Working from home has become the norm for many employees, and businesses have been keen to embrace it. Going virtual benefits both employees and the business owner; the remote office decreases operating costs and boosts employee happiness. However, there are downsides to ditching the standard office environment.
When the remote workplace is implemented without a cohesive plan, the virtual layout could lead to struggles with productivity and growth and ultimately impact the success of a company’s directives and goals. Businesses interested in adopting a remote office structure can use these seven tips for overcoming bandwidth and growth challenges:
Set clear goals
Implement weekly productivity reports
Host regular in-person meet-ups
Emphasize continuing education opportunities
Prioritize client communication initiatives
Don’t neglect new business
Monitoring Time is Essential
One of the concerns that business owners and managers fear about the remote workplace is the lack of oversight related to an employee’s time on the clock. When everyone works in a shared office space, managers understand who is coming in late, who is leaving early and who is taking extremely long lunches.
When everyone works from home, managers might worry about time theft or misuse. Is the employee really unable to handle another task? Or are they simply neglecting their hourly expectations? Businesses can monitor time through numerous apps and programs to fully assess these daily expectations.
Set Clear Goals for Employees
If one employee is overworked and doesn’t have the time to handle another task while their co-worker only has a few assignments, there is a problem. Every employee should have clear goals about what is expected of them and from them while working from home. Task lists can help employees manage their workload and help managers understand potential bandwidth issues for each department and for individual team members, too.
Implement Weekly Productivity Reports
To better assess employee productivity related to specific campaigns and projects, companies can assign weekly reports that encourage employees to summarize their work on each task/project. These reports don’t need to be lengthy and detailed, but they should help everyone understand the status of each task and provide follow-ups and updates related to client communication.
Host Regular In-Person Meet-Ups
The team might be remote, but that doesn’t mean all meetings should be virtual. To keep a cohesive and positive workplace culture, schedule regular in-person meet-ups. Not all meet-ups need to focus on clients and projects, though; businesses also should schedule social activities and meet-ups that help to foster a sense of camaraderie.
Emphasize Continuing Education Opportunities
An employee’s morale and sense of accomplishment can stagnate if they cease to feel challenged or fulfilled with their role. Encourage employees to pursue continuing education opportunities that help them grow their knowledge and their skill set.
Prioritize Client Communication Initiatives
Some businesses might begin to falter because the remote workforce is neglecting their clients. Email doesn’t take the place of a phone call or face-to-face meetings. Are clients and customers getting the attention they need and demand? Set expectations related to client communications and outreach.
Don’t Forget about New Business
Nurturing current customers helps businesses maintain the status quo. What happens if a client leaves? When employees are remote, businesses might begin to neglect pursuing new business opportunities. Make new business a priority when employees and managers have more time on their hands.
Pivoting to a virtual office environment can be a culture shock for businesses. To overcome bandwidth and growth challenges exacerbated by the work-from-home structure, businesses need to fully understand their employee’s use of time, manage and communicate daily expectations and emphasize team-building and personal growth, too. Businesses also shouldn’t forget about new business opportunities; managing daily projects ensures the status quo, but pursuing new clients leads to growth.
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Tabetha Sheaver is a CEO, certified EOS Implementer®, project management professional (PMI), and an award-winning business success partner. She helps CEOs regain control of their companies with organizational change management strategies. Helping entrepreneurial leadership teams to be open, honest, and healthy. Tabetha’s experience and insight have made her an in-demand public speaker and presenter nationwide.