If your workforce has the option to work from home and you see a dip in productivity there are things you can do to boost team performance.

Working from home can be a great option for employees looking to cut down on time spent commuting. But while the home office improves work-life balance, it can negatively affect staff productivity.

Although 44 percent of employees say they are more efficient as a consequence of working from home, that still leaves the majority of people feeling not quite as productive. When you want to get more out of your remote working team and help them stay motivated, there are a few things you can do.

1. Help them create a dedicated work space

It’s home working 1-0-1: employees should have a dedicated workspace. By separating their home lives from their working lives, employees can get into the right mindset from the start of their day. Set up a training session to help your team find the right workspace structure for them. Include information on the health benefits of ergonomic desks and chairs for those who spend hours in front of a computer screen, taking regular breaks, and investing in arm or foot rests. Because outdated technologies are some of the key pain points for staff working from home, you may want to have a discussion with your team about upgrading their equipment.

2. Prioritize and clearly communicate tasks

Not every employee knows how to manage themselves or their time when working from home. Because our self-control is finite, it makes sense to prioritize for the most important tasks to be done first. Using team management software such as Microsoft Teams, assign tasks to team members with the most crucial ones at the top. Digital to-do lists help employees stay on point, keep focused, and improve productivity.

3. Check in regularly with your team

Working in the isolation of one’s home can get a bit lonely. That’s why it’s important to get in touch regularly with your team, especially when they’re working remotely. This could be done via email, a phone call or a video call. Clearly establish how team members can get in touch and offer multiple options. Set up daily or weekly meetings to check in with members face-to-face and encourage them to connect with one another. This also boosts morale and productivity among team members. As a manager, it’s important you keep communication open.

4. Promote meaningful breaks

Although taking breaks may seem counterintuitive to increasing productivity, it’s one of the best tools for it. Our brains weren’t designed to stay focused for eight uninterrupted hours. A lunch break helps workforces reset so they can return to their work feeling refreshed. So what’s a meaningful break? Exercise, a walk, mediation, or healthy lunches – any activity that boosts mental wellbeing, creativity and healthy habits.

5. Boost morale in your team

A happy workforce is more productive. Maintaining morale among employees should rank right at the top of your list. Scheduling work events is a great opportunity for teams to get to know one another and enjoy some down time. From happy hours to creative brainstorming sessions to city breaks – once in a while it’s time to reward your employees. And don’t forget to thank them for their hard work every so often. It may sound simple but a little appreciation goes a long way in improving productivity and fostering loyalty to the business.

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