The pandemic has made working from home the new normal. But many people have struggled with smoothly transitioning from office to home. Many have been unsuccessful in keeping up their productivity levels.
Employers have also had a share of the burden. They have been motivating their workers to keep their spirits up as employees have had to make a quick transition. Employees have had to come up with new working processes. They are also trying hard to compartmentalize the communication tools to increase productivity and minimize delays.
In many circumstances, employees working from home lose motivation to work at their peak performance. They can fall behind deadlines and start lagging in their daily tasks.
A global survey conducted by Gartner, Inc. found that 88% of the business organizations all across the globe mandated or encouraged all their employees to work from home when the pandemic was at its peak. Moreover, about 97% of the organizations immediately canceled all work trips.
Remote Work is on the Rise
But remote work was on the rise even before COVID-19 changed the job market scope forever. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the number of people doing some or all of their work remotely was on the rise even before 2020.
In 2015, 24% of the workforce did some or all of their work at home. The percentage grew from 19% in 2003 to 24% in 2015.
Many employers noted a spike in employee productivity during the initial months of the pandemic, but this spike slowly averaged out to pre-COVID-19 levels. According to Statista, there were 30% of respondents employed by fully remote companies in 2020. Overall, more than 60% of respondents remarked their workplaces have a hybrid of employees working out of the office and employees who work remotely.
Remote Work Isn't All Sunshine and Rainbows
Remote work might seem a solution to all problems and help them reach closer to their dreams. But remote work isn't all sunshine and rainbows. It can be problematic for extroverts and can cause mental fatigue and loneliness.
People might feel extra pressure on their shoulders to perform at their best, even when working from home. But settling into remote work can take time and effort.
Remote work has its own set of challenges and obstacles that one must overcome to succeed.
More than 50% of people working from home feel disconnected from their office colleagues, and 19% feel extreme loneliness.
Most individuals working from home struggle while doing collaborative work. They report more incidents of communication breakdowns during remote work, compared to when they were working at an office building.
Social isolation, distractions at home, house chores, lack of motivation, productivity, and struggling to maintain a work-life balance are just some of the issues remote workers can face.
Work-life balance is crucial for motivating workers and for their mental health. This balance can be hard to achieve while working at home, as the line between work and play can get blurred.
It is why employers need to ensure employees don't face these issues while working from home and keep them motivated and engaged. It is essential if companies want to maintain productivity and their business remains unaffected.
Employers Need to Invest in the Right Technology
Technology is what allows companies to operate even under extreme scenarios such as the COVID-19 pandemic. So technology can increase productivity as well if used properly. The right software can help workers make a seamless transition from working at an office to working at home.
Employees can work more effectively, minimize communication hiccups and meet deadlines, given the right tools. Choosing the right product can be a difficult task. The process of browsing different websites and reading software reviews can be overwhelming for many.
Luckily, there are numerous software programs that can enhance employees' productivity. Employees can utilize a digital platform that can help them streamline the process of communication, collaboration, time management, and task management.
Employees will also benefit from such apps, knowing they now have a proper communication channel. They will get constant feedback, critique, and positive affirmation. Employees will feel reassured when taking on big projects or completing complex tasks.
Remote workers will not feel overwhelmed or demotivated knowing they are not going in blind as their managers will have their back.
So let us take a look at the best productivity apps that employers can use.
Best Productivity Apps of 2022
Best Project Management App
Hive is one of the best productivity tools employers can buy on the market. Hive provides a suite of productivity tools all in one convenient easy to use package. Using Hive, project members can check their to-do lists, seamlessly communicate with each other in real-time, sync their schedules, share ideas, and add comments on the pace of the project.
Hive also allows people to access tasks and view them across the board. Therefore, people can check view tasks, and managers can hold workers accountable if need be. With appealing color schemes, it is very easy to use.
Best Team Collaboration App
The OpenGrowthHub empowers remote teams to work efficiently by enabling them to collaborate virtually. We help create transparency between teams which will enhance employees' and manager's performance. Schedule daily meetings to keep your team informed about current tasks, ask for help using the stuck feature and let experts from your team know where you are stuck and get their help and feedback. Get guidance from industry experts and enhance your skills and knowledge.
Best Team-Based Document Editor
Google Docs is the best online collaborative document editor. It works well irrespective of project size and scope. It makes it easier to share files and make changes as the entire process takes place on the cloud. It eliminates the need to send the same document repetitively to make the most minute changes. It eliminates any uncertainty by allowing many people to modify the document at the same time. The fear of having the files lost is also taken care of due to its ability to automatically sync. And the best part about this app, it’s FREE!
Best Video-Conferencing Software
There are many great video-conferencing apps available on the market right now, like Google Meet, Skype, and Slack. But there is only one clear-cut winner that stands above the rest. And that is Zoom. It is easy to use, has great customer service support, and offers cross-communication for all major platforms. Zoom's free tier allows calls with up to 100 people, which is a major selling point for the service. Another feature that sets it apart from the competition is the ability to transition effortlessly from audio to video conferences. Not only that, but it also allows you to share your screen and operate your devices remotely.
Best to-do List Creator
Todoist is an exemplary task manager and to-do list maker. It merges form and functionality into perfect harmony. It is available on all the major platforms, which is a massive selling point. Todoist allows users to categorize new tasks in their Inbox and then shift them to relevant projects. Users can also set deadlines for each task and sub-task. Advanced features include custom filters and labels that allow users to search for tasks more efficiently. All of these features are provided in a no-frills minimalistic design UI that does not hinder collaborative efforts.
Best Employee Monitoring App
Monitoring apps have become quite common these days. Remote monitoring apps help companies track employees during critical times. XNSPY is my choice of remote employee phone tracking app for 2022. The XNSPY features combined ensure remote work employees perform efficiently, meet their deadlines, be more productive, and communicate more effectively with their managers. Many companies use XNSPY to track and assist their workers whenever they are behind schedule or stuck at a vital task. Using XNSPY’s geolocation tracking, users can track employees working in the field to ensure they reach the site on time and perform the task in a timely manner. It also shows the exact location where the employees might be travelling.
Trade secrets get protected by XNSPY's email monitoring as the employer can view emails containing trade secrets being traded online. The XNSPY instant messaging monitoring tool can also intercept end-to-end encryption messages. These measures, when combined, give companies a boost of confidence and enable them to deal with possible security and productivity concerns.
Extra Tips to Make You Productive While Working From Home
Revise your tasks
Ensure a quiet place in your house
Make a daily routine and stick to it
Fix a time for small breaks
Break down complicated tasks into smaller, more manageable tasks
Do not skip social meetings after work
Try to keep in touch with your work colleagues and friends regarding work or personal matters
Start your day with the highest priority tasks and projects first
OpenGrowth Hub equips remote teams with the tools they need to function well by enabling virtual collaboration. Aiming to build an effective team while nurturing leadership in each and everyone.
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