Writing a time management action plan for remote teams
As we draw nearer to 2022, remote work conditions are slowly becoming the norm in many industries. IT, marketing, finance, and business industries have all found ways to shift to remote workflow in the wake of the global pandemic. According to Forbes, 74% of professionals in various industries expect remote work to become standard soon, with 97% of employees unwilling to return to traditional workspaces.
While remote work has its benefits, it can also be difficult to keep track of. Working with a remote team is challenging, not only due to the projects you work on but also because of everyone’s sense of belonging. People can feel isolated, anxious, and unappreciated when working remotely, and maintaining a healthy work/life balance becomes difficult.
Writing a time management action plan can remove some of those worries from your daily agenda. With an action plan in place, your team will always know what to do next and how to handle situations unique to remote workflow. Let’s talk about time management and how remote teams can benefit from systematic planning rather than working ad hoc and hoping for the best.
Perks of writing a time management action plan for remote teams
There are plenty of good reasons to write a time management plan for your remote team. As we’ve mentioned, the fact that your coworkers don’t occupy the same office space can be taxing on their well-being. People want to belong, and belonging is difficult over the web.
Creating a great workplace is entirely possible even if you shift toward remote work management. Satisfied employees will speak positively of your business culture and employee engagement standards and your brand will benefit from it. Here are some good perks to consider in regards to your action plan:
- Easier and more objective feedback sharing
- Sense of direction and meaningful work for everyone
- Fewer errors and miscommunications in workflow
- A higher feeling of engagement and agency for each remote employee
- Less time spent organizing and directing everyone and more time spent working
- Less friction and disagreement among remote team members
- Better quality of the final product and higher client satisfaction
Time management action plan writing tips
1. Weigh your remote team management platform options
The first item on your time management action plan agenda should be to find a suitable remote work platform. Trying to organize your remote team via instant messaging apps or email won’t end well. It’s far too easy to lose track of everyone’s performance and delegate work improperly through these channels. Instead, here are a few platforms you should explore for your action plan’s implementation:
- Jira / Confluence
In addition, using cloud storage platforms like Google Drive or Dropbox will help your team store project files online long-term. This will make it easier to send final documentation and project files to third-party clients without inviting them into your remote work platform.
2. Time tracking vs productivity tracking workflow
It’s important that you carefully consider whether you’ll organize your remote work based on strict work schedules or flexible workflow. According to Small Biz Genius, 40% of people work remotely because of its inherent flexibility, with 76% willing to stay with current employers given more flexibility.
Discuss this point with your remote colleagues to come to a common consensus. It might be a better idea to set KPIs and milestones to follow instead of asking everyone to stay online 9-to-5. This will not only help keep your colleagues engaged but also let them have a sense of autonomy over their work which would be lost otherwise.
3. Settle on the productivity apps to use for remote work
Keeping your remote team focused will be difficult without the right apps to back you up. Organize a team meeting and talk about how you can help everyone with their productivity. The easiest way to help your remote team members is to settle on an app (or apps) which everyone will use moving forward. There are plenty of great applications which can help eliminate background noise during work hours.
While these tools aren’t strictly corporate, they are great for remote workflow. They can help your coworkers eliminate distractions around them while they work and help them get a handle on their daily routines.
4. Organize meetings and check-ins based on everyone’s spare time
As we’ve mentioned, it’s best to maintain a flexible work schedule for your remote team and focus on a milestone-based workflow. This will open up the door for you to organize meetings and check-ins at regular intervals without insisting on a strict work schedule. These meetings can serve as your points of reference during project development.
Everyone can share their progress reports and what they’ve been working on since the last meeting, as well as give feedback to others. You can separate your meetings into mandatory and secondary based on the agenda you will discuss in each. Remember to include these in your action plan to make sure that everyone is always aware of the current project progress and how to proceed further.
5. Make time for individual video calls and coaching
Once you’ve gotten a hang of organizing your remote team’s action plan, you will also need to consider their personal and professional development. Many people grow discontent and disassociated with their remote teams without some coaching and reassurance. You should get in touch with every person on your team and organize a one-on-one to discuss their professional journey and how you can assist them.
If you have young employees or recent student graduates on board, it’s even more important to do so. Students who also work on a writing assignment while employed can reach out to professional thesis writers online to free up their time. While professional writers can help them through a reliable writing service, you also need to do your part as their team leader or project manager. This will have immensely positive effects on each individual’s sense of belonging and agency toward the work you do remotely.
6. Include team building and bonding activities in the action plan
When it comes to informal development, your employees will want to feel welcome and accepted despite the remote work conditions. This can be arranged in the form of team building exercises, common lunch hours, and bonding activities. Discuss it with your team and find different activities which everyone would enjoy doing together.
Even movie nights or online video games are on the table as a means to bring your coworkers together. The one rule you should follow however is to keep work talk out of these activities. Try to get to know your coworkers, what their passions and goals are, and how you can help achieve them. Once you’re back in “work mode”, people will appreciate each other far more than they would if they exclusively talked about work with one another.
Taking time management into your hands (conclusion)
Time is a finite resource – especially in the corporate sector. Get hold of your remote team’s time management by introducing an actionable workflow plan. The action plan you create should be referred to on a day-to-day basis and not forgotten by everyone on your team.
Talk to your team and set remote work standards upfront so that everyone can benefit from a more productive and teamwork-oriented environment. Adjust your action plan as you go and your remote team will flourish despite the apparent distance among you.