The majority of employees say that they work more efficiently and are more productive when they work from home. However, businesses should still prioritize keeping their teams together and focused on the same objectives. With an influx of employees working remotely in 2020, businesses have turned to virtual coworking to hold them accountable and improve productivity.
What Is Virtual Coworking?
Essentially, virtual coworking is an online gathering of employees or professionals who work together. Several platforms allow for large groups to connect on video calls, including Basecamp, Slack and Zoom. Rather than chatting about their lives, the employees work and complete tasks together.
The purpose of virtual coworking is to increase productivity and hold employees accountable for their tasks. The premise comes from the same subliminal boost that working in an office provides: Since the employees can see each other, it’s harder for them to shop online or make personal phone calls when they should be working.
It’s a simple solution to the downsides of working from home, such as the loss of motivation and workplace camaraderie. Some remote workers also suffer from burnout, depression and isolation. Additionally, virtual coworking could strengthen bonds between co-workers.
How to Increase Productivity Through Virtual Coworking
Although the main goal of virtual coworking is for employees to get work done, businesses can tailor their experiences according to their needs. Here are a few ideas for how to use virtual coworking to increase workplace productivity.
Establish Standard Sessions
While working remotely, it’s important for employees to coordinate tasks and communication. Businesses can ensure that they work together by establishing set sessions of 45 to 60 minutes. Since everyone is in the group channel or video call, they can stay organized and focused.
Plan Group Breaks
When people work for too long in one stretch, they start to lose momentum and focus. Businesses can avoid that by scheduling 15-minute breaks and 30- to 60-minute lunches. As if they were in a break room together, employees can stay in the group call to chat about nonwork-related topics. This allows them to build relationships and relax, and breaks work well as a reward after a focused work session.
Host Virtual Expert Seminars
Many businesses plan for their employees to attend large conferences, seminars and workshops throughout the year. However, this isn’t a realistic option in 2020. Instead, they can bring experts or industry leaders to their virtual coworking spaces to give seminars. The topics can range from tutorials for new products to new trends in the industry. It’s a great way to break up the mundane and give employees a boost of motivation.
Have a Virtual Business Retreat
Similar to work conferences and seminars, businesses plan occasional retreats for their employees. The purpose is for employees to build relationships so that they work together better. For remote workers, businesses can use virtual coworking to plan digital retreats. During these sessions, the employees can share their aspirations, skills and other updates regarding the workplace.
Since working at home can make some employees feel isolated, being able to see co-workers in a virtual space can ease those feelings. At the same time, working together to generate ideas and share skills increases workplace productivity.
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