working in person isn’t an option, such as during the COVID-19 pandemic. This article provides four tips for supporting remote employee productivity while still enabling collaboration.

1. Limit Distractions Where Possible

Employees need to be in contact with their co-workers and managers. This is vital for collaboration and maintaining working relationships. However, employees don’t need a whole catalog of applications and services to accomplish this feat.

In other words, employers should consider which communication platforms are strictly necessary and which should be discouraged among employees. For instance, using one dedicated instant-messaging service is efficient. Having multiple platforms could be distracting, especially if employees must juggle multiple conversations across different services.

2. Spell Out Remote Work Efficiencies

Some employees may be working remotely for the first time. As such, they can’t be expected to know how to efficiently work outside of the office.

Employers should communicate remote working best practices to help remedy this concern. For instance, employers should go over when employees are expected to be on their computers, when breaks are allowed and how to stay focused throughout the day. Employees should also know how to set their availability so that co-workers know when they are unavailable for chitchat.

3. Establish Respectful Meeting Standards

It can be tempting to talk about personal matters during a video meeting, especially if employees have no one else to socialize with at home. However, this practice can disrupt co-workers’ schedules and derail collaboration time.

To avoid this issue, employers should establish ground rules for virtual meetings. These rules may vary based on the details surrounding the team, but can include requiring an agenda, asking attendees to mute their microphones when they aren’t talking and sticking to the predetermined meeting schedule. While chitchat may naturally seep into a meeting, having set standards can help limit these occurrences.

This HR Insights is not intended to be exhaustive nor should any discussion or opinions be construed as professional advice. © 2021 Zywave, Inc. All rights reserved.

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