3 Pointers on How to Manage a Remote Team Like a Pro

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Before the coronavirus wreaked havoc, many corporate leaders viewed remote work as a temporary arrangement. Even though work-from-home has become more popular thanks to the ever-growing number of freelancers, many still thought that it cannot work for corporate offices, especially for those with more than fifty or a hundred employees.

The assumption is that employees will be less productive at home, but it has been proven wrong this year by employers themselves.

Remote Workers Are Just as Productive as Office Workers

A recent study by HR consulting firm, Mercer revealed that productivity has been mostly unchanged by remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic. The company surveyed 800 employers who said that after solving issues like employees lacking appropriate equipment at home, operations have been the same as usual. Some even noted increases in employee productivity. Finally, 83% of the respondents said they will continue to offer flexible work arrangements even when the pandemic is over.

No doubt many factors contributed to the responding companies’ success in keeping business running. We can safely assume, however, that credit must go to the managers and supervisors for ensuring that their teams stay productive while in quarantine.

How did these managers do it? Here are a few pointers from corporate leaders that managers can adopt as part of their people and project management practices.

  1. Allow employees to work flexible hours.
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Many employers assume that their employees are living the life while working from home. They are wrong. Remote workers may no longer have to contend with traffic, long commutes, or workplace distractions, but now they have to work around pets, children, house chores, and slow home Internet service.

Under these circumstances, it would be very difficult for employees to stay seated before their laptops or desktop computers and work straight from nine to five. It would be better to give them the flexibility to work when they can be most productive within the day.

Employers in the Mercer report gave similar advice. Giving employees flexible work hours helped them work around the distractions at home. It kept not only productivity rates high but also employee satisfaction.

When employees see that their employers support them during difficult times, their respect and loyalty for the company will increase. They will also be encouraged to keep giving their 100% at work and help their teams reach their targets.

  1. Encourage work-life integration.

Digital media expert and president of Goodway Group, Jay Friedman recommended that instead of work-life balance, which promotes separation of work and leisure time, managers should encourage their teams to practice work-life integration. This aligns with the previous section on work flexibility and letting employees work at different times of the day instead of the fixed, regular work hours.

Some employees will try to keep their work-from-home routine as similar to their office schedule as possible, and they should be allowed to. If, however, they find this difficult to do, managers can help employees establish new work routines that also take into account their daily responsibilities at home. These schedules should also allot “personal time” so that employees can still achieve a balance between work and time for family.

  1. Discourage non-paid overtime work.

Work-from-home employees are working an average of three more hours per day, according to the findings of NordVPN. This suggests that employees need to work longer hours to meet their daily deliverables. This can eventually be a problem because working unnecessarily long hours can cause burnout.

Managers, therefore, should encourage team members to finish their work within their allotted time. If they can’t convert the extra hours they worked for OT pay, that’s a sign that they should not bother with it anymore.  

These are just some of the ways that managers can keep their team members involved, engaged, and productive while in quarantine. It’s not easy, but it is achievable. You can start with the three tips in this article.

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Need Windows 10 But Can’t Afford It?

There is no shame in money being tight, but when you need your laptop to work from home and your Windows has crashed out on you, there’s nothing worse than being stuck on a budget. You need to work from home right now more than ever and having a slow operating system is just not ideal. You want to be able to upgrade your windows, but what are you supposed to do?

Most laptops and desktops come with Windows built right in, and the price for that operating system is likely factored into what you paid for the laptop in the first place. So, if you pay for a cheap laptop, you’re going to get a slower, cheaper operating system. Right now, you need to be able to upgrade to Windows 10 so that you can get work done and stop being frustrated by the slowness of your current system. So, let’s take a look at how you can get Windows 10 without breaking into your overdraft!

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Image Source: Pexels

  • Run It, But Don’t Activate It! Okay, so it’s not the most honest way to do it, but did you know that you can run Windows and not activate it? It won’t shut off after a month like the notifications promise you that it will, either. The system will keep nagging you about activation, and you can’t personalize your screen the same way. However, it feels worth it to be able to use the system temporarily until you can afford to activate it properly.
  • Go Back In Time. If you can, go back in time to upgrade your system from an older Windows version. When you run Windows as an update on your computer, you can upgrade it for free. So, pop back onto that old laptop and it should stop talking to you about your expired promotion. You can run Windows update on your older laptop, and then use the Update Assistant to run the update properly.
  • Go Back To School. If you’re already a student, great. If you have an alumni account, you could log in and use that. Windows 10 Education is not much different from Windows 10 Enterprise. If you’re a student, you can access it for free and all you need to do is prove it!
  • A Cheaper Key. This one isn’t free, but it’s much cheaper than buying a whole new Windows 10 disc box. You can buy OEM keys for Windows 10 at a lot of places, and companies like ComputerGarage can help you to find the right way about it. Upgrading your system is easier than ever, and you don’t have to be out of pocket to do it.

Try out these methods today, and you’ll be able to get your upgrade you need. Budget should not be a factor if you’re trying to work from home. If you can’t use any of the methods above, contact your IT team at work. They should be able to provide you with a workplace laptop for a while until you can upgrade properly.

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And thanks for reading!  🙂