Managing a remote team can be challenging as you seek to ensure that the team members remain focused on the organization's vision and mission even as they telecommute. Amid the pandemic, many employees have been forced to work from their homes and managers managing the employees as they telecommute. Here are a few tips to help ensure effectiveness as you manage telecommuting workers.
Establish a clear communication plan
One of the best avenues of ensuring that managing remote workers remains effective is setting up effective communication within the team. You will need to determine the best mode of communication based on the resources at the organization's disposal and the employees working from their homes. Once the method is identified, ensuring that all employees are comfortable with the selected method will be critical. Schedules for when regular communication will be made can then be established and communicated to all employees. This can be based on the needs of the team as well as the objectives teams seek to achieve.
Determine the work the employees can carry out remotely.
Due to the changing environment of working, there could be some tasks that your team members may not be able to accomplish. Reviewing the job descriptions of employees to ensure that they are assigned tasks they can carry out remotely, based on the equipment and resources allocated to them, is key. It's also wise to prioritize the essential and high-impact tasks.
Put in place the right monitoring mechanisms.
While you need to ensure that your employees remain productive even as they telecommute, micromanaging them could give you the opposite effect. Establish clear goals that need to be achieved with every task assigned and identify timelines when progress for the tasks need to be shared. Establishing effective tracking methods that work for the employees could also be helpful to ensure that employees are keeping time. For instance, you could use online collaborative spaces where employees post the work done for reviews and comments within agreed timelines. Then, make yourself available, but trust that your employees will get the job done!
When working from home, the boundaries between what is professional and what is personal can get blurry. As a result, productivity at home could be adversely affected. It's important to create an environment at home that enables you to be productive through streamlining your schedules and enhancing the boundaries between professional and personal lives.
Set aside an arranged workspace
Productive telecommuting workers have a dedicated workspace or office at their homes. These spaces are well arranged and devoid of any clutter. This arrangement aids the workers to remain focused on the tasks they are working on.
Have a routine and follow it
Creating a daily routine will help get to work in the right mindset and enhance your productivity. Your daily routine should include the time you get out of bed, when you get to work, and the time when you stop working. When creating the routine, it is important to consider the tasks that you have been allocated, the meetings that you will be required to be part as well as other issues related to the workplace.
Adopt regular communication
While working at home, it is essential to ensure that your team members are always updated with the progress you are making with your work. Making consultations where necessary when handling various tasks Working collaboratively with other team members and contributing to the team's success through the various online collaborative platforms.
Plan for household chores
While working at home, it is important to ensure that your responsibilities at the households are well-taken care of. Communicate your expectations when working at home from your family members. Make it clear the boundaries you have in place between working and handling home chores. Taking breaks to be with the family could also be really helpful- make time to spend with the ones you love!
Whether you are a team leader, or entrepreneur, or manager, one things is for sure- you are under the constant pressure of deadlines. However, there's one key step you can always take to make sure that everything on you plate is handled- delegating. Want to know how? Here's our top 5 tips on how to delegate:
1. Learn to let it go
As a manager, one of the hardest transitions to make is being responsible for just your own work to being responsible for the work of others. Often, we want to do things ourselves in order to avoid having to train others or out of fear that they won't do it correctly. However, as a manager, it;s essential that you learn to let it go and trust your team.
2. Establish a priority system
One great way to determine what to delegate is developing a priority system. This can vary based on expertise, your organization, and the type of task involved, but the general principle remains the same. Keep the highest skilled task on your plate, while those with lower skill requirements can be assigned to others. Delegating with this method can save tons of your time and effort, while not having to waste time training staff members on complicated processes.
3. Know your employee's strengths
When you know what each of your employees are excellent at, you can use this knowledge to optimize the quality of work you receive back on your delegated tasks. Is Carol a great writer? Have her tackle that press release for you! Jane is an excel junkie? Let her create the charts you need for a presentation.
4. Always include instructions
Even if the task seems to be simple, make sure that you include instruction with everything you delegate. Be sure to set a firm deadline as well so that the task doesn't get put on the back burner. Include straightforward instructions with a clear due date will help in avoiding the communication gap, and you can get your task done in the way you want. It's a proactive strategy that both you and your employees will appreciate.
5. Trust, but verify
Once you have delegated the task to your employee, let them take it from there. You delegated to get this item off your plate and no one likes a micromanager. However, make sure you let the employee know that you're free to answer questions and offer support as needed. Then, verify the completed work is up to standard when completed and provide any feedback you have so that the employee knows for the future.
Delegating is not an easy task, but it can be an incredible time-saver for any busy manager. Be sure to follow these tips as you improve your delegating process and it's sure to be a load off your plate in the future!
We've all been there. You're stuck in a never-ending meeting that could have been a quick email. Yet here you are, wasting valuable minutes, itching to get back to your desk and tackle he 50 other things on your plate for today. So why do meetings suck so much? The simple answer is most managers don't know how to run them. Here's my advice on how to make your meetings pain-free and run smoothly.
1. Could This Be an Email?
Before you schedule a meeting, ask yourself if it's truly necessary. Could this be a quick email or phone call instead? When you bring everyone into a room, inevitably it is less efficient than if they are in their own space with their resources to answer questions. Make sure a meeting is truly necessary before you schedule it.
2. Send the Agenda Early
Your meeting will be far more productive if key team members can gather the material they need ahead of time. For others, like most of us introvert, we need time to think before answering questions or solving problems. Send out a detailed agenda ahead of time with exactly what will be discussed and notes on any preparation attendees need to come prepared with.
3. Set a Timer
There's nothing that can make a meeting drag on more than a lack of urgency. Set a time limit, ideally on the agenda. This will encourage concise communication and ensure you don't end up talking in circles around the same issue. Designate a timekeeper for the meeting to make sure you stay on track. I always present this as me trying to respect everyone's time, not cut them off, and it tends to go over well!
We all know meetings can sometimes be a train wreck. But by following these three easy tips, yo can ensure those you lead run smoothly and are efficient use of time!
With the current COVID-19 crisis, many employees are unexpectedly working from home. This can be a really tough transition! With no need to drag yourself into the office and no coworkers peering over your shoulder, it can be tempting to let productivity slide and abandon your normal routine. However, as a kick-ass career woman, you must forge on! Here's my top three tips for working from home:
1. Create a Schedule
When working from home, you need to create some structure for your workday. Sit down and write out a schedule for yourself. Block out a start time, a lunch hour, and an end time. Don't be tempted to let your work creep into the rest of your life and work constantly. On the opposite side, make sure you're putting in the hours you need to to get your job done well.
2. Brush Your Hair
It can be tempting to wear your pajamas all day and skip your normal morning routine. However, you'll feel more productive when you make them time to pull yourself together. Take a shower, brush your hair, and pull some clothes on. I won't judge you if every now and then that just means a clean pair of pajamas, but make sure you're in a routine to start your workday. Pull that hair up into a bun, brush your teeth, and get to work!
3. Create a Work Space
One of the easiest ways to get distracted is by not having a dedicated work space. Ideally this would be a desk in a low-traffic area, but it could be an end of your dining room table, a folding table in your bedroom- wherever you have space. This will also help you mentally leave work at the end of the day. By separating your work space from your home space, you can maintain your focus, then disconnect at the end of the day.
As always, I'm here to support you during this time of transition! Feel free to comment or drop us an email and I'd be more than happy to offer my advice and support during this uncertain time!
Sometimes, the hardest part about work is just getting started. Need some help? Read our guest post on Work It On for advice on how to get motivated and stay productive!
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