6 Ways to Increase Efficiency and Collaboration for Remote Workers

6 Ways to Increase Efficiency and Collaboration for Remote Workers

Businesses are moving more toward fully remote and hybrid work settings. It has been estimated that by 2025, 70% of the American workforce will work remotely at least part of the time. With more employees working from home, companies should be taking some of these steps to ensure that efficiency and collaboration do not suffer. 

Set Goals 

Both short- and long-term deadlines will help keep employees on track. Short-term goals with regular deadlines can be especially effective at keeping teams on task while they are not in the office. 

Use Video Conferencing

Emails and text messages can be efficient but are not always the best communication tools to promote collaboration. Body language, tone, and facial expressions are valuable aspects of communication that get lost in emails. Virtual meetings with video conferencing bring coworkers face to face and encourage teamwork by building stronger connections between remote workers. 

Encourage Communication and Feedback

Consistent communication and feedback might be even more important in a remote work environment than in a traditional office setting. In an office, managers and peers might casually communicate by stopping by someone’s desk or chatting after a meeting. When face-to-face interactions aren’t happening regularly, it becomes essential to deliberately keep in touch with and give feedback to coworkers. Regularly scheduled team meetings and one-on-one conversations are effective ways to ensure that employees are exchanging valuable feedback. 

Set Clear Expectations

Employers should strive to define clear expectations when workers are not in the office every day. Issues that could be easily cleared up with a quick office meetup can become bigger issues when coworkers don’t regularly see each other. Companies should set guidelines for things such as meeting availability, deadlines, and communication practices. 

Utilize Technology

There is technology and employee computer monitoring software available that promotes collaboration and efficiency for remote workers. Remote employees don’t have the opportunity to gather around a conference table together or stop at each other’s desks to share information and ideas. Services such as SharePoint for business can help improve communication and workflow among teams by providing a central system to store, organize, and share information and resources. 

Promote Wellbeing

People might assume that remote work encourages better work-life balance, but remote workers actually tend to work longer hours than when they are in the office. The boundary between work time and personal time can be harder to define when a person’s home is also their office. Loneliness and isolation can also be concerns for remote employees. If employees are worn out or unhappy, they might also be less productive. Employers should consider taking steps to promote work-life balance and employee wellbeing such as: 

  • Placing restrictions on email time 
  • Planning virtual happy hours and team-building activities
  • Offering virtual wellness programs

As more workers look for remote and hybrid work schedules, companies will need to implement solutions such as these to attract and retain employees without sacrificing collaboration and efficiency.