Time Management Best Practices for Remote Teams



Remote teams are slowly becoming the new standard due to the fact that many employees choose to work without geographic constraints, while companies start looking for fresh talent beyond their immediate environment.

Freelance stage Upwork has published a Future Workforce Report that concludes that as younger folks (Millennials and Gen Z) are shifting to managerial functions they expect that the future of function goes more toward remote.

As a matter of fact, 69 percent of managers interviewed in that report have stated that they would allow the members of the teams to work remotely. The biggest driver for this type of shift is their understanding that hiring is getting tougher. This is due to challenges and lack of expert talent in the standard hiring procedure.

There are some interesting stats regarding remote work that explain why so many companies today opt for remote teams in this post from Remote.co, however I shall mention Only a few of these here:

Remote work can increase employee productivity.
Remote teams reduce property and overhead costs.
Remote work often contributes to higher employee participation.
Remote work favorably impacts the environment.

But, at precisely the exact identical time, there are challenges when it comes to employing remote teams. Those challenges largely manifest themselves in the dearth of decent tools, internal policies, and also proper remote team structure. If you wish to establish a remote team that’s effective in time management, you will require three to ensure the team works optimally.

Let’s move on to your thoughts and proven practices which can allow you to master time management to remote teams.

Set project goals and determine deadlines ahead

Preparing timetables, important documentation and software tools before the job begins saves time for those unavoidable tasks in the future. Managers tasked with major remote teams should plan jobs ahead of time. While that does sound pretty obvious, many managers avoid going and leap directly on to execution.

Some managers see planning ahead as a waste of time, but on the contrary, the objective of creating a project plan would be to collaborate and communicate with your staff. Which in return enables the staff to work through most of the possible issues early on in the job.

Define project requirements

When you’ve selected and hired your remote workers, discuss the job information and let them know what is expected from the team as a whole and from every individual employee. Remote employees who have a very clear image of what has to be achieved and what is expected of them are able to better plan their time.

We’ll live on this in greater detail in a little, but the gist of this is that clear job requirements and goals result in price reductions and earn communication between the team more effective.

Define project expectations

Project expectations are characterized by direction and also C-suite executives. When these expectations have been created that they should be conveyed with employees working on these jobs.

In addition, keep in mind that managers must convey any subsequent modifications to those expectations which occur down the road. This sort of open communication with remote teams helps in the reduction of time that’s wasted because it lowers the number of errors that derive from miscommunication and misunderstanding.

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Define project deadlines

When it comes to specifying deadlines along with your remote team, share project goals and targets . Breaking endeavor into balls and defining landmarks for these balls can save time on job monitoring. Every landmark should be followed by a report.

Reports are extremely important when it comes to managing remote teams and ensuring everything is delivered on time. A very clear reporting structure enables remote employees to always know who they are taking orders from and to whom are they reporting to, so that there isn’t some dual function occurring.

Devoting a specific time of this day daily, weekly, and monthly reporting to make sure everything is operating smoothly and in line with the deadlines set.

Define project goals

When setting project objectives, a real time-saver is a method named SMART goals technique. Managers must be guided using its acronym to Select targets for their remote team which might be:

Particular — Specify exactly what you want to achieve, in addition to why attaining this goal will aid your company do better. The more you explain the motives behind a specific purpose in detail, the greater chance your staff must successfully handle it in a timely way.

Measurable — The second important issue is to make sure that the goals you’ve selected are can be readily quantified. Divide your goals into quantifiable elements and specify evidence that concludes that your goals are met. This is likely to make the goal better and easier to achieve.

Agreed upon — Is the goal acceptable to everyone in your business and particularly the staff you are managing? When you put in the equation exactly the time and effort required for attaining this goal, does it pay off? Is the aim in question too difficult to reach? There is nothing wrong with shooting for the stars, only make sure you don’t burden your team with unreachable goals.

Connected — The most important question is to explain yourself and the staff why would you like to attain this objective? What is the objective for this aim and will the completion of the goal help reach that objective?

As an example, you may believe hiring more salespeople may create the sales staff perform much better. But, will it really? It is contingent on many levels.

Time-based — When you got each of the aforementioned questions answered, then make sure you create a fixed deadline for the targets you’ve selected. Deadlines are exactly what makes people change their mindset into actions. Don’t be overly strict with the deadlines, however. Make them realistic and flexible so your team’s morale will be kept high.

Streamline communication among staff members

As stated previously, effective communication between staff members conserves time. But, as staff communication stations become virtual, they become more complex and hard. Based on research commissioned by Tata Consultancy Services, “roughly 90% of their time in a job is spent on communication by the job supervisor. ” At precisely the exact identical time, 30% of project failures are a result of inadequate communication.

From this information, we can safely state that great, scratch that, GREAT communication is one of the most significant facets of leading a nicely managed remote team.

And who’d have thought that raising the number of stations used in professional communication would have a negative influence on transparency and productivity? However, it actually does.

A remote team today uses multiple stations for work communication. And the chief problem is that there is often a lack of rules when determining on what events should every one of these channels be used. Managers should specify various stations a remote team can utilize and set clear rules for them.

For example, use:

Instant messaging programs for pressing requests and instantaneous updates,
Email for important company messages and memos,
Project management applications for comments, questions, and information related to specific tasks,
Social networking including casual and non-work-related talk.

To Be Sure You have created a setting for obvious communication also aim to:

Encourage questions between members.
Make sure you have everything in writing and documented for accountability.

Great communication isn’t a restricted thing. You need to continuously adapt and enhance communication channels and criteria for preserving optimal results.

Generally, there are four Chief practices that a remote team should use for effective communication:

Real-time communication — Real-time communication solves the problem of waiting for daily meetings or video calls for clarifications and difficulties. Tools for real-time communication offer teams brief one-on-one or group discussions. What’s fantastic about these programs is that they often have integrations with other tools remote team might need, like calendars or job management program.
Face-to-face communication — According to Agile Manifesto, face-to-face communication is considered to be the best and most efficient type of producing a message in a development group. However, it’s even true for many other kinds of teams as well. Placing regular conference calls using Skype or Zoom offers an opportunity for managers and remote employees to develop and collaborate by discussing details regarding jobs and jobs.
Frequent meetings — We shall pay for the value of regular meetings later in this post, but in summary, meetings keep everyone in the loop and allow the staff to quickly respond where a response is needed. Meetings also give managers and employees a opportunity to create tighter bonds and better collaboration.
Shared cloud storage — Having all documentation and significant files in 1 place is vital for managing time inside a remote team. Google Docs is a great free solution for handling project documentation, but if you want something more protected you can take a look at additional paid alternatives.

According to one MIT research and excuse in that this HBR article, Terrific teams have three facets of communication that affect teams performance:

Energy — both the number and nature of exchanges among members.
Engagement — the supply of energy among staff members.
Exploration — communication that members engage in outside their own team.

Aim to make atmosphere on your remote team that will have high levels of each of those measurements, and your staff will run like clockwork.

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Track time and tweak so

Time monitoring motivates a staff member to become productive as everyone can see everyone else’s participation in reports. There are many other reasons why companies should inquire remote employees to monitor time.

Some of them are:

Companies pay employees by the hour and also require the specifics for citizenship.
Companies got funding from the authorities and also have a contractual need to log hours.
Needing to be able to calculate job profitability based on the input-output ratio.

However, monitored hours information shouldn’t be used against employees as an excuse for penalizing or worthwhile. When that happens, there is a danger that monitoring hours is now their sole concern and they may practice it when they are not functioning, which will lead to endangering data precision and the most important purpose behind time monitoring.

Trust is very important between staff members and managers, and should you start using this information against your employees you might begin a quiet revolt.

If you wish to utilize a time monitoring tool in your organization, it’s best to decide on a solution that’s trust-based, such as Clockify for example. Where there aren’t any screenshots and other questionable worker monitoring procedures.

Manager’s goal ought to be to make a nice atmosphere in a remote team, and when that’s accomplished that the productivity levels may also increase.

Besides the crucial information it provides for coordinating and evaluating task and project effectiveness, time monitoring has other advantages too. Some of the benefits include:

Knowing that everyone is doing their share of job Maintaining motivation and Higher productivity
Organizing and assigning better
Tracking expenses
Avoiding bad habits such as multitasking and procrastination Keeping a list of overtime, PTO, holiday time, and sick leaves
Spotting bottlenecks in processes

Take advantage of time management Methods

Assessing a time control technique can actually increase productivity levels, for both individuals and organizations. There are countless time management methods on the market to attempt, however I’ll pay a few of these which are best suited to remote teams.

Kanban technique

Kanban is a visual time management strategy which helps a group to comprehend the progress of jobs and jobs. Kanban means “signpost” in Japanese and has been initially developed in Toyota to assist aid creation.

Kanban is quite simple to implement. You decide the number of stages on your job or task and make corresponding columns. As an example, these columns can be backlog, to-do, doing, done, such as in the picture below.

kanban technique

As you make progress with your tasks, you transfer the cards from column to column before the task is finished done. This visual split between different stages can inspire employees to become more productive as they feel satisfaction when moving cards before job completion.

Nowadays there are online programs that remote teams can utilize for Kanban method, such as Trello or VivifyScrum, merely to mention a few.

Timeboxing technique

Timeboxing, Time obstructing, as well as also the Pomodoro technique are variants of the exact identical principle. The concept here would be to work in so-called “timeboxes” and then split your time into fixed sessions.

When it concerns the Pomodoro technique by way of example, sessions are broken into 25-minute bursts of job, followed by 5 minutes of relaxation.

Timeboxing or Time obstructing is comparable, with this difference that time isn&; rsquo;t adjusted and you allocate time of your sessions as you want or in accordance with the job ’s needs.

Interesting fact: Elon Musk was that the one who made this time management procedure popular while he was the acting chairman of Tesla and SpaceX.

This ’s the example of a schedule made with Timboxing technique:

Timboxing technique
The Eisenhower method

This technique helps with task prioritization and therefore saves time by allowing a staff know which task needs to be performed immediately, which you need to be left for a later time, which ones should be delegated, and which ones should be removed entirely.

This technique was called after the former American president Eisenhower who was known for his productivity throughout his time in the Oval Office.

With the help of this Eisenhower Matrix, a supervisor can categorize your team’s tasks based on quadrants that are divided between urgent rather than pressing, and important and not important.

Eisenhower Matrix
Top Goal method

The Top Goal strategy helps with time management as it enables you to identify your main goal and dedicate time to get it daily until the objective is achieved.

As an example, you and your staff decide the very best goal for another period and dedicate two hours each day for working on this objective. This will aid the staff make great progress, as well as fast.

Hold Normal meetings and Supply timely comments

Virtual meetings are tremendously important for remote teams because they’re a quick way to get everyone on precisely the exact identical page. The tricky part is not to overdo it and hold overly frequent or too long meetings.

Look to avoid calling for meetings which are not crucial to the project’s achievement and you can help you save time and retain your employees from fatiguing.

Many teams practice each day stand-ups, and remote teams should have their own variant in the form of, allow ’therefore phone themdaily sit-ups. Choose a part of the day when everybody is available and immediately discuss what’s been finished prior and exactly what are the plans to the workday ahead.

If your remote team is spread out in multiple time zones where it’therefore are not suitable for all to be online at precisely the exact identical moment, tell all to send a brief video explanation of the workday instead.

Additionally, organize regular one-on-one meetings and provide responses for your remote employees. Go above their job and also make them for a job well done. Constructive feedback can help steer teams and individuals in the ideal direction and prevent possible issues that would have been overlooked and also caused more trouble farther down the road.

The perfect method to drive a remote team’s performance is by focusing on values, trust, and interdependency. By scheduling regular meetings and providing the correct and timely comments you’ll be able to achieve just that.

Final word

When leading a group that’s geographically and culturally dispersed, very good time management might be of central significance to a project’therefore achievement. Observing the suggestions and practices mentioned previously should reduce the time required for a remote team to successfully complete any given task and jobs.

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