The “hustle culture” is predominant in many workplaces. It essentially focuses on the rise and grind moto. This when combined with the global pandemic’s uncertainty can be detrimental to the mental health of remote workers. Although this “rise and grind” approach may seem convenient from the company’s perspective, it is often counterproductive for the remote team.  

Research has shown that almost half of all American workers feel overworked and overwhelmed. As a project manager, it is your duty to not only increase your remote team’s productivity but also ensure they don’t burn out due to excessive workload. Unfortunately, it can be challenging to get an idea of your team’s wellbeing when working remotely. However, you can make this easier by keeping an eye out for certain red flags. Let’s talk about them.

1. Unusual Work Hours:

One of the major perks of remote working is a flexible work schedule as employees aren’t restricted to the confines of a physical office. Although this flextime approach can prove useful in helping them manage their work-life balance, it is just as likely to throw it out of whack if not followed right.

Some of your employees may have a hard time scheduling their work hours according to their peak performance. Thus, they may work, for instance, four hours here and four hours there, often finishing up at weird times like 12 pm or 5 am. If this cycle continues for a long period, it will have a detrimental effect on them as they will be unable to separate their private and professional lives.

Additionally, this can also increase stress due to work overload. To avoid your remote team members from overworking, use a time tracker. This will inform you about how many hours they have logged in to work each day and at what time. Not only will this allow you and your team to effectively manage time but will also increase their productivity. Some useful time tracking apps you can check out include Toggl Track, Harvest, and TopTracker. Further, you can talk to your employees who are struggling with their work schedules.

2. Too Much Overtime:

Overtime is one of the obvious signs that your remote team is overworked. While working from an office, it is easy to keep track of how much time is spent by your employees but it has become complicated due to remote working. This is because it is quite easy to lose track of time and spend more than eight hours doing work.

Overtime is expected to be an occasional occurrence due to unforeseen circumstances. This can be due to various factors such as your employees having too much work on their plate or certain work operations getting disrupted due to the global pandemic. Additionally, overtime may also occur if your team member procrastinates during work hours, thus needing to work overtime to get things done.

Your best bet would be to ensure that your staff’s workload is reduced by either increasing your workforce or streamlining work processes. Figuring this out may be tricky, but a project management tool can come in handy. Not only will this increase your team’s productivity but also speed up the work process.

3. Impaired Teamwork:

An overworked employee or team can have a catastrophic effect on overall teamwork. A sheer disbalance between personal life and work can cause your employees to be more disruptive and grumpy. Additionally, it will also affect your team’s productivity.

Some of the signs of impaired teamwork are lack of trust, lack of decision making, communication breakdowns, withdrawn employees, to name a few. To effectively improve teamwork, you need to improve your remote working team’s communication and collaboration. This can be done through regular online meetings with coworkers about the project’s progress, fostering trust and building their spirit through team-building activities, reiterating projects to ensure that no one is overworked.

Furthermore, if one of your team members is still working overtime, communicate with them via one-on-one meeting. 

ClientBuddha’s Productivity module facilitates you to create, assign tasks to a relevant team member in a few clicks. This ensures that no one is being overworked since each member has a certain assigned task. Moreover, you can enhance your team’s collaboration by sharing files, comments, notes, feedback. 

To see the platform in action, start your FREE trial of ClientBuddha today!

4. Substandard Work Quality:

If employees that always delivered quality projects on time are failing to meet their goals, then this is clearly a red flag. Before you rule out their failing performance as them having lost their mojo, it would be more helpful to treat it as a symptom of excessive work as it’s the likely cause.

Shareable to-do-lists make it really easy for you to assign tasks to team members in a way that maximizes productivity without overburdening them. You can use these lists to keep tabs on the number of tasks assigned to each team member, task deadlines, and any bottlenecks in your workflow. Each member of your remote team can also create their own to-do-list to stay on top of their tasks.

Final Thoughts:

There’s no doubt that the most important asset of your company are its employees, their dedication, hard work, and knowledge. As their manager, you must find effective ways to boost their productivity and keep them motivated. Moreover, ensuring they are healthy and not being overburdened is especially important considering the ongoing pandemic. You should consider taking actionable steps to ensure your team members are more satisfied and confident with their role in your firm.

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