Having employees working from home can be a good thing for many workers and businesses. It costs less to manage an office when people are working from home and usually productivity is increased since less time is spent commuting. However, there are challenges and when the team is not managed well, remote working can prove to be a problem.
Productivity can take a hit when people are not able to effectively work together as a team. It’s up to the managers to make sure that they are getting the most out of the team and that workers are given the tools they need to complete their projects on time.
In this article, we will go over some of the things you need to do to manage your remote team.
Track Their Time
Since people are not at the office it is difficult to understand who is working on what, how long they have been working on it, and what they should actually be working on.
Using an employee time tracking app is the best way to keep things organized so they can make sure that they are being productive. One thing to remember is that this tool is not meant to be a sort of spy to make sure that people are actually working. It is a tool that gives you a big picture view of how the workflow is going and that no repetitive tasks are happening that drains productivity.
When using software, all employees can see what the other members of their team are working on. This enables them to efficiently collaborate so no time is wasted.
Even beyond the tracking of employee productivity, it also ensures that all projects are being billed correctly.
Not Too Many Meetings, But Frequent Reviews
That old saying of “This meeting could have been an email” still holds true when people are working from home. The problem is that since people are not in the same space it can be difficult to make sure things are actually happening as they should. So the temptation is to hold a meeting to see where everybody is on the project. Frequent meetings can slow employees down and put a crimp in overall productivity. If there is a specific issue that needs to be addressed then a meeting must be held, of course.
There should be frequent reviews to make sure that milestones are being hit and that everybody is at the right place. Instead of a meeting, set aside times for a check-in or review time. You can do this individually or with a team from a certain department.
Keep Communication Going
Part of those check-ins is good communication. Often, people start keeping to themselves and that can cause them to drift and then go off course. Make sure to have frequent communication. At the same time, it can get annoying if the messenger alert is buzzing all day long.
Make sure that you are available for them to talk to a manager when they need something, but keep your messages to them consolidated to certain times when possible. Presentations are also great for remote team communications. Free PowerPoint templates are a great tool for making creative and impactful remote presentations to enhance overall remote communication effectiveness with your team.
Make it sort of like an open door policy so they know that they can reach out to you anytime when they need help. You can return the favor by making sure to limit the conversation to a need-to-know basis. Like when a deadline is approaching or if there is a problem with a project.
Keep It Positive
Something that gets lost when communicating remotely is positivity. Often, messages are sent when something is needed. Some urgent matter or there is a delay in the project. This can have the effect that messages signal dread.
To keep spirits up along with productivity, make sure that feedback is given and that things are positive. When a project is done on time make sure to thank each person individually as well as to the team so they can feel a sense of accomplishment. This will keep them motivated and feeling like part of the time.
Would you stand over your employee’s shoulders and watch them work to make sure that no mistake was made if they were in the office? Then you shouldn’t do it while they are working remotely either. Micromanaging and not allowing people to make decisions and work their way will stifle productivity. It is very easy to micromanage when you are doing it electronically so find a way to allow people to have their space when working. If there are open lines of communication then micromanaging won’t be necessary anyway.