In recent times, it has become very important to create a workplace that promotes engaged, productive teams. These teams are also learning how to work remotely and are faced with unique challenges while trying to set up a remote environment.
The remote team management is the need of the hour in the healthcare industry for carrying out tasks like scheduling patient appointments, patient assessments, preparing medical reports, carrying out medical research which needs proper work arrangements, and planning. This can be carried with the help of cloud computing and digital communication tools.
This remote management of tasks has helped both the organizations as well as employees ensuring high productivity combined with time and cost savings.
Research conducted by Gallup states that remote workers are more engaged than an onsite employee they can be up to two times more likely to work more than 40 hours per week, and 20% more productive.
(Anon., January 24, 2020)
Let’s explore the 4 effective methods to manage our remote project team members with regards to any industry:
As in the physical work, environment employees take short breaks and these small talks often improve the productivity of the team members. So it is important to create spaces for team bonding even while working remotely. You can use tools like Skype, Microsoft Teamviewer, Slack, Zoom, Google Hangouts for casual interactions. This helps the employees to catch up on each other and relax with some casual interactions.
These interactions can be more relaxed and transparent if they follow a no-manager rule. As we all know that most of the employees don’t speak freely and express any concerns if there is a managerial person present.
Project Management Tools
It is important to use online tools that make remote project management a lot simpler to handle. This helps to eliminate the blame game and makes every member take ownership of the tasks and projects assigned to them for that particular week or month. This helps both the manager as well the team member areas when we need to complete the project deliverables thus boosting the overall productivity.
To help in managing the projects effectively we have many amazing and easy-to-use project management tools like Asana, Basecamp, Trello, Jira, Wrike, etc. These tools have been used by many organizations for managing the projects and tasks, to set up weekly tasks, receive notifications as and when the tasks are completed. For example in basecamp, there is a feature called Campfire which helps the employees to chat and discuss over a task, these chats are saved and can be used for future reference.
We can also make use of popular document sharing tools like Google Docs which is the best feature helping, remote teams, to edit and save the changes in real-time. They can also use other effective document sharing tools like Dropbox, Box, Zoho Docs, Confluence, and Quip. (Stone, June 25, 2020)
The remote team can also collaborate with chat tools to ease the process of communication. For example, emails can be used for deeper communication, video chats can be used for interviews, live training sessions, or problem-solving of a critical subject. Voice over IP(VoIP) can be used to explain in a short span unlike via an email or messenger
Short Virtual Meetings
The modern way of handling projects is to conduct the meetings as and when the need arises, thus also save time over unproductive and long meetings that are the major road bumps for successful project delivery. Muse reports that businesses waste over $37 billion annually on unproductive meetings. (Editor, 2020)
So the things to keep in mind while holding a successful remote meeting:
- A leader who hosts the meetings and helps with cross-talk as remote meetings have many people involved.
- A clear agenda for what the meeting is conducted for.
- A strict time limit to stay focussed and also punctual for the meetings.
Quarterly performance reviews
Working remotely might not be easy for all and some may feel lost or isolated so to get them back on track or to reality, it is important to give them proper reviews. The quarterly performance reviews are important for remote teams as it helps them know their productivity vs the management expectations. This makes the review more vital as it is directly proportional to quality and project success. These review meetings should help the team to grow and boost its performance.
This should be a meeting that also discusses a particular team member who needs support and the ways to help them out either through training or one-on-one discussions. Review meetings must be done to make an employee know where he stands and help him/her to achieve the goals. Also, if an employee performs well he/she must be acknowledged and rewarded for their performance.
So these are some of the important pointers to use when working remotely. If followed in the right way can help the team to remain focussed and contribute to a successful project outcome.
- January 24, 2020. ADAM HICKMAN, PH.D., AND JENNIFER ROBISON. [Online]Available at https://www.gallup.com/workplace/283985/working-remotely-effective-gallup-research-says-yes.aspx
- Editor, M., 2020. Muse Reporter. [Online] Available at https://www.themuse.com/advice/how-much-time-do-we-spend-in-meetings-hint-its-scary
- Stone, K., June 25, 2020. Document collaboration tools. [Online] Available at https://getvoip.com/blog/2020/06/25/document-collaboration-tools/