Not spending any quality time with our friends and extended family members has had a major impact on our wellbeing and stress levels. Add to that that companies have had to completely adapt their structure to send their teams home and somehow retain the same levels of productivity and engagement among their employees remotely.

For some, this hasn’t been too difficult, because they already had a few remote practices in place. For others, this change has brought on too many issues that could potentially lead to reducing their business success in the long run.

Social distancing in the business world has different consequences from the ones we expect in our private lives, but both are equally relevant. As a business, you need to brace yourself for the upcoming period and help your teams adapt and flourish.

Here are a few ideas to help you improve your remote productivity and help your teams stay connected despite the distance.

Choose video conferencing

Now that you cannot set up meetings in person and go to happy hour after your Friday workday is done, you need to create a meeting structure that will keep your teams engaged and connected –and, of course, accountable for their work. One way to do that is to make sure you set up regular video conference calls to connect with your employees.

Also, set aside a designated session for simply chatting about non-work-related topics and sharing how everyone’s feeling. With such a structure in place, you’ll retain the closeness within your organization and keep everyone inspired to be productive.

Enable VoIP for your support team

Your customers will probably want more guidance and support than ever, and they’ll probably have more complaints and queries — which means that your support team will likely be flooded with requests, and thus, stress.

To make these interactions more seamless, and to help them stay connected –not just to the customers but to the rest of your organization– you can leverage VoIP technology within your business.

For starters, make sure to learn about VoIP telephony and what it can do for your organization and productivity. Most services based on this technology come with a slew of useful functionalities such as video conferencing, voice mail to email, and call analytics for smarter decision-making.

It will allow your customer support team to do their jobs seamlessly, while it will keep your entire employee collective connected at a much lower cost.

Provide support to your employees

Some of your veteran employees are probably comfortable enough with you by now to talk to you about their productivity issues on a daily basis. As for the latest additions to your team – they might feel too self-conscious to share, and thus fail to communicate their problems to their supervisors and team members.

It’s vital to acknowledge these issues and talk about them openly, be it one on one, or in group meetings. You can brainstorm to find the most suitable solutions, and turn to some of your more experienced remote workers for advice. Exchanging tips can be a healthy way to resolve these problems on the go.

Empower work-life balance

Working remotely can be challenging on so many levels, one of them being simple time management. When can you take a break? Can you really work in your pajamas? What about going grocery shopping?

Every organization has different rules and needs, so you should first clearly establish the workflow of each employee – and then proceed to make sure they actually take time off, spend time with their families, and enjoy their leisure activities.

When work begins to intertwine with your personal life at home, it can become even more complicated to navigate these waters and retain a work-life balance. So, keep checking up on your team to make sure they’re on the right track with their lives balanced.

Now more than ever, reducing stress levels and focusing on our health is essential. Staying productive, however, is equally necessary, hence the need to find a strategy that will work well for your business. Try implementing some of these solutions and see how your employees feel, and of course, stay open-minded and flexible enough to recognize new opportunities to adapt and grow.

Remote is not just a band-aid solution but a permanent option for many companies, so finding creative ways to grow your company culture remotely will help you preserve your business for years.

*Photo by visuals on Unsplash