The COVID-19 crisis has definitely changed the way companies operate nowadays, and business leaders are now facing new and cumbersome challenges in terms of team management, communication, and maintaining productivity and output. Given the fact that many business leaders have had to send their employees home and rapidly adapt to a remote work environment, it’s no surprise that companies are struggling to maintain operational efficiency, and some will, unfortunately, go under. If you want to survive this crisis and even thrive with remote work, you need to take a new approach to team management and workflow.
This doesn’t mean that you have to learn new skills and make any cumbersome changes, but it does mean that you should integrate some best practices and tech solutions to make communication, collaboration, and productivity more efficient and effective. With all of that in mind, let’s go over five great tips and tactics that will allow you to manage remote teams with ease.
Have an all-teams daily meeting
When you used to all work under the same roof, keeping an eye on your employees and monitoring the progress of all projects and tasks was way easier. You could just run from office to office and check up on everybody, and you could call a meeting on a moment’s notice. Sometimes, you wouldn’t even need to meet with your employees because the office was running like a well-oiled machine – but not anymore. Now that your team members are stuck at home, there’s all kinds of things that can go wrong and all kinds of information that can go by unnoticed.
To prevent people from slacking off or inadvertently missing an important email or task, you should schedule a daily meeting first thing in the morning when you log on to work. You can go around the digital conference room and check on all tasks and projects, assign new ones, and fix any issues that came up the previous day. If you have team members joining in on the call from across the globe, then be sure to pick a time that works for them as well.
Create a strong communication hierarchy
Seeing as how you’ll be working on your computer exclusively and communicating with your team members digitally all throughout the day, you have to have a strong communication hierarchy in place. This will ensure that everyone knows exactly whom to talk to and where every piece of information is supposed to go. If you don’t create a communication hierarchy, though, you as the leader of these teams can expect to have your inbox and chat bombarded with questions and information that simply don’t concern you.
Then you’ll have to forward those emails to the right person, which is a chore and a terrible way to run an efficient remote team, or start your day off right. Make sure to have a hierarchy in place where every team member knows whom to talk to and whom to report to daily, and you’ll have a much easier time maintaining productivity.
Improve and upgrade communication with VoIP
Of course, you can’t just create a great hierarchy and hope that your communication and collaboration problems will magically fix themselves – you also need to have the right communication tech at your disposal. Mainly, you need to have a good phone system in place, but because you’re working remotely, you need a cloud-based phone system like VoIP.
Voice over internet protocol allows you to communicate and collaborate with teams from anywhere in the world, and some of the best VoIP providers even offer advanced mobile features, conferencing tools, analytics, virtual assistants, collaboration tools, and more. That said, the feature you should look for first in your VoIP plan is low-cost phone calls for national and international phone communication. This will allow you to manage teams from anywhere in the world without breaking the proverbial bank.
Use a feature-rich project management tool
Another very important element of successful remote team management is having the right project management tool at your side. There are many features you should look for, but at the very least your project management tool should allow you to organize all of your work seamlessly, delegate and manage tasks, collaborate in real time, track important analytics, and monitor the performance of your teams remotely, of course. Most importantly, though, be sure to sign up for the free trial to see if the tool is right for you.
Set realistic goals
You’re not in the office anymore, you’re not in your well-optimized work environment, so you can’t expect to retain the same level of efficiency and productivity as before, which means that you need to revisit your current goals. Of course, if you see that everything is moving along nicely go ahead and shoot for the stars, but you will most likely need to set new SMART goals that are actually attainable when you’re trying to implement a remote work system. Over time, you and your teams will get better at it, so you will be able to set the bar higher, but for now, be sure to take it slow to avoid derailing your entire operation.
The COVID-19 crisis has forced many companies to embrace remote work, even if they weren’t ready for it. If you want to survive and reach new heights of success in these trying times, be sure to implement these tips into your remote work strategy – your employees and customers will thank you for it.
Guest post courtesy of Elaine Bennett