5 Ways to Enhance Productivity and Engagement in a Virtual Work Environment

by Pranav Ramesh
November 30, 2020
Best Ways To Improve Remote Employee Engagement Fast

When the pandemic hit, most of us were thrown into a virtual, remote work environment with no time to plan. Teams immediately had to learn how to adapt their everyday office routines to working from home with little to no forewarning. The rhythms and routines many relied on, from in-person meetings to the occasional coffee break with peers, suddenly went by the wayside.

While working from home does have its fair share of benefits, it is not without shortcomings. Bosses can no longer see their employees throughout the day and many wonder if they are staying productive. Team members can no longer just walk down the hall to ask their peers for help. When emergencies arise, people just cannot come together with the same speed and efficiency as before. Does that mean this low-productivity streak will prevail as long as you are working remotely?

Not at all.

In fact, if you follow the tips and tricks below, you may even see your team’s productivity and engagement increase in this new virtual work environment.

Topics Covered

  • Choose the Right Tools
  • Optimize Video Calls
  • Teach WFH Best Practices
  • Overcommunicate
  • Trust But Verify

1. Choose the right tools

While in the office, your team probably had tools like Skype, Zoom, or MS Teams already in place to communicate and collaborate. Many assume that these same tools will do just fine while working remotely too. That’s not always the case.

Tools like Zoom and GoToMeeting are ideal for video conferencing and virtual meetings, but they fall behind when it comes to team collaboration. Conversely, MS Teams and Slack, allow your team to communicate in real-time, but are not always the best way to hold meetings or give presentations to large groups of people. Lesser-known tools like Jitsi and MatterMost might do the trick, but they often fly under the radar.

Every team is unique as should be the tech stack they use. The best app for the job is that which best suits your team’s needs. To keep your team productive and engaged in this virtual work environment, use this comparison of collaboration tools to help find what’s best for you.

2. Optimize video calls

You and your team likely join a fair amount of video calls these days. Morning standup meetings, midday check-ins, and miscellaneous meetings throughout the day all add up.

Zoom fatigue is a real concern as it can quickly exhaust a team. Every meeting and call can break their focus and is more mentally taxing than similar meetings in person. Your team is hyper-focused on themselves, checking how they look on the screen, screen sharing, and watching their own non-verbal actions, taking their focus away from the meeting topic.