Is Productivity Possible for Remote Teams and Work Environments?

The internet produced gazillion of information which anybody can access anytime. In a split second with a click of a button, information can hit you smack on your face almost effortlessly.

This caused the virtualization of almost anything; from memoirs and albums, social interactions and communications, and the global craze of virtual communities in online social networks. Eventually, a highly remote virtual world is created.

In the process, a virtual and digital daily routine has been made possible.

Human activities and interaction are mostly relegated to digital functional reminders. In the morning, gone are the days that the warm rays of the sun or the crowing of the rooster wakes people up; we have our digital alarms instead.

And then, as this virtual world grows, remote jobs and online businesses are slowly becoming a norm for many as a source of income.

Sung Won Cho of briefly but concisely discussed the good and the bad elements of running an online business and outsourcing work.

He says that the challenge is not really the delivery of work accomplished in the remote business process. A job still gets done in the remote system and it is more economical as it cuts of the workplace overhead cost.

No rents nor utilities, no personnel expenses, much more the maintenance cost for the workplace environment. In the end, the only real cost is the wage of the remote employee.

But what about employee’s productivity or the assurance your remote employees will get the job done?

Alistair Robbie of discussed positively the potential pitfalls of going remote business.

Top of the rank is the usual dilemma of “nobody’s looking over their shoulder” culture, but this is likewise present in non-remote or conventional workplace system, however, more obvious in remote workplace environment.

Second in rank is the team play, that given the physical distance of co-workers and limited personal interaction, it’s hard to reach optimal team productivity.

Thus, we think that productivity for remote work environments can be reinforced by thinking of new ways to answer these two main problems.

Tasks can be more concise so it’s easier for managers to check quality and progress. And weekly video chat sessions can be scheduled among the remote workers to mimic office watercooler conversations.

If the remote boss or team leader can harness everyone’s participation towards a well-defined virtual business process, then productivity can be generated.

The challenge, as Zoe Anderson puts it, is for the leader to change the mindset of the remote team and forget about their remoteness.

That is, to simply work together.

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