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The ultimate guide to remote productivity

By May 19, 2020 May 28th, 2020 No Comments

What is the concept of employee productivity?

It is the number of outputs (usually regulated by requirements and quality) that can be produced by an employee per period of time, utilizing the given resources. 

The more stable and elaborated the process of production (the fewer X-factors or varying inputs it involves), the smoother level of productivity is expected from employees operating it.

Productivity in the age of creativity

Creativity is the new productivity. Creative people vary greatly in total lifetime productivity.

Do you think in the age of A.I. and machine learning, just being more productive will make it? We might not have an answer to this. Because we somewhere know how creativity is assessed by productivity and making valuable contributions to fields.

But is it worth measuring?

At one end of the spectrum, we find people who already give up on creativity before they even begin with and make single contributions. At the other extreme, we have an abundance of creativity who gives the possibility that creators can stay creative throughout one’s life span. 

True that the future belongs to the creatives.

But wait, are you worried that your productivity is going down now that you’re working remotely? Well, that can be tricky. 

Without the usual environmental cues that helped us turn on our work mode or party mode, it all seems to come together and implode.

Why is there a need to track productivity? 

Productivity is not a measure of success. 

This might seem counter-intuitive at first glance. But let’s walk through it.

We’ve already established hours are a bad metric to measure work. Let’s take a task-based approach now. Is your schedule made up of 4 tasks a day for five days a week? Can you allot x hours to these tasks and call it a good day? Does ticking the tasks off the calendar mean you’re doing a good job? Does rushing through a task in half the time taken you’d normally do count as productive?

No, it doesn’t.

But what is the argument for productivity tracking?  Does that include

  • poor work planning
  • poor work organization
  • poor employee discipline
  • poor productivity monitoring?

No doubt, why there are so many success metrics which help to track productivity, you know when you’re slacking, you know your timeline and ETA. Our people are passionate about what they do when that slips, everything else falls apart. But if it steadily goes down, we know it’s time to step in. We want to know why so we can help. 

Managers worry about the myriad distractions present for the remote worker and whether they will get their jobs done on time. Sure, watching Netflix or snoozing all day sounds tempting. Will it if it’s your daily routine though?

How will you notify each other if you’re unavailable or unable to meet each other’s expectations?

How will you get to know that the work assigned is being done? 

While also encouraging unplanned bouts of creativity and collaboration and to answer this bullet of questions, here are some insights on how we can track productivity.

Keeping track of your remote workers can be challenging. How will you get to know whether they are working during office hours or procrastinating on the task?

Flexible work schedules might give remote workers more freedom, but it can also be extremely distracting. How do you make sure that your employees are staying productive? 

The process of productivity monitoring

Measuring

There is a popular saying: “you cannot manage what you cannot measure” meaning that you need to employ clear and right metrics and standards on what you are trying to control, so you get enabled to objectively qualify employee-produced results as proper or improper ones. Correct measuring respects variability of results, recognizing levels of productivity and trends to productivity decreasing or increasing.

Comparing

To go ahead with productivity monitoring you need to have a conception of good, sufficient, or low productivity levels which are stated in certain performance standards. This plan will be compared against indicators that you have in reality; therefore a plan should be based on certain objective appraisal, probably a common norm, experiment-based results, or projection.

Identifying

One of the goals of productivity monitoring is to find out what reasons underlie a lack of productivity. In other words, there’s a need to understand whether employees can’t do the job right or they don’t want to do it. In both cases, you need to perform a special investigation to define what exactly harms the productivity of each workplace, and once reasons are identified, they need to be removed or mitigated.

Improving (feedback)

Low productivity should be approached very accurately and thoroughly. A company cannot demand from its employees a good productivity level if these employees are untrained, demotivated, poorly managed, or supplied with defective tools. It is necessary to consider all factors before reaching employees with feedback.

Building a productive workplace

Starting from disorganized work-spaces to bad ergonomics, boring work stations to incessant chatter in the background, we constantly combat with our environment just to get things done.

Failing to create a productive workplace costs a lot for companies – be it the upfront hole in the pockets each month or the slow corrosion of positivity over time. It would be no one’s fault but everyone’s loss.

Remote work stops working when you stop to trust people on the other end of the line. Creating a digital workplace and choosing the right people for the remote team is a crucial task. But how do you manage it?

Managing your remote team

How to set tasks?

Having a measurable vision for an employee on the basis of his/her working patterns can work as a strategy to set certain tasks. By setting tasks clearly and assigning them to your team members, you are also making them accountable for carrying out the assignments.

There should be clear transparency when assigning work to the employees. Make it clear what you expect your employees to do.

Project Management

Remote teams live a very different dynamic than those that congregate in person. Since employees know what is expected of them in their daily jobs, it becomes manageable for them in getting their tasks done. By implementing a project management platform like Trello or Asana, you can keep track of your projects and assignments and their progress. 

Updates and Reports

Ask your remote employees for regular updates and hold check-ins with your team regarding projects either daily or weekly. At the end of each day, every team member should share a list of things they’ve completed in one day. 

WAR meetings (Weekly Action Review) with your direct reports should be conducted virtually making use of the remote tools.

An employee’s guide to stay productive

Work is challenging, whether or not you are working remotely.

But if you’re working remotely (and managing a house simultaneously!) for the very first time with zero experience, a steep dip in productivity is not surprising.

But how can you keep up with work and the raging crisis? 

How can you explore new ways to manage your work-life balance and collaborate and enable more ways for employees to connect with each other? 

When you determine your healthy schedule, it becomes easier for you to cross everything off your daily to-do list by the end of your working day. What are the other ways to increase your productivity?

  • It is always important to plan your priorities ahead of time, when you are going to work on them, and where you want to spend your time, i.e scheduling your day.
  • Plan your week/day to avoid hassles and jumping straight into your inbox in the morning. It is always better to set a morning routine. It works as a reminder to switch yourself to work mode.
  • Taking breaks on a normal basis prevents burnout and boosts creativity. It brings a newer version of you where you’ll find yourself much more productive than you would have been had you skipped the break.
  • “Stop procrastinating.” A healthy reminder to yourself.

When you’re working at home, feeling like a sloth can become common. Projects always take longer than your initial estimate but that isn’t a reason to slack off or procrastinate. It is better to stick to a particular task & get it done quickly. It’s your responsibility to get the work done and the ownership is on you. Let’s look into some tips and tricks to improve productivity.

Tricks to improve productivity

It becomes challenging for the team as well as for the co-workers to manage and collaborate together in remote work. Though in the office, your coworkers often pose the greatest threat to keeping you from getting some real, heads-down work done. When working from home, you don’t necessarily feel that same peer pressure or communal obligation to get stuff done.

How can you stay productive, creative, inspired, and live up to all of the expectations that you’ve set for yourself within this new lifestyle of staying at home and working professionally?

To engage and monitor your remote workers so you can be sure they actually work full-time during office hours, we can think of some tips and tricks to improve the productivity of the work that we expect to be performed while working remotely.

Using effective collaboration tools will help your remote working employees do their best work. With the help of time tracking tools, you can get timely updates regarding your client projects.

You might wonder why you need tools at all when your current set up seems to be working fine. You probably can manage without these tools but you cannot streamline, scale, and automate without these though. 

What are these productive tools?

Keeping track of your remote workers can be challenging.

 How will you get to know whether they are working during office hours or procrastinating on the task? What if your remote workers are overworking or under-working? 

We have a set of productivity tools that makes it easier for us to keep a healthy work-life balance. How can we make use of it? 

If you’re looking for a time management tool that measures productivity by monitoring computer use, these productivity tools have turned out to be great applications. 

To customize each project, tasks can be categorized easily and productivity levels can be measured and assigned.

Productivity describes various measures of the efficiency of production.

Most often, tasks are not independently impactful to be measured in a meaningful manner. Some days you see a lot of results, some days you don’t because no single result is a single day’s output. That doesn’t mean that you’re not working. 

We try not to measure absolute productivity on a daily basis. Not only is it inaccurate, but it is also demotivating and unnecessary too. We don’t cheer for a job done quickly, we cheer for a job well done. The nature of knowledge work doesn’t allow for it. 

What are your insightful thoughts? Write to us at team@crewscale.com or drop a comment so we can discuss it further in person. We would love to hear from you!

Mounika Kavuri

About Mounika Kavuri

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