How to avoid distractions for your team and manage procrastination while remote working.
With most office workers now able and encouraged to work from home, our typical work-life balances from 2020 onwards have shifted forever.
The shift to remote working has been reported a success, but there are always considerations that, without a physical office where you can check in with your employees, standards may sometimes unfortunately slip due to a lack of monitoring.
Here are five tips to help keep your team on track by avoiding distractions and managing procrastination while remote working.
The most important factor while working remotely with your team is keeping team communication to a high standard. It’s easy to fall into ‘siloed’ work with no one around you, and the sensation of solitude can often lead to loneliness and distraction.
A crucial point to remember is that morale is just as important as focus for team members getting work done
Make sure to schedule regular catch-ups with your team, but also check in as often as you can to make sure they’re doing all right, that they’re on top of work, and whether they need any support while working from home.
Work to deadlines, not time investment
With flexible working arrangements, the lines between life and work can become blurred. You may already support flexible working hours, but it’s entirely possible you’ll notice employees starting earlier, taking breaks or lunch at different times throughout the day.
To take full advantage of this, and allow your employees to have the flexibility they need to get the work done, try to delegate deadlines and achievements over specific time allocation.
Allowing your team to work closer to their own schedule will mean they’ll stay focused – and that any distractions aren’t as important as them getting the job done!
Keep personal progress on track
One of the reasons employees can become unmotivated and more distracted is when they don’t have anything to challenge them – or the opposite, when they feel too overwhelmed by their responsibilities.
Make sure their personal development plan is clear and in line with their goals. When they have a direction that they know they’re working towards, they’ll feel more invested in the company and they won’t procrastinate as much.
For new starters, make sure they feel like they have a place in the company that’s right for them. Keeping the language in job adverts open to all backgrounds can help promote a welcoming community and bolster development in the workplace for all employees.
Trust in your team
A crucial point to remember is that morale is just as important as focus for team members getting work done. Unmotivated employees are likely to put in less effort and become uninterested in striving to achieve an extra mile.
What this means is that while you want to check in on them now and again, you shouldn’t be showing distrust in them by monitoring their work too closely, as they might become demoralised and more distracted than if you simply instil trust in them!
While it’s important to trust in your team, you also shouldn’t allow people who do take advantage to just slip by. Not everyone who procrastinates or is distracted is intentionally making trouble, but for those repeatedly miss targets or forget guidelines, it’s important to be firm in reminding them of expectations.
And if anyone does start using remote working as an excuse to slack off, you need to be clear that their behaviour isn’t up to standards and give them a chance to course-correct – sometimes a little tough love goes a long way!
By following these tips, you’re sure to keep your team motivated and working hard, while still showing that you trust them to get the job done.
About the author
Will Capper is the co-founder of DirectlyApply