Embracing Flexibility to Improve Your Remote Team’s Performance
“Flexibility is the key to stability.” — John Wooden
Hands up if you could use a little stability these days.
With businesses facing so many factors beyond their control, stability can seem like an unattainable dream.
We’d argue you can take control in certain key areas which will empower your remote team to work more efficiently.
Step one: challenge your assumptions about work
Research shows the power of flexibility in increasing performance
Of course, employees have always had a life outside work. Working remotely means there’s no clear way to leave “home” at home. These workers are tasked with making life and work mesh to keep projects moving forward, and it can be difficult to decide which responsibilities to prioritize. Add in extra challenges – like a lack of childcare – and some employees don’t know how they’ll make it work.
The solution? Flexible work options. With flexibility, your team can choose when and where they’re most productive. Plus, they can balance their responsibilities with personal life, increasing their performance.
In a survey of pre-pandemic remote workers, around 77 percent reported greater productivity when working off-site, with 30 percent accomplishing more in less time. Over half (54 percent) of employees with multiple workspaces reported being more effective when working outside the office. And according to Gallup, employees who spent 60 to 80 percent of their time working remotely experienced optimal engagement.
Remote work can offer clear, measurable benefits.
Step two: the key ingredient
Collaboration: Working remotely, yet not alone
While flexibility is important, so is collaboration. Nearly three-quarters of organizations rate teamwork and collaboration as very important. Yet, only 18 percent of employees get communication evaluations as part of their performance reviews.
When working remotely, collaboration is critical for employee performance. Employees must understand their responsibilities and have the information and access required to do their work.
Step three: using the right tools
Go beyond the VPN
Collaboration and flexibility require an IT environment that ensures security, reliability and ease of function across many devices and locations. Unfortunately, VPNs often fall short; slowing the performance of the tools your employees need to complete their work. As a result, productivity also slows.
Cloud-based apps deliver the same work experience regardless of where your employees choose to work or what device they use. For example, you can have face-to-face meetings with employees around the globe. Teams can hold a brainstorm via group chat or collaborate inside one document. Cloud-based tools are also secure — no messy VPN required.
Work smarter, faster and together with Google Workspace tools
The good news is, with Google Workspace, there’s an existing set of tools proven and ready to enable and improve remote work by focusing on four main areas: connect, create, access and control.
Reach colleagues anywhere, any time. Send a quick email using Gmail. Schedule a Google Meet video call that fits everyone’s schedule by accessing shared agendas via Google Calendar. Share, discuss and track tasks using Chat.
Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, Jamboard and Keep work together to help your team work together on collaboration, creation and editing tasks.
Store, sync and share files across your entire enterprise in one secure location with Google Drive, and find company information and data quickly and easily with Cloud Search.
Google Vault helps you manage, retain, search and export email and on-the-record chats. Admin Console allows you to add users, manage devices and configure security settings through one administration portal and Mobile Management keeps data secure on Android, iOS, Windows and more.
Start improving your remote team’s wellbeing and performance
Right now, parents may need to work during naptime, or around a kindergarten class Meet. Some employees may need to become weekend warriors. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to support your team during this time. You can do so without sacrificing performance by taking advantage of the cloud.
To learn more about how to improve your team’s wellbeing and performance, reach out to the cloud experts at Pythian.