During the coronavirus pandemic, an increasing number of businesses adopted the work-from-home (WFH) model to reduce the likelihood of transmitting the virus. Many of those businesses have retained the model even after most other pandemic aspects have faded.

The benefits for both the employer and employee are numerous. Workers enjoy greater freedoms and no commute times, while on the business end, employers can improve efficiency, reduce costs, and can repurpose the now-unused employee offices or cubicles.

However, with the benefits of employees working from home comes the question of maintaining productivity. If managers and supervisors cannot see the employee working, it becomes more difficult to measure their progress. Here are three methods businesses can utilize to ensure WFH employees maintain productivity.

Take Steps to Increase Productivity of Worker

Boost Employee Productivity

A 2019 report by the Oxford University Saïd Business School in the United Kingdom revealed that happier workers are 13% more productive than their unhappy counterparts. The study, which took place at a call center, revealed that happier workers made more calls and converted more calls into sales than the other employees.

More recently, there has been much discussion on social media channels about the trend of “quiet quitting,” an expression used to describe unhappy employees refusing to do any work above what they consider the bare minimum. In contrast, happier employees dismissed the notion as unthinkable and stated that they would never risk their jobs in such a way.

This does not necessarily correlate to wage increases, as many studies over the years have revealed that, given the choice between the two, employees would prefer to be treated well at work over the prospect of receiving a raise. In other words, a positive relationship with management is considered more valuable to most employees than a raise.

How employers keep their workers happy is a more difficult topic, however, as the needs of each individual employee or group of employees will differ based on many factors, including location, industry, and the employees’ unique situation. A “one size fits all” strategy may not be successful for each individual case.

Employee Monitoring Software

Increase employee Productivity

That said, a positive employer-employee relationship does not guarantee productive results. A work-from-home program should also include the use of software for employee monitoring to ensure employees are only accomplishing work-related tasks during the day. In the words of the old Slavic proverb, “trust, but verify.”

One of the concerns about WFH employees is that unmonitored, they could spend an excessive amount of company time on Facebook, YouTube, or other unproductive websites that will cause them to complete less work. Monitoring software will allow management to make sure that their employees are being productive with their time.

It also allows employers to make sure their proprietary data and materials are protected. This is not limited to workers selling company plans, APIs, or other information, although that could also be possible. Some employees might simply be making social media posts on Twitter or Reddit that reveal company secrets in order to garner likes or receive positive comments.

Maintain Communication

Ways to Increase Productivity

Just like with relationships of every type, communication is vital to ensuring employees working outside the office remain productive. It is important to make sure the employee doesn’t feel like they are being micromanaged by having to report too frequently or to multiple supervisors or managers in a short timeframe.

Employees should speak with their direct supervisors at least once but not more than three times per day. This allows the employee to get feedback, hopefully positive, but will not lead to the employee feeling as if they were being punished or are unable to be productive because they spend so much time on the phone with their boss checking in.

Summary and Conclusion

As workers continue to demand the right to work from home, it is important for businesses to ensure that productivity is maintained. Most employees prefer to work from home and keeping workers happy will lead to increased productivity and higher employee retention rates over time. A workplace that is resistant to WFH will see higher turnover as employees may choose to work elsewhere.

However, by keeping employees happy, monitoring their progress, and maintaining open and positive communication, employers can make sure that their business continues to run smoothly and that their workers are staying on task while outside of the office. The process may seem daunting at first but many employers have embraced the WFH model with great success.

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