Remote work is not a new trend. Many forward-thinking companies have been utilizing remote teams for employees who want flexibility and the ability to work from home.

Why should employees waste 30 minutes driving to work every day if the same job can get done from home?

The pandemic has proven that tasks and projects can be successfully completed from anywhere at any time.

Advances in technology have provided businesses with remote programs and apps making collaboration and project completion more effective and efficient.

It is a win-win proposition as workers are not tied to their desks and companies save time and money.

However, do not assume all your employees are experts in time management. The most substantial setback for remote workers is the distractions at home.

If they allow themselves to get distracted by the television, internet, children, or other commotion in their environment, it will significantly reduce their work productivity and efficiency.

You need to make sure your remote team works as efficiently as possible. Otherwise, it defeats the purpose of having a remote workforce in the first place.

Below are the top seven ways to maximize productivity and performance for your remote workforce.

1. Set Long-term and Short-term Goals

Setting goals is the best way to keep your team and staff focused. If your employees know they have to get work done by a particular deadline, it will motivate them to work harder to get it done. They are less likely to slack off and get distracted.

Make sure you set short-term and long-term goals. The short-term goals represent a series of smaller tasks needed to work toward your long-term goals.

A long-term goal is a larger objective of your company. For instance, you could set a long-term goal to increase profits by 50% over the next six months.

This would require you to set up several short-term goals to make your long-term goal come true.

Goals make employees feel like they are accomplishing something too. If employees do not have goals laid out for them, they end up wandering away from their duties while feeling unsatisfied at their jobs. Do not let your employees ever doubt their importance, or it will destroy their productivity.

2. Virtual Phone Systems

Virtual phone systems offer communication security and efficiency within an organization. The five main benefits are as follows:

  • Keep personal phone numbers private.
  • Redirect calls to the appropriate employees.
  • Establish one secure business phone number.
  • Eliminate the landline.

When you set up a virtual phone number for your business, it protects the privacy of all your team members.

They do not have to reveal their personal phone numbers to anyone because the virtual phone system will redirect calls to their phones.

In other words, one virtual business phone number can be linked to multiple destinations within your organization.

No one has to reveal their cell phone number to a customer. That information stays protected and secured through the virtual phone system.

Virtual phone systems make it easier for a remote team to stay mobile. The days of operating a business landline phone number are over.

You can be much more efficient by making your virtual phone number your primary business number.

Another significant benefit of virtual phone systems for small businesses, in particular, is the ability to access on-demand phone numbers.

When customers receive phone calls from different area codes and numbers, they are less likely to recognize who is calling.

However, with on-demand local phone numbers, not only will they know who is calling, it adds a level of professionalism to your company.

Each time a call is received, a designated virtual phone operator can redirect the call to the appropriate person via the virtual phone software platform.

It eliminates the need for separate landlines on each employee’s office desk. They can simply use their cell phones as their business phones without giving away their actual phone numbers.

3. Schedule Video Conferences

An estimated 70% of communication amongst remote team members is nonverbal. Their primary methods of communication are email and text messaging.

Nonverbal communication becomes rather impersonal. It does not give you a sense of a team’s attitude or feelings over their work. And no, smiley face emojis are not a good substitute.

Video conference call services can help you to overcome this hurdle. They let team members see each other through the webcams attached to their computers.

Once your team members video chat with each other more frequently, they will always know which tasks to prioritize. As a result, it maximizes productivity in the organization.

4. Have a Mentor Train New Remote Employees

Some people have no experience working remotely. It can be difficult for them to manage their productivity without somebody looking over their shoulder to check on them periodically.

Assigning a mentor to your new remote employees can help solve this problem. Mentors do not act like bosses or supervisors.

Instead, they serve as counselors who provide guidance to employees and answer their questions.

Remote mentorship is a great way to support your new remote employees and prevent them from falling behind after they start.

Think of it as on-the-job training for teaching your employees how to work remotely. Mentors can do the following for remote employees:

  • Talk about the company culture and what is expected of them.
  • Answer all their questions and address their concerns.
  • Teach the proper procedures for completing assigned tasks.
  • Demonstrate how to overcome remote work challenges.
  • Establish a personal connection and build trust.

Mentors continue to provide support as long as the employees need them. Eventually, the employees will become knowledgeable enough to work on their own. At some point, they could even become mentors for other new employees.

5. Give Incentives and Rewards for High Productivity

Incentives and rewards can motivate employees to work harder and faster to enjoy some added benefits after specific tasks are completed.

Here are some common incentives which serve as excellent productivity motivators:

  • Cash bonus
  • Extra vacation time
  • Pay raise
  • Promotions
  • Gift cards

You can decide which incentives work best for your employees. The culture of every company is different. Certain types of rewards might work better for your company than others.

6. Set Flexible Work Hours

Remote work schedules do not have to follow the typical 9-to-5 model. Let your employees set their own flexible work schedules. Allow them to choose which hours of the day are most convenient for them to work.

Do not force remote employees to work during business hours. Let them take care of their families and focus on personal tasks without cutting into work time. Once those tasks get completed, they can focus on their work tasks entirely.

7. Give Performance Reviews

Performance reviews inform your remote employees about the quality of their work. It lets them know whether they need to improve their performance or sustain it.

Do not ever let your remote employees become complacent. If you have employees who fail to meet their short-term goals, you need to let them know it. That is the only way to improve their work attitude and motivate them to try harder.

Track Your Results and Reap the Rewards

As a result of the pandemic, organizations and companies worldwide have learned that teams can be productive outside the confines of a physical office.

Measuring, tracking, and streamlining team workflows is easily achieved by using software and apps that track time, facilitate group chat, and enable file and document sharing.

By implementing the tips above, employees can improve collaboration, increase efficiency, and have more time to work.

Companies will benefit from secure communications, boost remote team efficiency, and save money.

To ensure productivity remains high, you should track the results of your remote employees’ work. Be proactive in guiding your team for greater success.