he world had to discover alternative methods to work without people coming into contact with each other due to the global pandemic. It’s expected that over a quarter of employees will continue to work remotely through 2021, according to an Upwork estimate. Kate Lister, President of Global Workplace Analytics said, “Our best estimate is that 25-30% of the workforce will be working-from-home multiple days a week by the end of 2021.”
A recent study also found that 56% of the U.S. workforce have remote work compatible jobs. And with employers discovering how much they spend on real estate for office space, many are considering a permanent remote workforce. Not only that, but businesses can reduce their carbon footprint as well.
“Work-at-home will save U.S. employers over $30 billion a day in what would have otherwise been lost productivity during office closures due to COVID-19,” said Kate Lister.
All of this begs the question: How does remote work affect productivity?
Remote work productivity findings
A study by Stanford University of 16,000 call center employees over nine months found that remote work from home increased productivity by 13%. This was attributed to a quieter work environment at home, and more minutes worked per shift due to fewer breaks or sick days.
Additionally, a survey by ConnectSolutions found that 77% of employees that work sometimes at home per month are more productive, with 24% getting more work done in the same time period, and 30% finishing tasks in a shorter period.
Michael Fitzpatrick, CEO of ConnectSolutions, said in a statement, “Our Remote Collaborative Worker Survey suggests there are significant benefits to be gained by both remote workers and their employers with offsite employees motivated to work harder and more efficiently to protect both the personal and professional benefits of working remotely.”
What is it that’s enabling this remote work productivity? Well, better task management contributes a large portion to the remote working process. Let’s go over some of the ways an improved task management strategy enables remote work productivity.
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Whether you have workers coming into the office a couple of times a week or ones that work completely from home, it’s crucial to have scheduled check-ins. These one-on-one conversations are a great way to clear up any uncertainties pertaining to a task or a project. They also can be about goals, objectives, and performance plans. This helps managers gain an understanding of what employees are working on so that issues can be resolved before it’s too late. A few areas good management focus on include:
- Fixing agendas
- Making check-ins periodical
- Planning accordingly
- Developmental focus
Check-ins don’t necessarily need to take much time. A few minutes of an employee’s time is typically sufficient to understand what work has been done in a particular time frame and what is expected to be done next.
Encourage frequent communication
One task management best practice is to encourage teams to communicate frequently. Even though it’s through a screen and not in-person, project communication is important and helps move them along. Organized companies usually have these communication practices in common to enable work productivity:
- Morning chats — With the normal daily chats gone, it can be difficult for teams to connect as frequently as before. But a simple “good morning” can encourage employees to chat over coffee and connect regularly.
- Video meeting — Sometimes employees can forget that there’s a real person on the other end of a text chat. Video calls allow employees to see each other and form a better connection.
- Water cooler channel — Allow employees to talk about other things besides work. By providing communication channels such as “#PeerPets” or “#Watching,” employees can post photos of their pets and let each other know what shows they’re binge-watching.
- Internal messaging tool — Employees are bombarded with countless emails daily. Proving an internal messaging system will give remote workers a way to communicate with each other more efficiently. Plus, it’ll enable your team to more easily stay on the same page.
Use task management software
Using software to improve your task management is helpful for managers to measure both in-house and remote workers’ productivity levels. Technology in 2021 allows businesses to look at input/output data so that managers know exactly how productive remote workers are. The old way of measuring employees’ productivity based on how busy they are is over. When someone looks busy in the office, it doesn’t always mean they are necessarily productive.
Productivity is all about the value an individual, team, or department adds to the company. This makes it perfectly fine with employees working remotely from home because their output can still be easily measured using software.
For example, MetaSpark, a tool that brings all tasks from every system into one platform, allows managers to measure employee contributions. Artificial intelligence (AI) analyzes metadata across software tools to deliver insights on employees’ contributions toward goals & OKRs. As employees complete their work, AI generates productivity dashboards. In real-time, management can see which teams and individuals are most productive — and which may need some help.
Improved Work Productivity Requires Task Management
The technology we have at our fingertips allowed businesses all around the globe to adapt to COVID-19 in ways we never imagined. Different software tools have enabled management to frequently check in with employees over apps such as Microsoft Teams or Zoom. Task management practices like encouraging solid communication is enabled by video calls and internal messaging tools. And task-managing productivity software has helped employers to measure their remote workers’ work by analyzing their output data.
Employees like working from home, and that satisfaction more often than not leads to remote work productivity. “The personal benefits workers experience can be viewed as employer benefits since workers tend to be happier, less stressed out and healthier thereby bringing down the costs of turnover, absenteeism, lower productivity and other issues,” said Michael Fitzpatrick.
Are you ready to help your team become more productive while working remotely with an AI-driven productivity hub? Learn more about MetaSpark today!