Grey cubicles. Fluorescent lighting. Obnoxiously loud (and large) printer/fax/copier machines. It’s the stuff of nightmares for many workers and managers alike. And it’s often the opposite of a productive work environment.
In an effort to make the office more welcoming, companies have been rethinking and redesigning their spaces. Cut-off cubicles have been replaced by more open, communal workspaces. Some brick-and-mortar businesses have turned spare conference rooms into cozy napping nooks and others have gone green by replacing garish lighting with eco-friendlier options instead.
But what if your company is a remote one, and your employees are toiling away around the globe? How can you ensure that your workers are maximizing their spaces in order to improve productivity?
Here are some ideas on how to create a more productive work environment for remote employees:
Offer lots of communication tools.
Even the most introverted of workers is going to want to have some type of communication with colleagues at least once in a while. And that’s why it’s up to the company to provide the tools to make remote team collaboration possible.
Email, instant messaging, Yammer, Slack, Sococo, Skype, and Trello are just a few of the many communication tools coworkers can use to communicate with each other. Providing various options can help make your team stronger, foster better bonds, and produce greater results.
Share design ideas.
Some workers might opt for a minimalistic look for their home office. Others might not even have a home office and work as a digital nomad instead. But there are still some tips and tricks that can help any of your workers.
For starters, clearing off the clutter from the desk (and in the home office) can help reduce distraction and improve focus. Also, personal items, like photos or children’s drawings, should be kept at a minimum, particularly if clients will be visiting your employee’s home.
Workers should make an investment (if the company is not buying their equipment for them) to have the best computers and fastest Internet possible in order to get the job done properly. And they should always design their spaces with light in mind; position desks so that they can help workers soak up the sun’s rays, or if their office doesn’t have any windows, they should invest in task lights (i.e., a lamp) and good ambient lighting, such as recessed lighting, to create a calming vibe in the office.
Invest in your culture.
Just because your company is remote and your workers may never meet each other doesn’t mean that your teams won’t feel united. Foster friendly feelings among your staff by creating fun all-staff events, like a yoga night or a happy hour on Fridays at 5:00.
And for those workers who live somewhat close to each other, motivate them to meet up and get a meal together—on the company!
As a remote company, you’re able to hire the best talent possible from any time zone anywhere in the world. That means that some workers might find burning the midnight oil works for them, while others are eager beaver morning people. To get the most out of your workers, try to allow them to have as much flexibility in their scheduling as possible so that they can work when they are at their peak. And be supportive when your team members use their flex for personal reasons, such as caring for a sick child or an aging parent, or even to volunteer for their local charity.
Your remote office can say a lot about you, but it’s up to remote managers to help their workers utilize their space to the best advantage in order to produce the best work possible.
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