The shift to home and hybrid working has undoubtedly increased productivity paranoia for many managers. If you’re in charge of a remote team you’ve probably speculated at some point over what’s actually being done. After all, it’s easy for people to look busy online by moving their cursor every few minutes to stop their screen from going idle.
If this situation sounds familiar, take a look at our quick guide to stopping productivity paranoia for good.
It’s all about trust:
Just because your team aren’t in front of you every day doesn’t mean the work isn’t being done. If deadlines are being met and if the work remains at a high standard, take a step back to understand why you may be feeling paranoid. Of course, if things aren’t being completed, or work is late or of a poor standard, it’s only natural that you may be concerned.
This is where trusting your team plays a huge role. Assuming that the issues with your staff could cause you problems further down the line. Instead, start with considering whether there are any bigger issues that need to be ironed out on your end. You may be experiencing a shortage of skills, maybe you’re understaffed, or your team members don’t fully understand their responsibilities. It could even be that certain tasks haven’t been delegated well enough.
Communication is key:
It’s much easier to trust your team if you have built good internal relationships. If you have a great relationship with your team and offer regular one-to-one meetings, it’s easier to spot any issues early. Especially with remote teams, it helps to diarise catch ups so your team know they will have time with you. It means they might be more honest when they’re struggling and will be more inclined to come to you when they need help. All of this contributes to an improved working culture and ultimately an increase in productivity.
It’s your responsibility to clearly communicate each employee’s responsibilities from the moment they join your team. Regular personal development meetings will not only give refreshers on responsibilities but also give your team opportunities to take on more and progress.
Regular check ins:
Checking in on your colleagues regularly is vital to maintaining the relationships between managers and the team. Don’t overdo it though. Checking in several times a day could disrupt workflow and leave people feeling micro-managed. We have found that aiming for a brief morning catch up every day has allowed us to see what everyone is working on, what they’ve achieved each day and if they need any additional support.
Provide planning and project management tools:
A good way to help everyone stay on top of the work they’re completing on a day-to-day basis is to offer project planning and management software, such as Asana. You can also ask your full team, no matter their work location, to log their time. There are many, easy to use platforms out there that you can implement. They’re also a great way to spot when you’re overservicing and any opportunities for new projects.
Want to chat about productivity paranoia?
Feel free to get in touch! We can also talk you through other people issues such as workplace benefits, or retaining and growing your team.