Does Remote Working Improve or Hinder the Productivity of Design Teams?

Our idea of work and office space was turned upside down once the pandemic came knocking on our doors. Once bosses figured out they can save on costs of renting office space, remote and hybrid work got on the trajectory of being a staple.

[Source: Pixabay]

But people are still asking themselves – how much is remote working efficient for teams? Does productivity plunge? Or does it shoot up, powered by bigger employee satisfaction?

Let’s look at the facts and see where they position design teams and their output.

Employees Work Better from Home

Working remotely can improve performance. This increase in efficiency is brought about by more tasks being done due to a more comfortable and quiet working environment as well as by working longer shifts with fewer breaks and sick days.

Employees also show higher levels of job satisfaction, and that further leads to a reduction in staff turnover. In this era of the Great Job Resignation, these facts are not to go unnoticed.

And if you’re a CEO or team leader that is uncomfortable with your staff being so scattered, consider at least a flexible working environment. A schedule of having, for example 3 days in the office and 2 outside the office can do wonders with young families, single parents, and creative minds that feel the urge to move around to keep their spark of imagination.

You can see where we’re going with this. After all, in the product development business, there are lots of workers doing the job of product design. Thus, they would probably appreciate the opportunity of working outside that same office space.

Photo by Euan Cameron on Unsplash

Types of Modern Distributed Teams in Digital Businesses

To begin making your remote environment workplace strategy, identify the team type you currently have first. According to Shopify’s Alaine Mackenzie, there are three basic categories of distributed teams:

  • An even distribution of co-located and remote positions
  • The majority working remote, minority co-located
  • Whole staff working remotely

In the product design and development industry, the second type of distributed team seems to be the most common. It’s easy to develop and sustain. Unconscious preferences for people who are in the same place at the same time are likely to persist, though. Co-located team members may unintentionally dominate meetings or make decisions that should be discussed with the rest of the team in person. But! If you do have more remote workers, they may take over as the more dominant voice in your company.

Benefits of Flexible and Remote Work

Some businesses quickly got into the groove of a work-from-home routine. Others required time to build up the necessary systems to make remote work possible. Companies discovered this new method of working had certain advantages – after ironing out its bugs.

Increased productivity

Remote employees show higher productivity when working from home The pandemic’s peak months of April and May in 2020 saw the sharpest production gains. That was mostly brought about by the end of regular commutes and extended in-person meetings.

If you’re unsure how to make the remote-work transition without your product designers and developers losing focus, product development consultancy with good track records can help your company grow and launch products.

Reduced Staff Turnovers

Since we’re in the era of Gen Z and even older generations demanding fair working benefits, remote work is not to be taken as a piece of passing information but rather a smart move to implement.

After all, experience shows that businesses keep staff longer and reduce absences by enabling remote work. Remote workers are more likely to feel positive about the leadership of the company when they don’t feel micromanaged and think their boss trusts them. As a result, employees will be less likely to be tempted to hunt for employment elsewhere, encouraging a sense of commitment and devotion. Even if employees are not actively seeking other employment, they may be less likely to abruptly cancel work.

How to Deal With Remote Working Problems

If you notice that, understandably, sometimes productivity drops, and your workers seem to have a hard time shifting to working from home, there are ways to fix that. Establishing healthy and efficient communication channels will do wonders.

Create a Centralized Information Space

Getting yourself a proper messenger and workflow app or platform is imperative. Your employees need to have that minimum of virtual office space. Not just for tasks and other duties, but for a way to get to know each other and get informed on company happenings.

Photo by Domenico Loia on Unsplash

Enter Slack and similar software. In Slack, for example, organizations often use the #general channel to write company announcements, share memes, present new team members, and more.

As for the workflow platforms, products such as Jira and ClickUp help. These apps track tasks (and time) spent on each task. Not only is this a great Project Manager tool to oversee operations, but it also gives a sense of responsibility to your employees.

A task management platform that works for everyone needs to be settled in-house. It’s critical that the tasks not be duplicated, lost, or mixed up. Everything should be clear-cut and straightforward. The following step is to construct a single information center with all the shared documents and other relevant items, similar to Google Docs.

Enforce Transparency and Maintain Event Calendars

The calendar you use must list every vital event. That’s why you will often find Project Managers and HR team members scheduling different meetings and events via Google Calendar. An event does not exist if it is not listed on the calendar. Setting tasks for staff and corresponding deadlines is essential for the PM (project manager). The workdays are scheduled by the employees themselves. Compared to a team working in the same open area, remote employees require far greater trust.

You can use remote work tools with time-tracking, such as Clockify or Time Doctor. These tools are intended to keep staff members in check. They are useful for creating client reports, evaluating employee performance, and creating estimations for upcoming activities. Using the tracker, it is possible to locate actual issues and effectively address them, assisting the staff and increasing their output.

Final Word

One of the few advantages of late-stage capitalism is remote work. Working effectively with a remote team demonstrates a manager’s professionalism and the maturity of the company.

The number of remote teams will continue to grow in the future. Designers can take advantage of having one of the most sought-after jobs that allow for remote work.