4 Tips to Ensure Employees Work Remotely Successfully
Mar 17, 2020
Our staff will primarily be working remotely for the next several weeks, like many local companies. Our mission is to continue to provide quality customer service and remarkable marketing products to our clients. Here are a few tips to make working remotely an easier transition. -Trisha, Brand Consultant
by Melissa Suzuno
As businesses and governments help mitigate the spread of COVID-19, many companies are rolling out remote work for their employees. But how can HR and Learning & Development teams ensure their employees work from home effectively?
Working remotely can offer many productivity benefits for employees. In fact, many employees embrace working outside the office, with 6 in 10 remote workers saying that they would like their job less if they had to visit the company every day to do the exact same job. Remote work also cuts down on the stress and time of commuting and boosts productivity. With workplace distraction on the rise according to our Udemy Workplace Distraction Report (think open seating offices), it’s not surprising that many employees are getting more done at their quieter home offices.
Yet remote work is not without its flaws. IT support, emotional support, time management and productivity hacks are all important aspects of enabling remote work. And companies rolling out company-wide remote work have a responsibility to put extra thought and care into the employee experience.
Employees who work remotely (especially if its the first time) will need increased attention and support from the learning & development team. According to the Remote Work Statistics Survey, 67% of remote workers say they need more work-related training.
As more employees work from home, consider how you can help these employees excel while working outside of a traditional office setting. In her course Best Practices for Working Remotely, Shelley Osborne, VP of Learning at Udemy, offers ways to help employees and managers navigate the new remote world. Her course includes ways to communicate and stay accountable (and social), best practices for running meetings virtually, and advice for managers leading remote teams.
How to master 4 key skills to work remote effectively
In addition, Udemy instructors offer tips on how to master four key skills to help remote employees be more efficient and effective.
1. Time management
According to Udemy’s Employee Experience Report, half of the survey respondents (and 53% of managers) said they could improve their time management skills. And while productivity tools have proliferated in recent years, 37% of survey respondents expressed some hesitation about the usefulness of these tools, indicating they can sometimes be more of a distraction than a help. For employees who work remotely, time management is especially important since their interactions with their manager will likely be more limited and productivity tools can become their lifeline to what’s going on at the rest of the company.
In the Udemy course Time Management Mastery: Do More, Stress Less, time management and productivity consultant Alexis Haselberger identifies common roadblocks to time management and provides concrete, easy-to-implement strategies and techniques for minimizing distractions and increasing focus. For example, Alexis recommends developing a customized task management system to capture, organize, prioritize, and document all that needs to get done.
2. Organizational skills
Respondents to the Remote Work Statistics Survey ranked organizational skills as essential for remote workers. It makes sense—organizational skills and productivity go hand in hand. Remote workers need to develop systems for keeping track of their projects as well as communication with their manager and coworkers. This is especially true when they’re collaborating on a project with others and need to manage multiple versions and different rounds of feedback.
Communication was named one of the top 10 soft skills for the workplace in 2020. There are a number of reasons for this—according to Google’s extensive research as part of Project Oxygen, being a good communicator is one of the eight skills that define a good manager. On the flip side, poor communication is also linked to employee burnout. And communication is one of the uniquely human traits that high-performing organizations foster in their employees, according to the Udemy’s Humanizing Learning Research Report. For remote employees, clear communication is paramount since they don’t always have the luxury of tapping someone on their shoulder to ask a question or clarify a point.
Successful remote workers must be masters of self-discipline, both in order to get their work done efficiently and to make sure they stop working from time to time in order to preserve some work/life balance!
As more employees work from home, ensure that you’re providing the support your remote workers need by helping them to develop the essential skills we’ve outlined here.