According to studies, the tendency for remote work has climbed by 44 percent in the last five years. Whether your company’s work-from-home arrangement was built into your position from the start or was implemented in reaction to the COVID-19 health issue, employment that allows for a flexible schedule appeal to most workers. Eighty percent of employees said they would decline a job that did not include a flexible work schedule.
However, flexibility does not always equal productivity, becoming a problem for managers and business owners. This article will analyze how to balance flexibility with productivity, ensuring that all parties are satisfied with their job.
Building a flexible work schedule
Flexibility is a great way to satisfy your employees in a remote work environment. However, in workplaces where most work is collaborative, it is essential not to forget the importance of real-time communication.
It might be a struggle to manage or participate in projects when team members work entirely different schedules. The mismatch between timetables can easily lead the team to have delays or sometimes even rushing to do the job.
The solution to this problem is simple. It is advised for each company to have dedicated time where the entire team is present and engages with each other. An example to coordinate their work would be scheduling core working hours according to the employees’ schedules.
This relatively easy solution could lead to maintaining productivity and having more effective meetings without having to schedule the online calls separately. In addition, the issue of inconsistent or ineffective communication would be solved since the workers would have quality work when they would have all of their questions and concerns discussed or answered.
Engage with your team
Some employees want to work on remote work and the freedom it provides. They produce excellent outcomes since it is inherent to their working style. But it is not the case for everyone. Some workers might need guidance, more communication, or regular check-ins to perform their best.
As a manager, one should try their best to communicate with their team and know their natural work style and needs. Simply asking questions or having a 1:1 conversation with the workers can determine their preferred practices in a remote and flexible work environment.
Of course, this process has to be done through video calls. In a remote workplace, these calls are the alternative to real-life meetings and can be considered the most effective. Text messages or voice calls might not work as well since one can miss out on a lot of body language, which is essential in determining how the person is feeling.
Conducting daily standups is an excellent example of keeping your team on track and knowing how they are feeling.
A daily standup meeting is held to learn about the current status of each team member that works on their tasks. Daily standup meetings help team employees work around the company’s objectives and handle any short-term issues preventing them from accomplishing their sprint duties efficiently.
Set clear expectations
A common mistake in remote or hybrid companies is not setting clear goals and expectations.
For one, a manager who expects excellent employee productivity must explain what and when results are expected. Also, a manager should set the expected standard for the team’s productivity and emphasize it.
This is done for a team to have a crystal-clear understanding of what they must do according to the deadlines.
Misunderstandings are not uncommon if these points are not set from the start. For example, one team member might think they are performing and doing well when the reality might be different. These situations are usually frustrating and can lead the company to experience delays, missed tasks, or deadlines.
Implement online tools
When the whole team is present at the office, sharing quick updates and tasks or discussing members’ struggles is easy. However, when everything is taken to an online workplace or work from home, the mentioned processes might be challenging to conduct.
With everyone working on their preferred schedules, it is not uncommon for some team members to miss out on online meetings and essential updates. Information loss is pretty standard with the massive information flow and a remote workplace.
To prevent this from happening and strike a balance, it is essential for teams working remotely to collaborate on implementing and having standard software or tools used to ensure fluent communication.
For example, having meeting minutes or online call transcription might be the best solution. If one cannot participate in a meeting, one can easily access the information discussed throughout the call after it has occurred. Not only can these files be easily automated, but they also save your company time and boost efficiency. The more information available, the fewer questions will appear in the long run.
Automate everyday tasks
Working remotely has its opportunities, especially considering the wide variety of online tools available. There are good alternatives when recording the whole meeting can sometimes be frustrating and violate the company’s security policy.
AI-powered meeting assistants are becoming popular among fully remote or hybrid firms. This meeting management software transcribes online calls and allows users to create actionable items throughout or even after the meeting.
IsLucid is cutting-edge meeting management software that is available on Microsoft Teams. Callers can use IsLucid to produce actionable items while remaining engaged in the discussion. This tool will assist you in correctly documenting the relevant data and reducing a firm’s operations spending. In addition, an AI meeting assistant offers to transform the created actionable items into tasks or notes, which can be easily linked to the software or planner that the company uses. Using this tool in a work culture can increase productivity in a easiest way possible.
The balance between flexibility and productivity
Considering the mentioned points, such as dedicating core working hours, analyzing your team’s needs, and implementing online tools, one can quickly improve efficiency while still having the desired flexibility. Boosting the firm’s productivity does require research and dedication, but the results will be game-changing.
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