Remote work is like the genie that’s been left out of the bottle. Once many employees had gotten a whiff of it, they will have a hard time going back to the on-site traditional office setting. The COVID-19 lockdowns might not have given them much of a choice in the first place when their employers started transitioning to this arrangement. Still, it is an option that they want to maintain and not lose, just because everything seems to be going back to normal.
According to an Alliance Virtual Offices study, 95% of the participants said they felt appreciated, motivated, and valued if remote work is something they can avail of, in the present or the future. Another 55% who are already working remotely or in the hybrid form said that they have been made healthier and happier by the short commutes.
While employers and human resources alike can rest easy knowing that remote work can motivate their workforce, many of them naturally want to assure that productivity and high performance continue.
Remote tech for productive work
This is where technology comes in. It connects individuals who may belong to one department or organization, but yet work in various locations spread across the country. It keeps them posted on the progress of their projects and acts like a guardian who prevents data from getting lost or buried. And lest we all think that remote work is all work and no play, some apps are designed to cheer them up, crack them over with a joke, or just have a ten-minute fun break.
Here are a few user-friendly but efficient digital tools that can improve remote work.
Employee recognition software: Productive employees are mostly those who know and feel that they are recognized and rewarded for their effort, time, and loyalty. One of the risks in remote work is that the lack of communication caused by the lack of one shared space can accidentally let hardworking employees slip into obscurity. The employee recognition software avoids this pitfall because it consistently and accurately tracks a worker’s performance, and provides feedback and guidance when needed. Then if they meet or exceed a standard, a goal, or an objective, it immediately informs HR and the employee’s direct supervisor and recommends a reward.
That reward can be virtual, cash, or an actual tangible prize such as gift certificates. However it is delivered to the winning employee, it comes with an assignment or a virtual congratulations that is read by everyone. It would not be long before their colleagues would start chiming in with their praises and well-wishes. This will not only increase the morale of the employee being rewarded but can strengthen esprit de corps and teamwork.
Virtual assistants and digital management
Voice-enabled digital assistants will make remote workers’ lives just a bit easier. Chatting with smart AI-powered robots, for example, at the very least removes time spent on typing for and collating research. These digital virtual assistants can give remote workers the information they need and even clarify work processes in the event of work bottlenecks or miscommunications. They can also be deployed for simple yet essential tasks that can pile up and be time-consuming, such as booking meetings with clients, calendaring appointments, and updating timesheets.
Project management software was getting attention pre-pandemic and not surprisingly gained more traction during the lockdowns. Brands like Monday, Basecamp, and ProofHub, just to name a few are platforms where teams can collaborate on projects and communicate with each other. The entire overview of a project is seen, and yet it is divided into phases which are further categorized into workflows, tasks, reports, and accountabilities. Every team member will have an immediate idea of how fast (or slow) their work is doing, the status of the progress in each phase, the unaccomplished assignments, the completed jobs---and which team members are doing their fair share of the load, and which are not.
Remote and its hybrid form are here to stay, and it is a choice that many of the workforce are increasingly opting for. Granting that status can boost their motivation, and providing them the digital tools they need to succeed while in that state can make them productive.