Learn how you can stop worrying about work-from-home productivity and measure the success of your team.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned since a certain major world event occurred in 2020, it’s that many of the jobs we do can be done remotely. Indeed, there was a growing trend toward remote jobs and companies before then. But seeing so many traditional corporations switch to remote work proved several things. It also brought up concerns such as work-from-home productivity.
Some people and businesses found that working from home opened up potential. Employees could work from the comfort of their couches and not worry about long commutes, missing family activities, or ironing clothes. Some businesses went all in, permanently switching to remote work and letting office leases expire.
Others found that juggling kids, pets, and the distractions of home were too much, and they couldn’t wait to get back to the office. Similarly, some businesses felt they couldn’t operate as effectively without face-to-face interactions.
One thing that many of these businesses had in common, whether they embraced remote work or only tolerated it, was the concern that work-from-home productivity would be an oxymoron. Managers, supervisors, and CEOs all lamented the possibility that if people weren’t physically in the office, they wouldn’t get their work done.
Of course, we now know that in most cases, remote work has proven to be more efficient. Even so, it can still be beneficial to measure work-from-home productivity just as you would in-person productivity. But how?
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5 Ways to measure work-from-home productivity so your business can stay profitable
Some of the best ways to measure work-from-home productivity aren’t as exotic as you might imagine. And they aren’t even that hard to implement.
1. Set goals. Whether you’re in an office or working remotely, you can’t measure the productivity of your call agents if you don’t have a goal. And these need to be concrete goals, too. For example, does productivity mean making 300 calls a day? Does it mean closing 10 deals a day? Or does it mean your conversion rate is 20%? You have to determine what’s reasonable based on your particular industry, but whatever that is, use those goals to measure your team’s work-from-home productivity.
2. Set SMART goals. One thing that often gets lost when we set goals is the idea of SMART goals. These are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals. In other words, it’s not enough to set a goal of “making more calls.” Looking at the goals above, a SMART goal might be to increase your conversion rate by 10% within the next 30 days. You have a specific number (10%), which you can easily measure, is potentially achievable and relevant, and you have one month in which to do it.
3. Create KPIs. KPIs, or key performance indicators, are another way to measure productivity. They are similar to goals in some ways; however, KPIs can give you more information than whether or not you’ve reached a goal. For example, if my goal is to achieve a 10% increase in conversions in one month, I can use performance indicators to see if I’m on track. Is my rate going up 2.5% each week? Am I making enough calls for that to happen? Your KPIs are the steps you need to take to reach your goals.
4. Align your goals with pre-remote measures. If your team is newer to working remotely, one way to measure productivity is to look back at your in-office performance. Is the productivity similar? Is your team reaching its goals? Or even outperforming? If this is the case, then it’s probably safe to say that your work-from-home productivity isn’t anything to worry about.
5. Compare your productivity. Comparisons can be a tricky way to measure productivity simply because there are so many factors involved. Even so, comparing your productivity to that of other companies within your industry can be one tool that you can use in conjunction with others to see where you stand. Of course, you probably won’t get detailed information from your competitors. But you can sometimes look at things like a company’s sales performance or general industry data.
Along with these ways of measuring productivity, there are also a few things to avoid. One of the first is micromanaging your team. Yes, that might seem difficult in a remote environment, but it’s easier than you think. And it will ruin productivity.
Another “don’t” on the list: don’t make your team stress about the hours they’re working. Yes, there might be times they need to be on, but if they’re meeting their objectives and everything else is satisfactory, focus more on the work they do rather than when they do it.
Remember, work-from-home productivity is about getting the job done and doing it well. You don’t want to inadvertently make people work harder because they’re working efficiently.
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