By Maria Espie Vidal
As the number of people working from home has significantly increased, employees and managers are coming up with ways to become more productive. Many employees and their managers are no longer commuting to their brick-and-mortar jobs but find themselves under their own roof carrying out their daily duties. This has led more traditional-minded employees out of their comfort zones, which can be looked at as an opportunity.
Working from home presents itself to have advantages such as:
- Time is saved on commuting.
- Employees and managers can measure their progress through various softwares. As the old saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed.” Therefore, an employee’s work is consistently and more efficiently showcased.
- Online tools can ensure that distractions will not be a problem.
- By extension of the reasons above, working from home is more likely to guarantee employee productivity and accountability.
Now, let us look at a few ways for managers and employees to become more productive:
- Employee Monitoring Softwares
There are several monitoring softwares available on the internet that managers can use to track progress. Let’s look at a few widely used programs and the benefits of each.
Time Doctor: Being one of the most popular programs for time management, Time Doctor is used by top companies such as Verizon, Ericsson, AllState, and BBB, to name a few. Using this program, employees can measure the amount of time spent on productive vs. unproductive activities.
Toggl: This program has built a name for itself, such that teams from companies like Google, Adobe, and Carat implement Toggl for their remote employees. It offers a plethora of features such as reminders, app integration, a dashboard to assess progress, device syncing fostering a seamless transition between devices, and so much more.
RescueTime: This program is widely used by companies such as The Guardian, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. It features time-tracking and distraction-blocking features in the background as you work. The major feature of distraction-blocking is to ensure users are not swayed from their work by little distractions that are all too accessible on their computer. This in turn increases productivity.
- Daily Joint Calls
This works best for employees working on group projects, or among employees with similar agendas. An example will help explain this.
A former colleague works in the business development sector of his company. Every morning, he and his teammates from the business development team get on a conference voice call conducted by their director. During this call, they discuss their goals for the day insofar as what they want to accomplish or attain before they shut their laptops. The discussion among the employees works not only as a morale boost, but as a pool in which ideas can be exchanged because employees can learn from each other’s goals. It is because of this that their research work has become more productive; and they are able to bring in more business.
There is no singular method of guaranteeing productivity. Sometimes, it takes a combination of two or more methods to achieve optimal employee productivity. This is dependent on the occupation, work dynamic, teamwork, and several other factors. But one thing is certain: given that remote working is the new normal, unlocking the key to your team’s productivity is an on-going learning process.