Now that you and your sales team have settled into working from home, you may feel like you are in a good spot when it comes to employee productivity. If you feel like your team has adapted well to the shift to working remotely, it may be time to explore improvement with some efficiency best practices.

Bruna Martinuzzi, founder of Clarion Enterprises Ltd., says with a few helpful techniques, you can get your team’s productivity back to in-office levels. We share her tips on doing this in this issue of Promotional Consultant Today.

1. Standardize communications. Martinuzzi notes that communication can be a massive challenge when everyone in the company works from home. Now is the time to standardize your communication processes to ease some of these challenges. The more specific you are about communications processes while working from home, the better for all employees. Setting clear guidance may reduce the stress potential of employees and can help them navigate this new normal.

Martinuzzi recommends that leaders consider formalizing rules for at-home meetings and for using communication tools appropriately. One way to do this is to prevent email overload by directing people to treat email as a deliverable-only-channel. Other non-critical communications can occur on one of the many instant messaging or chat tools available such as Slack, Zoom, Microsoft Teams or Chanty.

If your teams are not accustomed to company-wide online meetings, Martinuzzi recommends appointing one team member to be a moderator. This person can gently manage traffic and prevent people from speaking over each other. Such a simple, empathic step might go a long way to minimizing stress, especially for your more introverted participants who may struggle to get a word in edgewise in a virtual room of extroverts.

2. Designate an administrative maestro. Your employees may start to feel like they’re pulled in different directions. Since people are no longer able to coordinate tasks in person, some things may fall between the cracks. There may also be confusion about who’s doing what, and critical information may not be shared on time. Martinuzzi says that one way to eliminate some of these potential problems is to tap someone to handle the “traffic,” that is, to serve as a virtual project manager.

This person can help increase efficiency by defining the tasks that need to be completed, and in what order they should occur. The role of this person should also include tasks like scheduling virtual stand-ups and taking minutes as well as reporting the progress of projects to leadership. As frequent communication is critical when teams work from home, your administrative maestro can also track milestones and take the lead on keeping everyone in the loop.

3. Continue to champion your culture. Working from home doesn’t have to affect your company culture negatively, Martinuzzi notes. A vital component of company culture is the rapport that teams have built bumping into each other. Consider preserving the rapport and keeping your culture strong by establishing an optional, virtual happy hour to help maintain team camaraderie. Some people may miss the fellowship they’re used to when they worked together in the office. You could also open up a virtual space to get together and call it a virtual lunchroom.

To keep your team of remote workers engaged, remember to stay mindful about communications and consider tapping someone on your team to serve as a virtual project manager. You can also stay true to your company culture by creating ways for your team members to engage over lunch or a virtual happy hour.

Compiled by Audrey Sellers

Source: Bruna Martinuzzi is the founder of Clarion Enterprises Ltd., specializing in presentation skills training and leadership communication coaching. She has helped thousands of individuals improve their presentation skills and become more effective communicators.