Remote Work: Productivity

Goals

To understand how different companies are connecting with co-workers, collaborating on work, and brainstorming new ideas while working remotely. To understand how quarantine measures of using video chat platforms such as Zoom, have affected companies that were used to seeing each other and collaborating on work every day. This research should address both large (1,000+ employees) and small (20 or fewer employees).

To understand how large are connecting with each other, the platforms or websites they use, whether paid or free.

To understand how co-workers can brainstorm news ideas for their clients virtually, how they can collaborate on their work (writing, PR pitching, marketing, client calls, among others), and still feel connected to their work and co-workers.

To develop new ways to brainstorm ideas and programs and spitball different ideas to develop a creative solution, and still feel the creative flow, with only a laptop and a cell phone to connect with coworkers. To understand how they can think creatively while not getting much stimulation, working from home.

Early Findings

Overview

  • According to a survey by Workhuman published by CNBC, only one-third of the US population worked remotely before the pandemic.
  • According to a recent survey, most teams are able to adjust fine to technology. The main short-fall is witnessed in the management and organization. From all the respondents, 40% witness an improvement in productivity, 37% say that there is no change, and 23% registered a decline.
  • These productivity levels did not differ much based on industry or company size. These statistics seem to be relatively constant across the board.
  • Some industries may not be able to avoid front line workers. However, people in management roles, or those that have subordinates, will most likely be able to complete tasks remotely.
  • The question of where remote working would be feasible is not an industry question but a hierarchy one. Those who are lower in the level feel less productive in comparison to those who are higher.
  • 80% of the respondents had no problem with their technology infrastructure. However, only 50% felt that they were effectively managed, and 63% said that the company provided clear guidelines as they moved to become primarily remote.
  • The push toward virtual meetings may have been caused by COVID-19, but the availability of free and simplified platforms, such as Zoom, made the transition feasible.

Top Remote Tools

  • Some top remote tools to use include Zoom, Google Drive, Slack, Trello, Toggl, among others. Experts predict that even after the pandemic passes, remote work will still be popular. This boost has brought the concept of remote work to the forefront of several industries.
  • All these tools have different characteristics that make them the ideal tool for certain tasks/aspects.

Large and Small Organizations

Maintaining Innovation and Creativity

  • There are distinct differences when effectively managing a remote team and one within a specific location. Having everyone in a room allows ideas to bounce off the right people and the story to build. In a remote work environment, the strategy needs to shift.
  • Team leaders should encourage their team members to take advantage of the flexibility of remote working. 69% of millennials are happier when they control how and when they work. Granting the team the needed flexibility allows creativity to flow.
  • Just the way an employer would provide all the tools that would be required to fulfill tasks within a physical office setting, it is important that employees are equipped with the right tools to be effective.
  • It is important that managers and team leaders encourage communication between team members. One of the main hurdles of remote working is the sense of isolation. Managers could establish a regular schedule for audio and video meetings, face to face interaction, ensuring that one person is available at all times, and keeping the team updated on all the necessary information.

Proposed next steps:

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