The Covid-19 pandemic has been a heavy blow to many and has forced many business owners to reconsider how their businesses operate. For many, working remotely from home has become the new normal and as businesses now begin to reopen, some may find themselves in a hybrid working environment where you can work either at home or from an office.
Benefits of Remote/Hybrid Work
Working remotely comes with its own benefits for productivity. For example, not having to travel anywhere cuts time that might be wasted on travel meaning more time can be dedicated to work. Furthermore, for some, having less people around as a distraction can lead to higher levels of productivity as it is easier to remain focused on the task at hand.
However, Hybrid and remote working poses several new and unique challenges for productivity. Working from home can be distracting and poor mental health from being on lockdown may leave many feeling unmotivated. Whatever the case may be, it is crucial to understand the causes of a lack of motivation and what measures can be taken to allow productivity to flourish regardless of where you’re working from.
Technology and Resources
94% of decision makers in business admit that glitches have made a negative impact on work done remotely. Statistics like this show the crucial importance for businesses to invest in providing tools for remote workers. Factors such as a dodgy internet connection, poor video and audio quality can slow down productivity and so it is important to ensure that workers have the essential tools required to carry out work quickly and effectively.
Rest is Recovery
Balancing home life and work life can be challenging when working remotely. Some may perhaps feel pressured to work overtime to demonstrate their efforts and get tasks completed. However, because of the pandemic, people may feel less inclined to take holiday leave resulting in people being overworked, tiring themselves out and further stifling productivity. To remedy this, employers should encourage workers to take breaks when working long hours. Employees might want to consider going outside for short walks and eating away from their computers on lunch breaks to allow the mind some proper recovery time.
Hybrid Work and Trust
Research from the University of Birmingham suggests that autonomy in the workplace has “positive effects” on employee well-being and satisfaction. Autonomy here refers to the ability for an employee to take charge of their work, free from micromanagement from higher ups, allowing them to choose how they get their work completed. Allowing employees to be autonomous in how they complete their work can help employees to feel trusted and respected which may in turn encourage further hard work.
Goals and Rewards
Having clear and measurable goals, both short and long term, can be very beneficial in helping workers within a company self realise the positive effects of their efforts as well as bring a company together as a collective for a common purpose. Furthermore, the clearer that workers can see set goals being accomplished helps boost confidence as hard work is proven not to be wasted.
Alongside having these goals, it is of equal importance to provide rewards as compensation for hard work. Asides from larger scale rewards such as promotions and pay rises, small gifted reminders of hard work in the form of cards or chocolates and other confectioneries help boost mental health in employees, as small gestures can go a long way to make a worker feel valued.
Productivity in the Office
Keeping hybrid workers motivated and productive whilst in the office may require some considerations in how the office space is set up. While abiding to social distancing guidelines, encourage group cooperation where possible, even if it means rearranging tables and chairs in order to do so safely. Group collaboration allows for higher quality efforts as the communication allows individuals to get support from other members of the group and solve problems quicker. Group working in the office also allows for greater productivity, as people enjoy the opportunity to work with friends which can raise spirits, making work more enjoyable.
In working towards higher levels of motivation while inside of the office, employers should consider the safety concerns of employees. A remote worker returning to the office may be concerned about Covid safety and it is of utmost importance to encourage staff to voice their concerns and work with them to create a working environment that is comfortable for everyone. Allowing for this sort of discourse between employers and staff, should help motivate people to work happily from the office as an environment of trust can begin to flourish.
Consider the individual
Probably the most important aspect when considering productivity for hybrid working models is knowing that not everyone’s the same. If possible, allowing workers to decide for themselves how they want to carry out their work will allow people to make the best decision for themselves. For example, more extroverted people may have more energy to work when able to communicate in person with others whereas more introverted people, might find a remote working scenario a better fit. For remote workers, issues such as loud children or domestic disputes might affect productivity in a profound way that wouldn’t be generalisable to others in the office. Employers should take time to talk to staff on a one on one basis as much as possible to understand and further help facilitate them where needed.
“A little consideration, a little thought of others makes all the difference” – Winnie the Pooh.
For any questions regarding hybrid work, contact us and receive personalised advice by talking to us directly.