It’s a burning question that sits at the heart of more than a few internet debates: is remote work more productive? Well, like most things, the answer isn’t exactly black and white.
Sweet Summer Child
If you asked most people in 2019 about the prospect of a fully remote job, it would seem like a fever dream. An arguably laughable benefit that most workers couldn’t possibly hope to actually receive, and one that companies couldn’t afford to give.
Oh, what fools we were.
When the world scrambled in its reaction to a global lockdown, many of us found out that it was more than possible, it was something we loved. Fast forward to today, many companies are finding out that forcing a full in-office schedule back on these employees, is pushing them to find another employer.
After all, if they were able to fulfill their duties from home, why force them to commute to a building to do the same amount of work?
The Same Amount Of Work?
That seems to be the sticking point for many employers. Is my team actually doing the same amount of work from home than if they were in the office?
The answer to that question, for the most part, is that they are.
In a survey conducted by Microsoft, 85% of leaders say the shift to hybrid work has made it challenging to have confidence that employees are being productive. However, is that their employee’s fault?
Time and time again, more studies are coming out with evidence to support that remote work is not just as productive, but more so. It can be tough to hear it, but maybe it’s how those leaders are doing business.
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How Can You Ensure Productivity?
The tough answer is that it’s pretty hard to enforce it. The good news is that you don’t actually need to.
If you create a business that values its employees, their time, efforts, and contributions to the company, you will often have the opposite problem.
Companies that are doing the remote thing right, are implementing time-tracking software, but not for the reason you might think! Instead of trying to make sure employees are clocking in for the full 40 hours, they are making sure they stop at 40!
The relationship between a good leader and his team is one that feeds upon itself. When you treat employees right, they want your business to succeed. They want to see it grow because they actually care. It becomes more than “just a 9-5”.
Don’t Put Up Walls
The final point to understand is that while remote work can be a benefit to both the business and its employees, that doesn’t mean all company culture should be thrown out the window.
Hybrid work can be a solid option. It might surprise you, but many employees happily choose the middle ground between a fully remote or work-from-home schedule.
Mental health and loneliness are something many people struggled with (and continue to struggle with) when they switched to fully remote work. A few days in the office (if it’s not a long commute) with a few days at home gives them the best of both worlds.
If a few days in the office isn’t feasible, be sure to connect with video chats or phone calls a few times a week. You would be surprised what a daily morning pow-wow can do for morale. It’s always nice to see some smiling faces.
Another option for businesses without a permanent place of work, is to schedule monthly or bi-monthly meetings at a coworking space to talk strategy, team build, and socialize.