We have had enough time to see that the remote working revolution that was sparked by this pandemic is not a temporary phenomenon. According to the CNBC Momentive workforce happiness survey (May 2022), 23% are now hybrid workers, splitting their workweek between the office and home. While 11% of Americans are fully remote, only 11% are. This compares to only 6% who worked remotely before the pandemic. According to the NCCI. Reddit and Hubspot, as well as Reddit and Airbnb, allow their employees to work remotely for at least part of the day.
It is clear that job seekers are actively looking for remote positions. Nearly half (48%) of 1,700 respondents to the SHRM Research Institute’s survey said that they would seek out remote work for their next job. An analysis by LinkedIn showed that remote jobs accounted for half of all job applications in February 2022, even though they account for less than 20%.
Employers who are open to working remotely or hybrid work are clearly more appealing to job seekers. This is a significant consideration in the current Great Resignation. There are also other benefits. Take the 2021 Study, which included more than 30,000 U.S. employees. It found that working remotely for just one day could increase productivity by 4.8%.
However, this does not mean productivity gains will be instantaneous or last long-term. Working from home can lead to bad work habits if you aren’t careful. These include working longer hours, 48.5 minutes per day more, and more meetings. Remote employees spend more than 25% (25%) of their time in meetings each month.
Employers must take a proactive approach in order to help their employees manage their time efficiently. If they wish to increase productivity, this is a must. There are many tech solutions that can assist. These are the top tools for improving remote worker productivity.
Top 6 Tools to Improve Remote Worker Productivity
1. Calendar apps
The best tool for managing time is probably one that everyone has: a calendar app. If used effectively, It is a great way to plan for the next week or month.
It is easy to understand: Every task on a to-do list should be given a time slot on your calendar. This will ensure that you don’t overcrowd the calendar. Advocates of the 1-3-5 rule say we can only accomplish one large thing, three medium tasks, and five small items per day. This helps to make your workload easier by being able to see the week ahead.
It means employees will be able to stay focused each day and hold themselves accountable for the goals set. Staff can also make their calendars available to their colleagues so Working from home allows you to check your work in an instant What other people are currently working on, and how to improve collaboration.
Also read: Top 10 Employee Engagement Apps for 2022
2. Online timers and reminders
You have now scheduled an entire day to focus on a task that requires deep concentration and focus. After an hour, however, your attention starts to wander and you realize that you are reading the same sentence over again while trying to decide what lunch to make.
This is something that many employees can relate to. It is also an experience that can be made worse by working remotely. It can be difficult to combine hard work with frequent breaks during the day without having colleagues offer a quick cup of coffee or catch up. This can be done by using online timer tools that remind employees to take regular pauses.
A popular choice is the Pomofocus Timer. It works by the Pomodoro Technique and schedules a five-minute rest after every 25-minute uninterrupted work session.
You can even find apps that encourage you to drink enough water throughout your day (such as Waterful), or to stretch your legs more often (such as Stand-Up! Both are useful for desk-bound workers.
Employers should be serious about helping staff avoid burnout. Remote workers are at risk just as much as office staff. These are great options to consider.
3. Virtual workspace software
It can be difficult to keep everyone on the same page regarding team projects when employees are working in different locations. Particularly those that involve large groups of people. That is why It is so important to use some type of project management software. that acts as a single, centralized place for tracking progress and letting people know about any updates.
There are many options available, each offering its own unique features. The notion, for example, is highly customizable. Basecamp, on the other hand, has a useful group chat function that could eliminate the need for other channels, such as Slack.
This software not only makes communication easier for employees but also makes it easier to be more productive by making clear the work that needs to be done.
4. Video conferencing tools & equipment
Video conferencing tools are essential for teams that have members located in different places to hold effective meetings. Although there are many companies that dominate this market such as Zoom or Microsoft Teams, you might consider other options if they are better suited to your needs. HubSpot Meetings, for example, is free for people who need a simple calendar app and scheduler, while WebEx is especially useful for large companies.
Employers should be cautious about allowing video meetings to become too common. This is due to the growing evidence surrounding ‘Zoom fatigue’, its links to burnout, and the fact that 60% believe work meetings are a distraction.
Implementing “no meeting days” is a good way to find a solution. One study showed that companies who held two of these within a week saw their productivity rise by 71%.
5. Transcribing software
Meetings that are necessary for business purposes should be conducted as quickly and with as few participants as possible. If there is a risk that others may need to see what was discussed, you might consider recording the meeting and then using transcribing software. This will make it searchable and easily viewable. The record will be accurate and stored in an easily accessible location. It will also save time for one worker not having to write notes or summarize key points.
Otter.ai, a popular provider that allows users to annotate notes and share them in groups as a follow-up, is one example.
Also read: Top 10 Productivity Apps & Tools
6. Wellbeing and mindfulness apps
It is obvious that employees who are able to manage stress and take care of their mental health will be more productive and engaged.
These areas may have been outside the purview of employers in the past, but companies now recognize and even embrace their responsibility for staff wellbeing. Companies that are truly committed to this goal should offer employees access to wellness apps like Mindful, Calm, or Beeja, which use techniques such as mindfulness and meditation to reduce stress levels and anxiety.