Being productive and creative when in remote work culture can be a tricky thing. It becomes even more critical to keep the creativity up when working in a remote work environment as long periods of working in isolation can hamper creativity.
The pandemic has forced us to work remotely more than we ever have before. While this has had a positive impact on productivity, there is reason to believe that some teams are struggling to keep their creative edge when remote working is involved.
Encouraging creative thinking is important for business leaders to get their teams to come up with new ideas. Often, this means just allowing them to have enough room to think about and come up with their innovations.
Enough times the right inspiration for a great idea comes from random discussions and unexpected quarters. When employees bounce ideas off of each other, the collaboration leads to creative ideas.
It should be your goal as a leader to find ways to nurture and inspire creativity in your remote teams. Here are ways on how you can do that.
Build trust and avoid micromanagement
It is important for your remote teams and remote employees to know that you have trust in their abilities and their judgment. One way of showing this is to allow them to work in a way that lets them be more creative, and not be constrained by protocols that you had when working from the office.
Constant looking over the shoulder, work tracking tools that send screenshots and/or track keystrokes, and productivity tracking software will indicate to your team that you care about time spent on the work more than on the quality of the work. They will then tend to adhere to the time requirements, which will take away their attention from the work at hand.
It will also show a lack of trust in them, as such actions show that you don’t believe they will get their work done unless such practices are implemented.
Make time for non-work related interactions
While many of us are comfortable working in a remote work environment, we sometimes do miss the water cooler conversations and talking to each other in real-time. That builds a sense of belonging and closeness with the people we work with. Remote work makes it a bit difficult to do that.
The way to beat that is to have casual catch-up calls where your remote teams can just talk about anything that is not work-related. It could be a team lunch or a happy hour, or a watch-along party where you can watch a movie together.
These activities help remote teams get to know their teams better and establish a good rapport with each other, which will reflect when they work with each other.
Empower your remote teams with responsibility
Feeling responsible goes a long way in coming up with creative solutions. When you entrust your remote teams with responsibility, an automatic sense of ownership is instilled in them. They will make decisions that are geared towards success, and make them seek innovative ways to solve any problem at hand.
It is a tried and tested management practice: when your employees are sufficiently challenged and made to feel responsible for the organization’s success, they will be more likely to come up with solutions that are more creative and innovative.
Encourage remote employees to work on new projects
Sometimes there are ideas which your teams and employees come up with that may not seem feasible or fit into the priority at the time. Instead of benching these ideas, it’s a good idea to let them work on these as a side project.
They can work in parallel on this new idea as well as do their regular daily tasks. This allows them a creative outlet to work on something completely different and breaks from the monotony of day-to-day work. It will help bring an extra dose of excitement and interest to their workday, and sometimes these ideas can pan out to be great ones that can see much success.
More than anything, it helps the creative juices flow. Even if the side project, does not end up working, it can lead to ideas that help in their daily work. It also helps them look at their work from different perspectives outside the typical protocols and practices.
As a leader, it is important to know when to get out of the way of your remote employees. Give them the freedom to get things done and you’ll see the impact it can have. Nothing suppresses innovation and creativity at the workspace more than managers and bosses who do not encourage it.
It is important to build a remote working environment that helps nurture creativity and motivation. This will lay the right foundation for the business to not only grow healthily but also thrive and achieve success.