Project Management in the Age of Remote Work

Project Management in the Age of Remote Work

When you’re a versed remote worker, you’re already familiar with all the ins and outs of boosting your efficiency on a daily basis, not to mention time management and smart task organization. For businesses hit by the recent outbreak and in need to quickly adapt to the new model of operations, the process is much, much more complex and challenging. If there’s one good thing that can come out of this new setup, it’s that you might actually master the art of remote work so well that you decide to keep it and benefit from it after this health crisis is long over.

Until that day comes, there’s a learning curve to the process. Remote work on its own is not the issue. The problems arise when you have multiple teams, people using subpar equipment, and those who are accustomed to certain ways of collaboration (that is, in person), so they might be slow to adjust at first. There are certain steps you can take to help all of your team members adapt more quickly and as a result boost the productiveness of your entire team.

Empower team bonding over chat

Emails might still be the main way to assign tasks and ensure that every single stakeholder is informed about the latest project changes, but emails lack that certain watercooler flair. Not a single living soul on your staff will comment on the latest memes and fun office gossip via email, and this is often the “meat” of your employee bonds, and something to help them cope with this negative situation.

Instead, you can use chat tools and separate chat groups for non-business topics that will help your employees blow off steam, but also stay connected to their team members. This is the essence of your company culture: the ability to talk about more than just work and feel that they share not just the brand’s values but also this entire experience we’re all in right now. Rest assured that your projects will flow much more easily when your employees can communicate freely

Use software for streamlined work

Some businesses still use their emails to send documents, set deadlines, exchange ideas, and the like. However, when you’re wondering how to improve your productivity on a more long-term basis and beyond the current crisis, the ideal solution is to combine powerful software tools with smart work methods. Give your teams an intuitive tool, and they’ll be able to set up a schedule in which they can work more effectively as individuals and teams.

That way, you can use a single platform where you can manage entire projects while your team members spend their time in highly-focused intervals of work with regular breaks to rest and restore their energy. Such an approach can help your entire organization spend more time on actual work and less time on figuring out new ways to communicate or checking their spam folders in case they missed an important update from the team lead. 

Use the cloud for real-time collaboration

Nothing can replace bouncing off ideas when you’re in a single room with your colleagues, talking about the latest projects and sharing creative suggestions to resolve a design issue. However, the next best thing that will mimic the real-time conversation of brainstorming can be your cloud platform, where you store all of your essential company data and files.

Your employees should work on projects in their own time, but also be allowed and enabled to collaborate in real time, while chatting through built-in tools and leaving comments on the same documents. This provides a safe space for creative exchanges and allows your teams to continue the same levels of collaboration as before. 

Don’t forget encouragement and reviews

Now that you don’t have the chance for one-on-one meetings at the office, so much depends on how you use your relationships with your employees while they’re working remotely. They are experiencing a set of unique hurdles and setbacks, be it in the form of various distractions such as kids and pets, or maybe they have a hard time keeping their private social media platforms muted during work hours. For some, that’s an issue even while they’re at the office.

So, to make sure the connection spans across the digital realm and helps your employees build the right mindset, you can schedule brief weekly reviews via Skype or similar video conferencing platforms. This is a great opportunity to point out opportunities to improve their work habits, and an excellent chance to praise them for their dedication and keep their spirits up. 

 

Company culture, business growth, and team-building are all possible to maintain during this crisis, when you know how to implement remote work tools and empower your employees to make the most of their time online. Of course, occasional hiccups are a normal occurrence even for office-based collaboration, so make sure that you give your teams time and tools to adapt, and your business will persevere.

 

Posted by Nate Vickery

Nate Vickery

Nate Vickery is a business consultant focused mostly on SMB marketing and management. Nate is the editor-in-chief at one business blog - Bizzmarkblog.com. You can follow Nate @NateMVickery

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