The business world is becoming more agile than ever, and we can imagine a future where all teams will have at least one remote working component. Not only that but this new crop of workers, who will have increasing decision power due to demographic pressure, will not only start to demand it but expect it. Remote working does have its fair share of benefits, but time management and productivity remain a challenge for teams getting acquainted with it. Let’s take a look at a few simple time management and productivity hack for remote teams.
Choose a Good Agile Platform
The first thing you’ll need to do is get yourself a good agile management tool and methodology. One of the most popular for remote teams is Kanban.
Kanban was popularized by the Toyota company and uses a simple system of note cards to identify tasks and move them through a visual workflow. One of the biggest benefits of this approach is that it allows team members to pick up tasks whenever they want. The fact that the workflow can be seen by everyone makes managing much easier, increases accountability, and allows you to run advanced analysis on your processes.
If you’re interested in using a Kanban tool, we suggest you start looking at your options and choose a tool that is easy to use, allows for a high number of users, has an intuitive interface, and offers in-depth analytics tools.
Automate Your Workflows
The other thing you should do is find ways to automate tedious and time-wasting manual tasks. For instance, you could transfer your calendar information from Google to Excel using a tool like TimeTackle and transform your calendars into timesheets. You can then use those to check how you and your team’s time is being used. You’ll then be able to see how you can improve processes and where time is being wasted.
The first thing you should do is look at repetitive tasks or processes in your business, and see if they could be automated. In many cases, your employees will make the suggestion.
You then need to check the objectives for automation. Maybe you want to increase your ROI or accelerate time-to-market. Whatever it is, make sure that you and your team are clear on it.
Then, you have to train your team. You should also ask vendor support to test the solution for your workflows first. When everyone on your team is ready, it’s important to keep a close eye on the process. This means using tangible KPIs and reviewing ROI using reports and analytics, and comparing the difference with preexisting processes.
You have to make sure that you centralize your communications to no more than two tools if you want to make things easier. Slack is popular with remote teams for day to day conversations, and tools like Trello or Basecamp are great if you want to share files and documents.
Another thing that a lot of people overlook with remote teams is when it comes to showing appreciation. Showing appreciation for a job well done in a traditional setting is very easy and doesn’t really need any special acknowledgment, but you have to go the extra mile when it comes to remote workers.
You could use a global channel on Slack and congratulate them, or even use a tool like Bonus.ly to give them rewards. Boosting morale and engagement is a surefire way to increase productivity, and keep your employees loyal and motivated.
These few tips should be enough to make a significant difference in your team’s productivity and time management. Always try to find new ways to increase communication and transparency, and make sure that your team is 100% on board before introducing any tool or process change.