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What are the 4 ways to improve productivity with telework? Examples of successful companies!

In recent years, due to the spread of the new coronavirus infection, many companies have introduced telework.

Telework reduces the burden on employees by shortening travel time and can be expected to improve productivity, but on the other hand, some companies do not improve productivity.

Therefore, this time, we will explain why the introduction of telework does not improve productivity and four ways to improve productivity.

If you are worried about the introduction of telework or are troubled after the introduction, please refer to this article.

Table of contents

  • Telework adoption and productivity data
  • Why Telework Doesn’t Improve Productivity
  • How to improve productivity with telework
    • Schedule and manage tasks
    • Create an environment for smooth communication
    • Business report and morning assembly
    • use IT tools
  • Examples of companies that have improved productivity through telework
    • WORK SMILE LABO Co., Ltd. (specialized trading company)
    • Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Manufacturing)
  • summary

Telework adoption and productivity data

According to the Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications’ 2017 White Paper on Information and Communications, there was a difference in performance between companies that have introduced telework and those that have not.

Companies that have introduced telework have increased their performance over the past three years. In addition, the difference in ordinary income is more pronounced than in sales.

It is thought that the introduction of telework will lead to a cycle that leads to good performance by improving productivity.

Why Telework Doesn’t Improve Productivity

The introduction of telework has improved productivity in many companies.

However, in the “Survey on Productivity and Telecommuting in the COVID-19 Crisis” announced by Adobe, about 40% of people answered that “telework (working from home) has decreased productivity.”

In addition, the following three reasons are cited for the decline in productivity.

  • work environment is not good
  • hard to concentrate
  • Difficulty getting help from colleaguesHow to improve productivity with telework

Schedule and manage tasks

In the above survey, “difficulty concentrating” was cited as the reason why the introduction of telework did not improve productivity.

To overcome this, we encourage employees to:

  1. write down all your tasks
  2. Write down task deadlines and estimated time to complete them
  3. Set goals for each month, week, and day by counting backwards so that you can achieve them.
  4. Work backwards to create a schedule for the day so that you can achieve ③

By making a schedule, “what to do now” will be clarified, so concentration will increase and productivity will improve.

Create an environment for smooth communication

There is a point that it is difficult to get cooperation from colleagues because telework does not improve productivity, but it can be solved by creating an environment where communication can be done smoothly.

As a means of communication, there are many processes involved in sending an e-mail, and I think that many people feel that telephone calls are intimidating.

Therefore, we recommend introducing a business chat tool. Business chat tools allow you to communicate easily like LINE or Twitter, and there is also a function that allows you to respond with a single stamp.

However, it is important not only to introduce it, but also to create an atmosphere where employees can easily communicate. Don’t just actively express your opinions through chat tools, but also respond appropriately.

Business report and morning assembly

The reason why telework did not improve productivity was that it was difficult to concentrate and the work environment was not in place.

Therefore, it is important to create a work environment where employees can separate their private lives and concentrate on telework.

In order to create a work environment where employees can concentrate on telework, it is a good idea to create a system that allows you to regularly grasp the status of employees in real time.

Therefore, we recommend using a web conference tool to hold a morning meeting at the beginning of the day and a business report at the end of the day. Web conferencing tools allow you to exchange video and audio, as well as share documents.

use IT tools

The reason why telework does not improve productivity is that the work environment is not in place, which can be solved by using IT tools for telework.

Below, we will introduce IT tools to facilitate telework operations.

chat tool

A chat tool is a tool that allows you to communicate in real time using a PC or smartphone. With chat tools, you can communicate not only inside the company but also outside the company.

The feature of the chat tool is that it is not a formal exchange like e-mail, but can be exchanged casually as if it were a conversation. In addition to one-on-one communication, you can also communicate with multiple people using the group function.

Chat tools that can be easily exchanged can quickly share information, which increases work efficiency. However, you need to be careful because excessive communication will reduce your concentration.

Web conferencing tool

A web conferencing tool is a tool that allows you to communicate with a distant party through voice and video communication.

Many web conferencing tools come with the following features:

  • voice/video call
  • Screen/document sharing function
  • Chat function
  • Sound recording function

Among the web conferencing tools, there are various tools such as high-quality video and audio tools and tools that can be easily started without an account.

Check the functions installed in the web conferencing tool and introduce the tool that suits your company.

Effort/project management tools

Man-hours and project management tools are tools that manage man-hours by calculating the amount of work and the number of people in charge for each project.

There are five basic functions of the man-hour/project management tool.

  • Schedule management
  • task management
  • Create a progress management table
  • Information sharing function
  • Report function

Accurate man-hour management is directly linked to corporate profits. By managing the amount of work and personnel for each project, it becomes easier to discover and solve problems, which improves sales and profit margins.

By using man-hours and project management tools, not only can you visualize work styles and progress even in telework, but you can also increase your awareness of productivity improvement.

Examples of companies that have improved productivity through telework

WORK SMILE LABO Co., Ltd. (specialized trading company)

WORK SMILE LABO Co., Ltd. has been promoting the introduction of telework since 2016.

The three specific initiatives are as follows.

  • Providing personal computers to all employees and building a system that allows them to work outside the office
  • All employees will be allowed to go straight home and work from home, and it will be possible to manage their arrival and departure with a smartphone.
  • The amount of telework utilization is linked to the evaluation, and the productivity per hour is reflected in the bonus

As a result of the above efforts, overtime hours decreased by 40%, sales increased by 5%, and productivity increased by 8% in 2016-2017.

Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. (Manufacturing)

In January 2014, Nissan Motor Co., Ltd. set the maximum number of days (40 hours) per month for telecommuting for all non-manufacturing employees.

When working from home, we require the following processes:

  • Attend e-learning in advance for using the telecommuting system
  • Submit a work plan for working from home by the day before and obtain approval from your superior.
  • Sharing the contents of the business plan within the workplace
  • On the day, report the start and end of work to the boss
  • Launch Microsoft’s Communicator to notify colleagues of your presence

The introduction of telecommuting has had the following effects.

  • By separating work that requires coming to the office and work that can be done from home according to the PDCA cycle of the week’s work, the work of the entire team has been visualized and made more efficient.
  • Working from home all day reduced commuting time and enabled employees to achieve work-life balance.

summary

This time, I explained why telework does not improve productivity and how to improve productivity.

If you are worried about introducing telework or are worried about it after the introduction, please refer to this article to improve your productivity.

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