Singapore employees less productive when they work from home
Though Singapore ended its circuit breaker on 1 June, most employees will still work from home for the foreseeable future. However, workers’ productivity is taking a hit. In April, nearly half of the employees surveyed (46%) by people analytics startup EngageRocket said they were less productive at home.
Amid a future of work from home arrangements, here’s how companies can support their staff to improve productivity and performance.
Working remotely from home is similar to working offshore – just that employees and managers are now separated by neighbourhood, not country. So these tips are applicable to companies that hire offshore employees too!
1. Use efficient tech & productivity apps
Not all productivity apps are built equal. Using each one for their best purpose can streamline communication between employees, so their questions are answered faster and efficiency improves. Here are some suggestions for:
- Instant messaging, informal chats, compiling resource lists: Slack, Microsoft Teams
- Video conferencing: Zoom (+allows live annotations by audiences), Google Hangouts
- Project management: Trello
Also ensure that the company’s technical support team actively keeps software up-to-date and secure. The team also needs to be responsive on chat to provide timely IT support for employees, where needed.
2. Arrange regular check-ins
Working from home has caused disruptions to workers’ routine. But scheduling time for daily standups, weekly check-ins, and virtual team huddles can help replicate some mundane bits of office life. They can also help employees clarify work priorities in relation to their colleagues’ progress or managers’ instructions.
Plus, these social interactions can help employees feel more socially engaged, which can up their morale and productivity.
3. Reward employees for results, not effort
With the shift to working from home, managers have to assess employees based on the quality and quantity of work produced, rather than their face time in office. That means performance measures need to change accordingly too. So do incentives and reward policies.
Employers should embrace performance management, whereby employees’ performance and efforts are streamlined to achieve organizational business goals. This means staff have to work smarter and more efficiently, rather than harder. This will foster a culture of productivity in the workplace.
4. Set and report goals collaboratively
Encourage employees to use collaborative to-do list apps like Wunderlist, Trello, or Nozbe to keep themselves accountable. Managers can drop in and out of their to-do lists as necessary, and communicate their expectations for each task to prevent wasted work.
5. Give employees regular feedback
With everyone working from home, regular employee performance appraisals are especially important. That’s because employees can’t get informal feedback from superiors that would be possible in an office setting.
By giving employees honest and constructive feedback, they can recalibrate their priorities and know where to develop themselves – stepping stones to better performance.