With more and more employees working from home, it is a valid concern that there might be a drop in productivity or morale. This doesn’t have to be true, however. If you trust your employees and keep workloads equivalent to what they would be in the physical office, then very little needs to change. In this article, we reveal what you can advise your workforce to do to remain productive and get the most out of remote work.

Maintain Communication

It’s important that remote employees still feel connected to the team. For example, company updates, project developments, or new staff members, are all details that your employees should be connected to. Communication is, therefore, essential to ensuring your staff do not feel distant or dejected. For employee wellness and engagement, we recommend Microsoft Viva, a new solution that connects your staff to business news and offers mental wellbeing exercises.

What’s also important is to encourage collaboration; this is vital for not only productivity but keeping the team connected. To achieve this, we recommend Microsoft SharePoint as it hosts document sharing and collaboration in real-time.

Embrace Virtual Meetings

Whether it’s a large meeting or a one-to-one, you can still have engaging meetings even while out of the office. Utilise Microsoft Teams for this benefit as it offers a wealth of useful features for video calls and more. Make sure all meetings have a “join” option so that every member can participate.

There may be connectivity issues or remote employees may find it difficult to engage. So, involve them. Even simple questions like, “do you have anything you want to add?” It’s important that it doesn’t feel like a token involvement but a real collaboration.

Record your Calls

If an employee cannot make a meeting due to remote working, record it for them to watch when they can. Even if it is just the morning round-up, its important employees know what is going on throughout the wider business and are kept up to date with any announcement or upcoming pieces of work. Again, Microsoft Teams can do this. If you’d like support on utilising the software, ThinkShare can help.

Respect Flexibility

There are many reasons for employees working from home. They may need to work different hours than traditional working hours or there may be childcare complications. That doesn’t mean the work won’t be done or that employees can’t feel part of the team. However, it is important to respect their individual circumstances.

If a project has a deadline, make that clear and check if it is feasible. If you are clear with employees on what is expected, they can then decide on when they will complete it. Be it during working hours or at 8pm at night once their children are in bed.

Work with employees to make flexible working, work for them. Utilise Microsoft Power Automate to aid the working day. For example, employees can set up a flow to send themselves a text every time they get an email from a manager. This way they can still work flexibly but will be alerted when there is important communication requiring attention.

Bring the Team Together and be Mindful

Encourage conversations and updates over virtual communications channels like Microsoft Teams. Keeping connected with colleagues is as important to collaboration as it is to their wellbeing. So, whether that is about last night’s Dragons Den episode or what they did on the weekend, there is value in social chit chat. Ensure that you take the time to check in with remote workers. There can be a tendency to work longer without breaks or proper meals as one feels they need to prove their effectiveness despite working remotely. Ensure your workforce are not over doing it and taking time for their wellbeing, just as they would in the office.

In summary, remote working can be seen as a challenge for a business to manage however it doesn’t have to mean a drop in productivity. Utilise the Microsoft Products to ensure your employees remain productive, collaborative, and still connected.

If you’d like to hear more about the benefits of Microsoft Products or how we can help your organisation utilise your current software, contact one of our consultants today.