Working remotely is becoming a common practice in many organizations right now. Although many have been pushed into this by the crisis we’re now facing, it can be great for employee morale as well as a great strategy to broaden the talent pool and cut costs. Taking out distractions that are associated with coming into the office — like long commutes or extended chats in the kitchen — can help your employees become more efficient. Working remotely gives your employees more autonomy by showing that the organization trusts them. This can be a key motivator and encourages loyalty to a company.
However, working remotely doesn’t come without its pitfalls. If your employees are working from home for a long period of time, often they can start to feel like they aren’t doing enough, have a lack of purpose and clarity, and start to feel alienated. According to research, 32% of UK workers say working remotely means they cannot switch off in their personal time. This is often because they feel like they aren’t doing enough which can cause anxiety. The same research showed that 18% of people feel like they are under surveillance and 17% say it affects their sleep because it makes them feel anxious.
However, it doesn’t have to be this way. With good performance management practices, working remotely can help increase employee morale and productivity. Tools like Clear Review for example, help support employees regardless of where they are based due to its cloud-based nature and structured conversations, feedback and goals.
We’ll share with you some of the ways in which you can support your employees while they are working remotely.
Set clear objectives and goals
Clear goals and objectives can help an employee feel a sense of purpose, as well as help them prioritise when they are working from home. Research shows that only 7% employees believe they need a manager present to be productive. However, when you’re working remotely, there still needs to be guidance from managers so that employees can prioritise their tasks.
By setting clear goals, you are creating deliverables that can be “ticked off” — helping your employees feel a sense of achievement. Every company varies in how they set goals. Some set SMART goals, some companies may use other methods for goal setting. But the bottom line is that your employees should feel clarity with their tasks and have a way to measure their success.
With Clear Review, your employees and managers can create goals, whether they are agile, OKRs, personal development or team goals. Tracking your progress in the system and ticking off tasks and actions towards goals can help your employees feel motivated. It’s a way to give employees clarity on their deliverables and removes the concern of “am I doing enough?”
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Give regular feedback
When your employees are working remotely, often they can feel in the dark about their performance, especially if they aren’t getting the regular verbal feedback that they get in the office. Regular feedback can help your employees perform better and push them to work harder if they feel their efforts are being recognised. Feedback can also help employees feel more motivated with one study revealing that 68% of employees who receive regular feedback feel more fulfilled in their jobs.
Through Clear Review, employees can give each other and request real-time feedback to help recognise achievements which can improve performance and engagement. Feedback is also tied to company values. Often when you are working remotely, you can feel distant from the company values and its culture, so this is a great way to reinforce them.
Have regular conversations
Working remotely can sometimes feel like a blessing and a curse. Working from home has some positives, such as the reduced personal stress of commuting or punctuality. However, it can also make you feel lonely and isolated. The lack of face-to-face communication that otherwise happens in the office, makes it harder for employees working remotely to communicate with their managers. Those quick coffee chats in the office need to be replaced when your employees are working from home. The difference with working from home is that these conversations need to be more structured and booked in so that it actually takes place.
These conversations could be about an employee’s priorities, issues that they are facing, as well as wellbeing and development conversations. Wellbeing conversations are important when you are working remotely because often your employees might feel isolated. It’s always good to check up on them and see if they are speaking to their friends or going out for fresh air.
The great thing about a tool like Clear Review is that you have the flexibility to choose between different types of conversations and make a record of them — regardless of where you are. Just because you are working remotely or have teams that work remotely, it doesn’t mean you can’t have those regular conversations that you would have had if you were in the office.
Find how out how Clear Review can help remote workers
We are offering a two-month free trial of Clear Review, to help your employees connect more with each other, feel motivated and engaged, and perform at their best.