Tips for Boosting Remote Staff Productivity

6th December 2023
woman working from home

Working from home, hybrid working, and remote working are becoming normalised. As of 2023, 12.7% of full-time employees work from home, while 28.2% work a hybrid model.

Businesses want to ensure that their WFH staff and hybrid workers are as productive as possible. In this article, we will give some tips on how to take remote workers’ productivity to the next level. But first, let’s look at whether simply having a remote workforce could boost productivity.

Are Office Workers Or Remote Workers More Productive?

WFH staff tend to be far more productive than in-office staff, according to data. In fact, 35% of remote employees feel more productive when working fully remotely.

However, what they feel and what is reality could be quite different. Business owners and employees across various industries tend to disagree on whether WFH is more productive. Company directors and managers tend to believe that staff are less productive at home, while workers believe the lack of distractions and commuting makes them more productive.

Many businesses have a lingering bias towards presenteeism, which means that a staff member is considered productive merely by being present while not analysing output. Yet, this isn’t the only factor. One of the big reasons for the disagreement is that employees count the time saved by not commuting as a boost to their productivity. Most employers do not count time commuting at all, only the hours in the office and output.

Data collected over the pandemic and beyond would suggest that, on the whole, employees are right. Productivity actually took a dip when analysing output when many returned to work and rose during the pandemic.

Some research suggests that hybrid working is the best model as it boosts distraction-free work, reduces commuting, saves on bills and office space for the employer, improved work-life balance, but also enables plenty of collaboration and group problem solving.

Having robust communication methods and collaboration with WFH staff can also help overcome any stumbling blocks to productivity.

So, if remote staff can be very productive with the right approach, then how can businesses be sure to use the right methods for getting the best from their workers? It is also important for businesses to be aware of barriers to WFH productivity and how to resolve them.

A productive remote workforce is crucial for maintaining business efficiency and achieving optimal results.

person using laptop with a cup of tea sitting on the floor

The Impact of Poor IT on Productivity

Effective IT infrastructure plays a vital role in remote staff productivity.

Slow or outdated technology can lead to frequent system crashes, software glitches, and overall reduced performance.

Whether inside the office or with WFH staff, poor IT equipment can reduce productivity.

According to research, slow computers alone can cost businesses almost 40 minutes of lost productivity per day, amounting to approximately 145 hours per year.

Ensuring that remote employees have reliable and high-performing IT equipment is crucial for optimising their productivity.

The Role of High-Quality Computer Devices

Powerful and efficient hardware enables employees to perform tasks more swiftly and efficiently, reducing delays and frustration.

Fast processors, ample RAM, and solid-state drives (SSDs) contribute to quicker boot times, seamless multitasking, and improved overall performance. Providing remote workers with reliable and up-to-date computer devices can make a substantial difference in their productivity levels.

Boosting Productivity through Remote Laptop Configuration

Remote laptop configuration is another way to enhance productivity for remote staff.

By configuring a laptop fully with remote zero touch methods, you can save time. It will arrive at an employee’s home fully configured to their specification and set up ready-to-go out-of-the-box. It can be configured to all their work apps, profiles, programmes, and accounts. Methods like utilising Devices For Teams will enable this feature. This DaaS solution includes remote preconfiguration of all devices.

This approach eliminates the need for employees or the IT department to spend time manually configuring laptops. It reduces setup time and potential errors. With remote configuration, laptops can be preloaded with the necessary software, security measures, and customised settings, enabling employees to start working productively.

wrench on keyboard

Additional Tips to Boost Remote Staff Productivity

Establish Clear Communication Channels: Ensure that remote employees have access to efficient communication tools such as instant messaging platforms, video conferencing software, and project management tools. Streamlined communication fosters collaboration, quick decision-making, and overall productivity.

Set Clear Expectations and Goals: Clearly define and communicate performance expectations and goals to remote staff. Establish specific targets, deadlines, and deliverables to provide employees with a sense of direction and purpose, increasing their focus and motivation.

Encourage Regular Breaks and Physical Activity: Encourage remote staff to take regular breaks and engage in physical activity to avoid burnout and improve overall well-being. Short breaks can rejuvenate the mind and increase productivity when employees return to work.

Provide Adequate Training and Development Opportunities: Offer training programs and resources to enhance the skills and knowledge of remote employees. Investing in their professional growth not only increases their productivity but also demonstrates your commitment to their development and career progression.

Implement Time-Tracking and Productivity Tools: Utilise time-tracking and productivity tools to monitor tasks, measure productivity, and identify areas for improvement. These tools can help remote staff manage their time effectively and stay focused on their priorities.

Encourage Regular Performance Feedback: Provide timely and constructive feedback to remote staff to enhance their performance and address any challenges or areas requiring improvement. Regular feedback sessions promote growth, accountability, and continuous improvement.

Limit Distractions & Protect Staff From Cyber Threats: With an MDM tool like Shepherd, businesses can control and set permissions for what apps and programmes that employees can download to business IT hardware. You can, therefore, limit distracting apps. With Shepherd, you can also create and enforce policies to prevent cyber breaches by human error. Limiting distractions and protecting employees’ cyber health prevents downtime.

Easily Retrieve and Repurpose Devices: With IT services like Boomerang, you can quickly retrieve hardware from old employees, wipe them, reconfigure them and deploy them to new hires rapidly and securely.