An optimal remote working setup can really improve the employee experience, whether staff are working full-time or only part of the time from home.

That's according to Nitro chief operating officer Gina O’Reilly in a piece for online magazine The Recruiter where she explains how to boost engagement and overall satisfaction across virtual teams.

"Companies have found it challenging to create and maintain productive work environments in the absence of once common workplace norms like face-to-face meetings and team events," she writes. "For some, the change has set the tone for long-term policy overhauls."

Organisations should face these dynamics head on, O'Reilly suggests, and tackle any issues in the employee experience -- some of which had emerged long before Covid-19, that can affect productivity.

"After a year of telecommuting, many still use stacked books as laptop stands and their kitchen tables as desks," she notes.

Meanwhile, research conducted at Nitro has found that nearly 40% of employees think more automated processes and workflows would make their jobs easier and ultimately improve their organisations.

"Companies that automate areas of their business not only become more efficient but also minimise some of the inherent overhead of repetitive daily tasks," O'Reilly says.

Organisations typically need to take a look at their key document workflows. The average knowledge worker prints 10,000 sheets of paper every year and spends four hours every week on paper-based processes, according to O'Reilly.

"Over time, that can take a major toll on both resources and the employee experience. No one wants to waste that much time pushing paper, chasing down signatures, and filling out forms," she says.

By automating these document workflows instead, employees can spend less time on administrative to-dos and more time on important initiatives, leading to a better overall employee experience.

In addition, organisations should pay attention to how they communicate with staff. Are the right communications, including meetings and regular townhalls, scheduled, and are employees fully aware of when and how they should attend? How easy is it for staff to interact with the company, especially from home?

"Many people value and appreciate in-person time for activities like team meetings, planning sessions, and social events," O'Reilly notes. "The lack of in-person communication has been challenging, and many employees feel disconnected or out of the loop."

Nitro offers multiple easy-to-use productivity applications aimed at digitising and automating workflows, including e-signature software, PDF editing software and streamlined onboarding offerings.

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