How To Maintain Business Productivity With A Distributed Workforce

How To Maintain Business Productivity With A Distributed Workforce

Daniel Hall 01/11/2021
How To Maintain Business Productivity With A Distributed Workforce

In this day and age, modern businesses have the freedom to build and manage their workforce.

It's now possible to have an entirely distributed workforce where employees are working from various locations. It's also possible to have a mixed workforce, with some individuals reporting to the central office and others working from home due to the pandemic. A company can come up with the ideal team depending on its needs and circumstances.

There are several benefits to a distributed workforce. It can be an effective way to keep business costs down, work with highly skilled team members, and achieve better employee retention. A distributed workforce can quickly become one of your business' most important assets.

While having that kind of setup would allow you to attract talented team members and grow a successful business, it also comes with challenges. That’s why if you have a distributed workforce, it's essential to understand the common problems you may face, such as communication issues, security risks, culture differences, and lack of engagement. Business productivity may be negatively affected if such challenges aren’t appropriately addressed. The following are tips to maintain or improve business productivity when managing a distributed workforce:

1. Emphasize Effective Communication


A distributed workforce involves a systematic distribution of tasks to team members working in different locations and time zones. While your organization benefits from having team members across various locations, communication may suffer as well. Poor communication can result in missed opportunities, misunderstandings, and conflicts. Lack of communication fosters distrust and frustration.

To maintain efficiency and productivity in the workplace, the company should emphasize regular and open communication. Here’s how companies can promote active communication among the members of a distributed workforce:

  • Establish standards for internal and external communications.
  • Encourage open communication by creating a safe space for questions, opinions, and criticism.
  • Various modes of communication (phone, email, and the cloud) should be available with the help of a reliable managed IT services company in New York City or your company’s location to encourage interaction among departments.
  • Hold regular meetings for business-related and non-work-related issues.
  • Break down communication silos by keeping teams and departments engaged and informed of ongoing projects and future goals.

2. Set Clear Rules And Policies

Productivity can quickly dwindle when you have a distributed workforce compared to a co-located setup. Therefore, companies should create policies and regulations to ensure the best practices to either enhance or maintain productivity in a distributed work environment. Examples of policies and expectations are the following:

  • To ensure that all team members are efficient in what they do, companies should implement standard training policies.
  • Safety in the workplace has to do with preventing injuries and illness that impede productivity. Thus, companies should see to it that team members comply with all health and security policies.
  • Carry out a mandatory breaks and leaves policy to prevent burnout among team members, whether it’s in a centralized or distributed work environment.
  • A bring-your-own-device (BYOD) policy is something that many companies enforce to promote the use of one’s technology of choice, which ultimately aids in improving productivity.
  • A two-way communication policy encourages team members to voice out their concerns without any fear of judgment.
  • Every company has to implement strict rules and regulations against bullying, discrimination, and sexual harassment to create a safe working environment that promotes productivity and efficiency.

3. Empower Distributed Team Members With The Right Tools

It's essential to provide a distributed workforce with adequate business tools as those play a crucial role in improving the productivity of the organization. Companies must identify the tools and software that’ll make it easier for team members to achieve their goals. These are some of the applications and systems that every company with a distributed workforce should have:

  • Communication and collaboration tools like Slack and Microsoft Teams
  • File hosting or synchronization services such as Dropbox and Google Drive
  • Time tracking and performance management software like Forecast and Toggl
  • Project management apps like Asana, Basecamp, and Trello
  • Screen recorder for video messages such as Loom or Snagit
  • Video conferencing platforms such as Zoom, Skype, and GoToMeeting

Of course, it's not enough to provide productivity tools to distributed team members; you should also conduct proper orientation or training to ensure proper use. Productivity solutions empower your employees from anywhere in the world to work smart to attain a common goal.

4. Encourage And Promote Diversity And Inclusivity


A significant challenge brought about by a distributed workforce is the lack of engagement within the organization. This may lead to a high attrition rate, low morale, and poor productivity. The more team members feel that they're part of the organization, the better they'll perform. A company that encourages inclusivity and promotes diversity is more likely to have high-performing, happy team members.


While a distributed workforce may not be for everyone, those businesses that can make it work may be able to experience a great deal of success. The benefits of a distributed workforce are apparent, but the challenges it entails are also real. Several issues can impede the productivity and profitability of the company. Fortunately, there are strategies and policies you can put in place so that your business works effectively while allowing for flexibility among employees.

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

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