For organisations that depend on digital tools, the workplace has changed significantly since the start of 2020. Working from home has become the new normal for millions of Australians and it has become clear that this new way of working is going to continue long after the pandemic is over.
A global study from Atlassian reveals that nearly seven in 10 Australian workers say their job satisfaction and work-life balance has improved since the shift to remote work. The study looked at the work-from-home experiences of more than 5000 workers in Australia, France, Germany, Japan and the US during COVID-19.
However, despite feeling more effective and productive at home, many workers are concerned about recognition and career progression. "I love the fact I'm stress-free and really productive, but I'm afraid I lose credibility and become disposable. I feel like out of sight, out of mind kind of," said one worker.
More than half of workers are spending more time in meetings and a quarter said their workload has increased. 77 per cent of Australian workers said they are spending much more time coordinating with others over email, text or messaging platforms and two-thirds are also spending more time reporting back to clients and managers. Rather than dropping their expectations of productivity or effectiveness, many workers (42 per cent) are working longer hours.
In remote environment, where you no longer have face-to-face interactions or in-office perks, employees may seek new opportunities if they do not feel connected to their company, leader or colleagues. Therefore, employers, CEOs, human resources professionals and front-line managers need to evolve as leaders to keep both tenured and new employees engaged, motivated and productive.
Ensuring employees have access to the right technology and systems can make a world of difference. Many people feel their ability to perform their roles are limited by their tools and systems. 64 per cent of Australians said their company would need to provide better systems and tools to go permanently remote.
Workers reported disappointment with the limitations of the technology and tools they have had to embrace with the move to remote work. Many of the tools were not suitable to effectively do their tasks, creating additional time and effort on their behalf. Some viewed the ill-suited tools as a limitation to the value they were providing to their organisation, while others echoed concerns about the potential of their team and selves being limited as a result.
Tracking productivity while working remotely is beneficial for everyone. Not only does it help leaders stay on top of what’s happening in their teams, but it also helps employees adapt to the new conditions and to not lose sight of the goals.
Productivity increases when employees are engaged with individual and organisational objectives. There is a heightened sense of responsibility for goal achievement when employees realise how their personal efforts impact the success of the organisation that they work for. Employees are more likely to work to their fullest potential if they are held accountable for attaining expected results.
Performance-oriented KPIs that coincide with employees’ primary job functions can be very effective at raising motivation levels. These benchmarks not only communicate a clear standard, but also help employees who work from home remain on track. Additionally, remote employees are more likely to experience burnout if they are working just for the sake of working. However, if there is a goal associated with their performance, employees will be driven to meet the expectations that have been established for them.
If your employees are engaged, they will be stronger, and so will your company. KPIs boost productivity and employee morale because they attach daily job functions to a larger goal. Organisational leaders should be conscious about altering KPIs periodically as their companies grow and change. By doing so, employees will be constantly challenged to reach new goals. Since KPIs inspire employees to improve how they get work done, they can be equally important to a business’s bottom line as financials. HR leaders can ensure this through an integrated human resource management solution that provides an exceptional employee experience across the entire employee lifecycle. Backed by modern technology, you can build a great culture that supports your people to deliver their best, wherever they are located.