Be Effective When Working Remotely
Remote work is challenging. Having an office at home it may be difficult to get organized, having in mind all the distraction and responsibilities. But it’s not true that remote workers are less effective than employees working in the office. In fact, they can be more productive and achieve more.
Today’s world offers thousands of opportunities. And one of them is remote work. More and more people decide to start their own business and go fully remote as it is convenient, especially, if you have a family to take care of, travel a lot or health problems make it impossible for you to work in the office environment. This style of work is flexible and convenient for many people. Yet one of the common and wrong assumptions is that remote workers don’t perform as well as office workers.
You probably think that if you work in the office, you’re more engaged in your work than people working at home. You couldn’t be more wrong. Scott Edinger, in his article for the Harvard Business Review, writes that a study has shown that remote workers are more engaged in their work than office workers. Here are 4 reasons why:
- Remote workers don’t take for granted the possibility to communicate. They are aware of the fact that they can only do it via communication tools, so they use every chance they have to keep in contact with other team members.
- Greater need to connect. Remote workers know how hard it is to find time for connecting. That’s why they make more effort to keep connected.
- Remote teams use tools better – because they have to in order to keep communication and project alive.
- Remote teams are more focused – both on their work and team members. They want to make the best use of their time.
But if you’re leading a remote team, how to make sure they are, indeed, effective?
Monitoring Remote Work
When you sit in the office and your team is spread all over the country, or even the globe, how to measure their productivity? How can you actually know they’re using their work time properly? It’s challenging when you’re a leader, especially if your team is large.
Find out how to keep your employees engaged in their work, no matter where they are, with these handful tips from Forbes Agency Council.
Time Management Training
It’s the first step to make sure your team works effectively. However funny it may seem, learning how to manage time and tasks during the day, week, month, and year, can significantly improve organizational skills of your team.
It today’s world time management has become a discipline which is widely trained and taught by many people. You can choose to sign up for a course, training, read a book or watch a webinar to master your time management skills. If you do it with your team, you can not only enjoy it together but also apply it in your work.
Document and Control
It’s good to know how and when your team works, what on, and for how long. The best way to obtain all that information is to use time tracking software, such as TimeCamp. It can work also as a project management tool, which is especially convenient when you have to manage a remote team from one place
TimeCamp tracks all activities of your team and presents them in the form of reports. With the feature of screenshots, you can see what exactly your team has been working on. There’s also a feature of billable and non-billable hours, productive and non-productive activities, invoicing, reporting, and many others which your team can use.
When using time tracking software, you can apply time management techniques that you’ve learned during the time management course for even better results.
Remote work wouldn’t be possible if it wasn’t for technology – Internet, laptops, mobile phones, etc. But it’s also possible thanks to tools which were created thanks to technology. And you should implement them for a better work. There are plenty of them but the most common in remote working include to-do apps, task and project management software, communication and collaboration software, time management and time tracking software, etc.
You shouldn’t be afraid to ask your team questions and they shouldn’t be afraid to ask them to you. Both sides should be open to this type of communication. It helps you to learn about your team, and your team to learn about you.
It’s also a fantastic way to improve the workflow, communication, and collaboration.
The fact that you and your team work in different parts of the world and in different time zones don’t mean deadlines aren’t necessary. They are, even more than when working in the office.
Every activity should be planned and performed according to a schedule to avoid confusion and eliminate any risks endangering the project. One of the best ways to do so is to use task management tool, such as HeySpace – a combination of Slack and Trello. It will help you keep all information (and your team) in one place.
It’s a good idea to meet once a year with the entire team. Choose one city and plan a few-day meeting with your team. It will help you stay together, create friendship, and give a sense of belonging to a community. You will all learn about each other and share your thoughts and ideas on work. It’s also a practical way to summarize the past year of your work and plan goals for the next one.
Remote Work – Stay Together
Having a remote team doesn’t mean you only have to control their work. It can be a great experience for you and your employees or team members. Working remotely very often isolates employees from the rest of the world as they are locked in their cozy home offices with their eyes on the computer screen. Hence, staying connected not only helps to keep things organized but allows people to socialize and gain new friends.