Tips for creating a great remote workforce
The outsourcing culture is thriving in the current business environment, and even if you’re not outsourcing any projects or processes to external partners, you still might want to consider adopting a more flexible approach to employee management, and allow them to work from the comfort of their homes. After all, why should an employee have to commute to the office every day if they mostly do their work on the computer – it’s just a waste of precious time and resources, and it needlessly inflates your overhead costs.
Creating a remote workforce allows you to tap into a rich pool of national and even international talent, and it’s a great way to keep your team members motivated and happy, simply because they can enjoy a more laid-back work environment. That said, this doesn’t mean that you should leave your employees to their own devices, rather, you need to nee to optimize project management in order to maintain productivity and output. Here’s how you can achieve all that, and more.
Establish a clear hierarchy
When people move out of your office and into their home offices, things can get a little confusing at first, especially for new employees who are yet to go through the onboarding process and are unsure who their boss is, whom they report to, or whom they should communicate with on a daily basis about menial and repetitive tasks. If you don’t create a clear and straightforward hierarchy in your remote team, then you won’t be able to streamline their workflow or create a foundation of efficient and effective communication – which will be our next important point.
What’s more, a poorly-devised hierarchy will lead to confusion and will allow for a lot of information to slip through the cracks, never reaching the person it was intended to reach. This is why your remote employees should know exactly who their superiors and peer are, whom they should bother when things get complicated, and they should know that they shouldn’t bother you for every little thing that comes up.
Support timely and transparent communication
In order for a remote team to be as efficient, effective, and productive as possible, you need to create a simple yet effective communication strategy. One of the biggest roadblocks to project success is poor communication, which is especially true for remote teams, as you can’t directly manage and oversee your employees. Instead, you are relying on your team members to communicate all important project information with their colleagues and higher-ups in a timely manner, all the while preventing errors or misunderstandings as much as possible.
With that in mind, be sure to:
- Establish a clear strategy for email correspondence.
- Provide remote employees with communication tools like video, group chats, and direct messaging.
- Integrate a project management tool that will facilitate cross-department collaboration in real time.
- Establish strict communication guidelines that will eliminate guesswork and keep all relevant actors in the loop at all times.
Integrate comprehensive tools
Of course, the most important thing you need to do is to implement a project management tool that will allow your remote employees to work on various projects and tasks seamlessly. Now, keep in mind that tasks and projects are two very different things, which is why it’s important to understand the difference between task management vs project management so that you can choose the right tool for your company and your remote team.
Typically, it would be best to obtain a project management tool that already has all of the features that task management software offers, so that your employees can easily handle, optimize, and manage all tasks and entire projects without jeopardizing productivity, communication, or collaboration. It’s important that this tool allows you, the owner, to monitor performance and the progress of every task and project in real time.
Set objectives and a clear roadmap
To make any project a success, you have to create short, mid, and long-term goals, and then you have to use those goals to create individual tactics and objectives that your team is going to use to reach them. This is called a project roadmap, and it serves to give you a comprehensive overview of all active projects and their assigned teams. This way, you can easily manage both and steer them in the right direction, but more importantly, it will allow you to stay flexible enough to adjust at a moment’s notice.
Embrace feedback and adjust
Speaking of adjusting quickly, you have to be willing to accept employee feedback and adjust your approach to project management sooner rather than later. You might think that your strategy is air-tight, but in reality, your remote employees are the ones who have to execute it on a daily basis, and are thus able to spot all of those little drawbacks and problems that the higher management is simply not aware of. Be sure to ask for feedback regularly, and always look for ways to make project management for your remote employees more efficient and effective than yesterday.
Remote work is becoming increasingly popular nowadays, but that doesn’t mean that it doesn’t bring some unique challenges with it. Be sure to use these tips to optimize project management for your remote employees and thus create a more productive digital work environment for all.