The Role Goal Setting Plays in Remote Small Business Efficiency

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The Role Goal Setting Plays in Remote Small Business Efficiency

Sep 15, 2022

Goal setting is important in nearly every aspect of life. It can improve your physical and mental well-being, help you accomplish big and small tasks, and impact your personal development as well as your professional growth.

For remote small businesses, goal setting allows leaders to create a solid game plan for the company. It also boosts transparency between leaders and employees, offering accurate metrics to motivate the team and numbers or milestones to work toward.

Let’s take a closer look at the psychology of goal setting and how it can play an important role in the efficiency, productivity, and success of your remote small business.

The Science of Goal Setting

Setting goals is about more than simply creating a checklist. It’s a psychological tool that drives motivation and provides people with a greater purpose. It also provides a detailed guideline, which can be incredibly helpful for employees who might need assistance in staying productive each day. If they have a goal-oriented blueprint to look at, they’re more likely to get things done quickly and correctly.

From a psychological standpoint, it is believed that goals need to be achievable, believable, and commitment-oriented. Many companies use “SMART” goals to develop effective roadmaps for their employees and to ensure expectations are both attainable and won’t cause burnout. SMART goals stand for:

  • Specific
  • Measurable
  • Attainable
  • Realistic
  • Time-bound

The psychological benefit to goal setting is that it focuses on your brain’s reward center. When you think about something you want and work toward it, your brain automatically “rewards” your system with a dose of serotonin, helping to motivate you and make you feel happy. If you don’t reach your goal, your brain will give you a nudge to keep going. From a business standpoint, that’s a fantastic way to keep employees engaged, motivated, and happy.

The Efficiency Challenges of Remote Work

In many ways, remote work is designed to be more efficient. It cuts out some of the more detrimental aspects of in-person work, such as commuting, a lack of access to healthy food, and fake communities. Cutting out those things is great for employee mental and physical health and can help to boost productivity at home.

However, there are a few challenges for remote workers. It can be hard to stay productive in the comfort of your own home, especially when you’re surrounded by distractions. Remote workers can have a difficult time striking a healthy work-life balance, feeling as connected with the business as their in-person counterparts, communicating needs, and participating in collaborative efforts. While it isn’t always the case, it’s a risk of working from home.

It’s up to the leaders in every small business to provide remote teams with the tools and resources to overcome these potential challenges. That includes providing all of the technical equipment your workers will need, including computers, phones, and any other devices required to maintain productivity and stay connected with others. It also includes frequent checking in and encouraging a virtual work environment that focuses on collaboration with software that allows everyone to stay on the same page.

Setting goals for your brand, at large, and your individual workers can help everyone to make the most of those resources.

How Goals Support More Efficient Remote Workspaces

There are steps you can take to combat some of the efficiency challenges, aside from equipping your remote employees with the right equipment.

First, encourage your remote employees to set personal and professional goals on their own. When you make goal training a part of your onboarding process or transitioning process for remote teams, you’re more likely to inspire productivity. You can also help your remote teams set goals by:

  • Defining your expectations clearly
  • Focusing on personal development
  • Reviewing goals monthly

In addition to helping your remote workers establish goals, keep the lines of communication open. Whether it’s monthly, weekly, or daily, improving interdepartmental communication will not only hold everyone accountable but will motivate your employees by helping them feel appreciated and cared for. That can go a long way in boosting their personal expectations and working effectively and efficiently toward their goals.

Goals support more efficient remote workspaces by making your work-from-home employees feel more connected to each other and to any in-office employees who might be working on similar projects. They promote focus, foster a positive work environment, and improve efficiency by boosting self-motivation.

Perhaps even more importantly, having clear goals and consistent communication can help to maintain the mental well-being of your team. It can encourage a healthy work-life balance by prioritizing specific tasks while fostering a sense of confidence and achievement, boosting the overall morale of your workers and reducing workplace stress — at home and in the office.

If goal setting isn’t currently a major part of your remote training, it’s time to prioritize it. You might be surprised by how quickly you start to see a shift in the productivity of your remote team.

Meet The Author:


Luke Smith

Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger.

The opinions expressed in our published works are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the National Association for the Self-Employed or its members.

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