In recent years, the global workforce saw a growing popularity for hiring virtual support and virtual staff management. Studies show that the virtual staffing industry is expected to grow by $4.12 billion between 2021 and 2025 at a rate of 12% CAGR.
While the industry will be prosperous in the future, considering its convenience and overall job satisfaction, managing a remote team might be more difficult than handling in-house employees. As such, businesses should always look to improve their internal processes regarding virtual teams and consider performance and productivity levels.
Why Your Virtual Staff’s Performance and Productivity Matters
When running a business, results are often driven by employee output. These should be well-researched, thoroughly executed, and checked by peers before submission to higher positions.
To put things into perspective, putting importance on your employee’s productivity greatly increases their performance over time. Productive employees result in an effective business, and efficient companies have 30-50% higher operating margins than less productive ones.
Maximizing productivity in the workplace doesn’t have a formula, as it depends on your industry, people, and preferences. It extends even to the ones working virtually. To achieve maximum staff productivity in your company, you should invest in your employees.
16 Ways to Improve Virtual Staff Performance and Productivity
Communication and Collaboration
An optimized workforce should start with setting job functions and expectations. Businesses that handle both in-house and virtual teams should also have open lines of communication.
Similarly, collaboration is important to instill a sense of belonging and community within a team. However, this might be a challenge given that companies worldwide are still coming to terms with virtual work settings being here for the long run.
Promoting healthy communication and collaboration within your organization results in the effective exchange of thoughts and ideas. It makes for a discussion that reinforces work ethics, productivity, and overall outputs.
Try following the steps below to enhance your teams’ communication and collaboration and integrate what you need into your daily operations.
1. Set clear goals and objectives
In-house employees are surrounded by reminders about the company’s goals and objectives in the office. However, it isn’t the case for remote workers since they work from home.
To remedy this, supervisors need to remind remote workers why they do what they do in meetings or 1-on-1 discussions.
2. Communicate individual job functions
In addition to aligning your integrated virtual staff with the goals set by the company, you should also talk to them about their role and how they impact the organization’s overall success.
Talk to them about what’s expected of them and what you hope they achieve. Understanding that the company values their role prompts them to do better, increasing their productivity and job satisfaction.
3. Place importance on transparency
Because remote workers don’t physically report to the office, they might miss important company meetings and announcements. With this, employers are encouraged to practice transparency with their virtual staff and keep them in the loop for any team news, big and small.
At the same time, virtual staff members are encouraged to provide updates on their daily tasks. This way, employers know what they’re doing during work hours, and remote employees can be accountable for their deliverables.
4. Hold more productive meetings
Did you know that 24 billion hours are wasted yearly due to unproductive meetings? Regularly scheduling meetings throughout the week is the last thing you should do if your goal is to have a productive team.
While practicing transparency and open lines of communication, share an agenda in advance to talk about during the meeting, which can be short and straight to the point. Eventually, you can discuss some of the meetings hosted with the virtual team via chat or email instead.
With less strained supervision, remote workers should manage their time correctly to be productive with their time and job function. Considering you work from home, distractions will be everywhere, and it might be challenging to perform optimally.
Time management in a remote work setting is a double-edged sword. When done correctly, it offers you flexibility and increased productivity. On the other hand, poor time management results in stress as you struggle to keep up with work and personal responsibilities.
Check out the following tips to mitigate any distractions that might get in your way and brush up on your time management skills.
5. Prioritize tasks
You receive tasks from your supervisor daily, and they expect you to have them done by a specified date. Regardless of industry, you may be given a handful of job orders you should accomplish on a deadline.
Task prioritization is essential if you want to stay productive. While all tasks need to be done, some are much more important than others. For instance, you might receive two requests: write a quarterly report and clean up a database set. Which do you prioritize?
6. Manage distractions
Since virtual staff members work from home, distractions brought about by family members, partners, or pets occur throughout the day. What can be helped, however, is interruptions caused by social media or web surfing unrelated to your work.
Tackling these personal hindrances might be challenging initially, but following good habits helps make a difference. Examples include avoiding multitasking while at work and turning off notifications on your phone.
7. Create a dedicated workspace
A challenge in working remotely is finding the best space at home with limited distractions. Additionally, virtual staff might have more difficulty distinguishing between work and after-work hours.
Creating a dedicated workspace or home office makes it easier to detach from anything work-related after your shift ends. Having a space to do your work, away from social and online distractions, significantly uplifts your motivation and job performance.
8. Build a routine
When working from home, it’s easier to lose track of when you should stop working. Chronically working beyond the hours necessary negatively contributes to your health in the long run.
Better control of your time through a routine helps optimize your daily productivity. You can stay by your desk during work hours and leave the area once your shift ends.
Whether employees are productive with their time, employers should also do their part to foster team morale. Doing this has been linked to effective management and shows how companies value their employees and work.
Employee engagement seeks to maintain and advance the company’s job satisfaction, productivity, and retention rate. There are several ways to show your company cares for its workers, whether online or onsite. The following are examples of keeping your workers engaged and employee morale high.
9. Provide regular feedback and recognition
Employees who have done well in their function should be praised. Conversely, you can always give them feedback for improvement if they didn’t hit specific tasks.
By being transparent with comments on your virtual employees’ performance, you can hone their strengths and help them strengthen their weaknesses. Through this, they eventually become assets in your company and are relied upon to deliver tasks with quality.
Praising employees who deserve praise help improve their morale, confidence, and career outlook in your business. On a larger scale, companies can host regular award ceremonies to recognize top performers in their respective departments. Similarly, this encourages others to strive to receive recognition one day.
10. Offer opportunities for professional development
Since employees invest their time and energy in enriching the business, employers should also look to invest in their employees by offering development opportunities that fit their career paths.
There are different types of professional development, but most aim to enrich an employee’s work ethic, industry knowledge, and soft skills through online training sessions or mentorships. The accessibility of these is beneficial for both online and onsite employees.
Professional development has a comprehensive list of benefits, including producing more industry-competitive employees and improving employee retention.
11. Organize team-building engagements
Every once in a while, your company should schedule team-building events to encourage communication, motivation, and collaboration between departments.
The idea of bringing people who usually wouldn’t have worked with each other together opens the doors to so many learning opportunities that enrich the working experience. It also builds an employee’s trust, confidence, and sense of community. There are also instances when team building increases productivity solely because the event is centered around teamwork.
12. Arrange for a wellness day
Above everything else, an employee is most productive if they’re healthy. Because health is necessary for an employee to function effectively, workplaces should encourage wellness days to give employees a break now and then.
In a study by Gallup, workers who have their well-being valued resulted in 21% greater profitability, lower employee turnover rates, and decreased incidents of absenteeism. Achieving work-life balance for remote workers is also applicable in this category and does improve mood, performance, and general job satisfaction.
Technology and Tools
Tech in the workforce has come a long way, making employees’ lives much more accessible. Its impact also improved employee productivity since automated tasks are offloaded and the time saved is used for other responsibilities.
Integrating technology into your company makes your operations more seamless, and your employees get added assistance with their workloads. The following highlights how technology isn’t in the workforce to replace employees but rather an added productivity tool.
13. Integrate the right applications
The pace of productivity you’ll see when implementing technology in the workforce depends on the software you install. For everyday tasks, cloud software and productivity services make a difference.
To maintain efficiency and productivity, you shouldn’t overwhelm employees with too many applications they might not even use throughout their tenure at work. Instead, only focus on the ones needed for their roles. Otherwise, it might result in workers being overwhelmed and counterproductive.
14. Automate repetitive tasks
Since technology has evolved throughout the years, it takes menial, time-consuming, or repetitive tasks off employees’ hands and creates more time in their schedules to do other things.
Automating tasks also occurs regardless of job function. Different applications are available for streamlined and efficient use of time, from research to operations.
15. Enhance communication among team members
Especially with today’s shift in remote working, technology has proven to connect employees with their peers. Cloud services and remote work tools like Zoom, Slack, and Microsoft Teams remain essential for seamless communication and collaboration.
These applications also provide easy communication between employees since you send messages back and forth. Likewise, you can communicate by voice or video call with minimal hassle, making it a better use of your time.
16. Simplify tasks
Technology in the workplace also helps you stay on top of your tasks and get them done right away. To-do lists and digital calendars are staples in any mobile gadget, making them easily accessible to almost any employee. You can also invite other people to these calendars, adding another opportunity for collaboration between team members.
Working Anywhere, Productive Everywhere
Improving productivity and performance is worth investing in if companies want to increase their revenue and industry authority. It also encourages employees to do their job functions well, whether working at the office or from home.
With the hybrid set-up continuing to be a trend in the future, virtual staff might grow in demand. If your company wants to try and stick with this new working arrangement, check out Outsource Access.
With a team of experts specializing in various virtual assistant services, Outsource Access’s seasoned virtual assistants help scale your business so you can get more done and enjoy more life. For more information, check out our process or book a call today!