With over 350,000 cases reported worldwide, the coronavirus is taking a toll on both human and global economic health. Bloomberg warns that the economic fallout could include recessions in the U.S., euro-area, and Japan, as well as the slowest growth on record in China. Costs could top $2.7 trillion in lost output — equivalent to the entire GDP of the U.K.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended remote work, and, according to a survey of employers by Willis Towers Watson, nearly half (46%) of organizations are implementing it because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Leading tech companies like Apple, Box, and Twitter are encouraging employees to work from home and adjusting processes to help employees stay healthy and productive.
While there’s some great advice out there for employees on working from home efficiently, we wanted to provide leaders and managers a guide to optimizing productivity and limiting revenue losses during this time.
1. Communicate new organization-wide remote work policies.
Nothing is worse for productivity than a lack of transparency. Consider which jobs must be done in the office and which can be done remotely. Determine what the policy will be across the organization and outline it clearly in an internal email. Include a main point of contact for employee questions.
Have team leads establish work from home communication policies and daily video check-ins to make sure both managers and employees stay on track and work is noted.
2. Be proactive, not reactive, in your lead generation strategic changes.
Events marketing teams face huge fiscal losses from canceled events. Large conferences like Adobe Summit, Facebook F8 Developer Conference, and South by Southwest have been called off. Marketing events leaders should consider this though — Freeman says that cancellations represent fewer than 1% of shows they’re scheduled to deliver in the next four or five months in the U.S., APAC, EMEA, and LATAM regions.
As a leadership team, take your time when deciding to cancel, postpone, or push forward. There are a lot of great lead generating alternatives. As you decide the best course of action, centralize new projects in a shared workspace so teams can see what they’re accountable for and get on board. With both B2B and B2C behavior unpredictable, you’ll want to look at more reliable sources of generation and conversion.
3. Get a bird’s-eye view of work, prioritize, and plan.
Take this time to recalibrate your projects and focus on the ones that align with your OKRs and goals. Using your work management platform or project management tracking tool, take a pulse on upcoming and in-progress tasks. To increase visibility into your team’s workloads, hold video conference meetings with your team and walk through tasks, due dates, and bottlenecks. Determine and prioritize work for the team with daily goals, and simplify onboarding work from home employees.
If you don’t already have a structured work intake process, this is an opportunity to funnel work using a request form or other formalized process. Rather than simply handling requests as they come in, your team needs to focus on projects that align with goals. Now is the time to establish boundaries and new processes.
4. Centralize and digitize collaboration.
In our recent survey of employee productivity, workers were asked about the tools or capabilities that would increase their productivity. The top responses were “the ability to access my work at any time and work effectively from anywhere” and “an easier and more effective way to collaborate in context across teams and stakeholders.” COVID-19 aside, the future of collaboration is a unified digital platform.
With employees working remotely, things can get lost in the deluge of emails and instant messages. Consolidate all project communication in one shared space where members can immediately see updates, conversations, tasks, and more. This ensures accountability and provides instant visibility into project progress. If you don’t have a project management tool in place, Google sheets can be a great option for smaller teams.
5. Move to digital meetings but maintain that human-to-human feel with video.
Companies such as Box are moving meetings like interviews and employee onboarding digital. Providing opportunities like this across the organization gives teams the freedom to work from home while video conferencing helps maintain that personal connection. Make it a company policy that everyone has their camera on during virtual meetings so you can ensure engagement.
Productivity for remote work and beyond
These strategies aren’t just tips to navigate new work from home policies. They’re best practices that set you up for success year-round. With a work management platform like Wrike, it’s even easier. Features like sharable and customizable team dashboards, real-time status updates, and 400+ app integrations empower teams to do their best work — even while working remotely.
Wrike teams have reported 90% fewer emails and a reduction in meetings by as much as 30 hours per week. Wrike is a proven solution that successfully creates collaborative digital spaces for busy teams.
If you’re looking for ways to make the transition to remote working as smooth as possible, Wrike offers the work management tools to do that and more.
Try a free trial of Wrike and learn how teams can work efficiently and productively from anywhere.