There has probably never been another point in history where so many people and organizations have suddenly switched to at-home working arrangements. We have seen it twice in our business: not only are some of our team members working remotely, but we’ve helped dozens of companies to shift towards virtual setups in the past few months.
While many of those transitions are smooth – and in some cases, probably preferable to getting big groups of employees together in an office – these kinds of transitions don’t come without their hiccups. Today, we want to look at three remote work problems that more and more companies are facing in 2020, along with their easy solutions…
#1 Endless Meetings
Long meetings are bad enough when they are being held in person. Once they go virtual, it can be easy for your team to lose focus. Then, they are staring into webcams and spacing off instead of getting their work done.
The easiest solution to the problem of endless meetings is to simply set clear agendas and procedures from the beginning. Decide how long the meeting will go and only extend that time if something critical is happening. Make sure everyone knows what you are online to accomplish and then shut down any discussions that range outside the topic area.
You might even go so far as to grant and revoke speaking and sharing privileges to keep things moving along. That might seem a bit harsh at first, but everyone will appreciate it if it means you can wrap up meetings faster.
#2 Low Productivity
Working from home can go a couple of ways. Some employees, freed from the distractions of their coworkers, will find they are more productive than ever before. Others will discover they have pets, televisions, and other amenities that draw them away from the task at hand.
Of course, managing people is harder when you can’t monitor them in real life. What you can do, though, is set small realistic goals for them. Follow up on whether they are hitting these daily or weekly benchmarks, and make sure good checklists are in place to keep them on track.
Usually, when people have trouble working from home it’s because they lack focus. Break big projects into easy steps they can follow to overcome this problem.
#3 A Lack of Motivation
This is related to a lack of productivity, but it’s usually a separate issue. Some people simply aren’t motivated to work when they don’t have their colleagues or supervisors around them.
This might seem like a problem you can’t solve without bringing them back into the office, but there is a simple step you can take. One is to simply make work more fun and engaging. Hold contests, share a few jokes, and otherwise do what you can to make the atmosphere feel more communal or competitive. In other words, give them what they might be missing at home.
Many times, low motivation isn’t exactly what it seems. Your employees probably want to work and to do a good job. They might just need a bit more of your office atmosphere brought to them at home.
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