With the new reality that has shaped the world, more organizations have been forced to move their workers into the remote model. Managing a remote team can, however, be a demanding task.
While there are great advantages to working remotely, the work model is not without its tradeoffs. The greatest of which is the threat to productivity. It might not be easy to maintain a standard level of productivity with a remote team and ensure proper supervision unless you have a few tips on how to go about it.
Are workers more productive while working remotely?
Despite the location constraint, it is not impossible to keep a productive team and even improve your team’s output when working remotely. If managed properly, working from comfort zones might result in better efficiency than in a stringent environment like the office.
Time limitations that are typical of an office environment are often absent when you work remotely. Though when not checked, the flexible schedule that comes with remote work can be abused by many, leading to decreased productivity. It is why checks and balances are important for every team working remotely.
With these four tips, you can ensure proper time management of your remote workers and, in turn, have a productive output at the end of the day.
Ensure constant communication with your team
The power of communication should be harnessed when managing a remote team. You want to make sure that there is a constant flow of information within your team per time to keep up with their work progress.
Every workday should start with a brief meeting, commonly known as the daily huddle to ensure that all team members understand the target for each day. The team manager can shortly mention the main tasks assigned for the day and the others are free to make questions if anything is unclear. This way, you can get feedback on how the job is going and discuss ways to improve work instead of waiting to until a project is overdue.
Distance should not stop communication, especially during this current century. People tend to be more conscious of work while under supervision. You can make proper supervision happen, though not under the same roof, by ensuring constant communication. This is possible by using proper tools for improved communication, such as Slack for internal messaging as well as CRM and Project Management apps like Daylite for so team members can collaborate and share information with one another in a quick and easy way.
Use to-do lists
To-do lists keep each worker responsible and accountable. When people are left to work freely without a target, there is the tendency that most people might not make the most use of their time.
Having a to-do list gives you as a manager a means to measure the productivity of your team. Every worker in your team can turn in their accomplishments for the day, which should tick all items on their to-do list.
Having the to-do list is a way to ensure appropriate time management that suits each worker based on their personal preferences, delivering efficiency and productivity simultaneously. A good way to manage this is by using project management tools that give the opportunity to share tasks in a transparent manner as a way of keeping track with all your team members and their task completion. This will save a lot of time as many unnecessary meetings can be avoided.
Foster healthy competition
Healthy competition has been known to increase the productivity of workers. It is a way to motivate your team to work better since most competition comes with a reward.
In a strict sense, it might not be easy to follow up on what each person is doing per time when managing a remote team, and one way to evaluate adequate time management will be by measuring work output per time.
If you make this metric system a basis for competition among your team, you are most likely to have increased productivity where each worker wants to deliver the most work done in the shortest possible time.
However, you should also emphasize work quality in the competition features, so you do not just have maximum work done, but also quality work is done. True measurement of performance is by focusing on results or key objectives being completed as a way of shifting to a results-oriented business for measuring performance instead of the time employees are working.
Employ effective processes
The processes involved in carrying out work will most likely affect how long it takes to get the work done and perfect the work output.
While working remotely, you may not have access to several office resources that would make the job easier. To overcome this barrier, you can use helpful tools, such as Confluence, for collaborating on documents and plans as a way of achieving productive and effective communication.
Other relevant tools like project management tools can be employed to improve work processes. You could have tools with which you can compress and archive files, making the delivery of work a lot easier and cheaper since submission of work will be done digitally.
When you have bulky paper works and documents to transfer among team members, converting files from word to pdf is an effective way to ensure that appropriate work is done per day. This way, you can compress your files for easier transfer and storage without sacrificing the integrity of their contents.
To ensure processes are running smooth, take the time to ask your team what their bottlenecks are. If you give your team space to raise their concerns and areas that cause slow-downs, you can identify areas to streamline processes and improve efficiency.
Moving away from traditional workplaces to working remotely was quite a challenging transition. Employers had to adjust to a completely new experience and find new ways to get their work done. While there might be other personal tactics you may have to develop your team, depending on its structure, employing these four productivity hacks will surely make a difference in your team’s output.
About the author:
Oscar Whinphrey is a marketing specialist with a focus on startups with 6 years of experience. Right now, he is focused on sharing his expertise with a wider audience through his writing.