As it would seem, coming to the office at 9 a.m. and leaving at 5 p.m. is a routine that’s quickly going out of fashion. This is the age of flexible working hours and telecommuting. The most likely reason for this trend being so widespread is because employees want to take greater control over their time and workload.
Although this might seem a bit self-centered from the perspective of employers, it’s not like they don’t get anything in return. In fact, employees who work remotely and get the much demanded flexible working hours are, generally speaking, more productive, more focused and overall more engaged and satisfied than the ones who don’t get the same flexibility.
However, remote work, unfortunately, comes with its own set of challenges. When the distance takes its toll, some pretty serious problems can arise. The three most notable ones are ineffective communication, lack of work monitoring, and messy organization. Luckily, there are some pretty easy solutions for all of these problems, which we’ll discuss in more detail in this article. The tools that can help you solve these issues, respectively, are communication apps, employee time tracking software, and project management systems.
So, let’s discuss why you should implement these tools and how they can help you better manage your remote workforce.
One of the most common problems faced by distributed teams is communication. They’re not in the office, so keeping your remote workers up to date isn’t as easy as relying on them to pick up every piece of information that gets exchanged in the office. So, you need fast and convenient channels of communication.
Instant messaging platforms like Slack are a must-have tool for any team, but remote ones are especially negatively affected without it. You need this type of software in order to be able to maintain constant communication and information sharing, but it also plays an important role in the company culture ̵
Another thing to consider is a video conferencing tool. This is handy when it comes to meetings, and the fact that most instant messaging platforms have video calls as an in-built functionality is really convenient.
Employee Time Tracking Software
Another problem that frequently comes up with remote workers is the fact that you can’t oversee their tasks that easily. This is where employee time tracking software like Workpuls can really help. It enables you to see which tasks and projects everyone is working on without having to bother your employees with endless questions that disrupt their workflow.
So, how does it work exactly? Well, you start by sending your telecommuters an email invite to install employee time tracking software on their computers, instruct them to indicate which task they’re working on in case your system doesn’t have the automatic time tracking feature, and then you’ll simply start receiving all the data on your dashboard.
By using employee time tracking software, you’ll always know what everyone is working on, how much time they’re taking, when they’re likely to finish, and much more. This will automate working hours compliance tracking, improve project overview and give you a better picture of remote workers’ performance.
Project Management System
A nice addition to employee time tracking software is a tool that enables you to organize your team’s workload and delegate tasks easily. The tool for this is project management software, such as Trello or Asana.
Using this type of software will help you better organize projects, break them into tasks and assign those tasks to specific employees. This way, all of your remote employees will know exactly what they need to work on, but also what everyone else is working on, which goes towards creating a smooth collaboration process which can otherwise be really hard to achieve with distributed teams.
Managing a remote team isn’t always easy, but the spreading of telecommuting is nevertheless becoming our reality. The three tools that we’ve discussed are going to help you get prepared for approaching this task in a more informed and better organized manner. The only thing left to do is use them frequently and use them right, and your remote teams will be set for maximum productivity and effectiveness.