Embracing Flexibility to Improve Your Remote Team’s Performance

Posted in: Business Insights

“Flexibility is the key to stability.” — John Wooden

Hands up if you could use a little stability these days.

With businesses facing so many factors beyond their control, stability can seem like an unattainable dream.

We’d argue you can take control in certain key areas which will empower your remote team to work more efficiently.

Step one: challenge your assumptions about work

Research shows the power of flexibility in increasing performance

Of course, employees have always had a life outside work. Working remotely means there’s no clear way to leave “home” at home. These workers are tasked with making life and work mesh to keep projects moving forward, and it can be difficult to decide which responsibilities to prioritize. Add in extra challenges – like a lack of childcare – and some employees don’t know how they’ll make it work.

The solution? Flexible work options. With flexibility, your team can choose when and where they’re most productive. Plus, they can balance their responsibilities with personal life, increasing their performance.

In a survey of pre-pandemic remote workers, around 77 percent reported greater productivity when working off-site, with 30 percent accomplishing more in less time. Over half (54 percent) of employees with multiple workspaces reported being more effective when working outside the office. And according to Gallup, employees who spent 60 to 80 percent of their time working remotely experienced optimal engagement.

Remote work can offer clear, measurable benefits.

Step two: the key ingredient

Collaboration: Working remotely, yet not alone

While flexibility is important, so is collaboration. Nearly three-quarters of organizations rate teamwork and collaboration as very important. Yet, only 18 percent of employees get communication evaluations as part of their performance reviews.

When working remotely, collaboration is critical for employee performance. Employees must understand their responsibilities and have the information and access required to do their work.

Step three: using the right tools

Go beyond the VPN

Collaboration and flexibility require an IT environment that ensures security, reliability and ease of function across many devices and locations. Unfortunately, VPNs often fall short; slowing the performance of the tools your employees need to complete their work. As a result, productivity also slows.

Cloud-based apps deliver the same work experience regardless of where your employees choose to work or what device they use. For example, you can have face-to-face meetings with employees around the globe. Teams can hold a brainstorm via group chat or collaborate inside one document. Cloud-based tools are also secure — no messy VPN required.

Work smarter, faster and together with Google Workspace tools

The good news is, with Google Workspace, there’s an existing set of tools proven and ready to enable and improve remote work by focusing on four main areas: connect, create, access and control.

Connect

Reach colleagues anywhere, any time. Send a quick email using Gmail. Schedule a Google Meet video call that fits everyone’s schedule by accessing shared agendas via Google Calendar. Share, discuss and track tasks using Chat.

Create

Docs, Sheets, Slides, Forms, Sites, Jamboard and Keep work together to help your team work together on collaboration, creation and editing tasks.

Access

Store, sync and share files across your entire enterprise in one secure location with Google Drive, and find company information and data quickly and easily with Cloud Search.

Control

Google Vault helps you manage, retain, search and export email and on-the-record chats. Admin Console allows you to add users, manage devices and configure security settings through one administration portal and Mobile Management keeps data secure on Android, iOS, Windows and more.

Start improving your remote team’s wellbeing and performance

Right now, parents may need to work during naptime, or around a kindergarten class Meet. Some employees may need to become weekend warriors. As an employer, it’s your responsibility to support your team during this time. You can do so without sacrificing performance by taking advantage of the cloud.

To learn more about how to improve your team’s wellbeing and performance, reach out to the cloud experts at Pythian.

You may also want to read our posts on enhancing your remote team’s productivity by improving access to information and ideas and working faster.

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