Drop in Remote Worker Productivity? Here’s What Could be Causing it

Categories: Remote Hiring and Virtual Staffing

Every manager dreads the thought of decreasing workplace productivity. Not only can it cause your organization to miss targets and see a drop in the quality of output, but it can also point to other deeper problems. 

These problems are then compounded with remote workers because of the lack of face-to-face interaction with managers. With less access to new or critical information in other areas of their organization, the creativity and innovation of remote workers are largely stunted.

Remote work productivity is also affected by fragmented internal networks and natural connections, which is uncommon in a physical office setup.

8 Possible Causes of Decreased Remote Worker Productivity 

There are several possible causes of decreases in productivity, with the most common ones listed in this article. Read on to learn about the causes of low productivity and how you can reverse it in a remote work arrangement.

1. Too many distractions

While distractions are inevitable in any workplace, they’re more common at home because employees have the freedom to do whatever they want on top of their work. In fact, a 2020 study found that 32% of WFH employees struggle to focus because of too many distractions, affecting their work productivity. 

To keep them focused, encourage your employees to find a designated workspace at home. You can also provide an allowance so they can rent a co-working space if their homes are truly not conducive for work.

2. Inadequate technology and hardware

It is hard for remote workers to stay productive when they don’t have the right work equipment. It’s possible that they are using old tools and programs, forced to use their personal devices, or not given any tools by their employers. 

It’s vital to equip your employees with the technologies they need to do their jobs well. Ask what tools they need to fulfill their tasks effectively or perform beyond what’s expected. At the bare minimum, you should provide a suitable laptop for the job and a budget for a fast internet connection.

3. Weak remote work policy implementation

Even in a physical office setup, inconsistent rules make it difficult for both employers and employees to communicate and work together. Changes in policies and directions can affect productivity or, worst, encourage employees to leave. The same goes for a remote work setup, which many organizations are still trying to figure out.

To resolve this, consider creating a remote work policy where you and your employees establish your responsibilities, schedules, and expectations in a remote work arrangement. This policy can help your organization reduce unplanned leaves, mitigate compliance risks, and impose order and clarity for remote employees.

4. Employee burnout

In some cases, remote workers can no longer separate work from rest because of communication tools that make them available to their colleagues at any time. When work hampers their private time, they may eventually feel burned out and demotivated.

To prevent these, check in with your employees from time to time. You can also give them mental health breaks and distribute their workload to relieve their stress. Preventing burnout is important, given that this is one of the reasons why 37% of Gen Zs and 39% of millennials feel hindered in their career development.

5. Lack of opportunities for counseling

In line with giving remote workers mental health breaks, it’s also ideal to provide them opportunities for counseling. Burnout often puts employees at risk of anxiety, depression, and other mental health issues that can affect their overall well-being.

Remote employees don’t just need time off for themselves; they also need outlets to process their emotions and experiences. Consider adding mental health counseling to your Employee Assistance Program (EAP). Expanding your healthcare options can help them heal from their pains and grow into better employees.

6. Low morale

Your remote employees can have low morale if your organization is poorly managed, has few to no career development opportunities, or has ineffective communication channels, among other things. If low employee morale persists, you may see increased insubordination and conflicts among your workers.

One way to boost employee morale is by cutting down on micromanagement, as it can rob your employees’ critical sense of ownership. You can also encourage interpersonal relationships among your remote employees by creating casual communication channels.

7. Lack of employee engagement activities

Like morale, the level of the employees’ engagement with their work can also affect the productivity of remote employees. Disengaged employees tend to care less about their work, which may increase organizational turnover. This then causes employers to spend more on hiring and training over time.

You can improve employee engagement by recognizing and rewarding remote employees for their hard work, offering health incentives, and hosting virtual hangouts. These efforts can lead to 23% more profitability for your organization, 66% greater well-being for employees, and 13% more organizational participation.

8. Poor supervision

Remote employees struggle to remain productive if their supervisors are also inefficient. Research shows that ineffective leadership can cost up to 7% of a company’s annual turnover and lower revenue growth by 4%.

You can prevent bad bosses from decreasing morale by seeking anonymous feedback from employees. You can also create a business playbook that outlines what managers and remote employees should do in certain situations.

Having standards in place can ensure efficiency and productivity at work and hold everyone accountable for their actions.

Support Your Remote Workers in the Best Way Possible

Handling a remote workforce isn’t easy, but it’s definitely not impossible. With the tips mentioned, you can increase remote worker productivity and even convince them to stay in the long run. You can also become more equipped to hire more remote workers if your business continues to take flight.

If you need help in remote staffing and offshoring to the Philippines, contact our experts at Manila Recruitment. We are a recruitment agency in the Philippines with years of experience and an expert team of professionals who can provide top-notch services.