Technology Advisor Blog

3 Tips for Working Remotely to Help Your Team Stay Productive

Posted by Ann Westerheim on 4/2/20 11:27 AM

tips for working remotely

The COVID-19 pandemic has dramatically changed the way companies operate. And as a result, your workforce may have become a remote workforce almost overnight. While this is a necessary change to keep employees safe, if your team isn’t used to remote work, they’re likely to encounter some challenges as they adapt to this new way of doing things.

As of March 17th, a Gartner Inc. survey “found that 88% of organizations have encouraged or required employees to work from home, regardless of whether or not they showed coronavirus-related symptoms” and “nearly all organizations (97%) have canceled work-related travel.” So, regardless of how long your team has been working remotely, you’re far from alone.

To help you figure out the best way to handle remote team management, and to assist your team as they stay productive and motivated, we’ve put together a few tips for working remotely that we hope will help you adapt to this “new normal.” 

1. Prioritize a Remote Office Setup

For someone who hasn’t learned how to work remotely, it can be challenging to set up a designated “workspace” in an environment usually reserved for after-work activities. Business Insider says it like this: “One of the biggest challenges of working from home is setting up a home office with the right tools, but once you've got everything in place, it's easier to get your work done.” 

Working remotely means you can be flexible with where you get your work done, but that flexibility can blur the lines between work and home life. It may sound redundant to tell your team to designate a specific space in their home for work, but setting up a single location for work—the same way they’d have a desk in the office where they get most of their work done—can help your team get into the kind of mindset that will keep them motivated throughout the day.

2. Equip Your Team with the Right Remote Working Tools

Having a remote workforce often means not having access to the usual bevy of tools and technology that team members may be accustomed to. Even if they have their work computers with them, they may feel like they’re missing some of the equipment they need to do their work.

To supplement your team, make sure they’re equipped with the right remote working tools. Things like video conferencing platforms (Zoom, GoToMeeting, etc.), messaging apps (Slack, GroupMe), and any number of other remote working tools can help your team benefit from what HBR calls “a ‘richer’ technology” that provides team members with “many of the visual cues that they would have if they were face-to-face.”

You’re also going to want to make sure the tools your team uses are well-maintained and up-to-date. And if they’re not, or if they run into obstacles at any point in their day-to-day, that they have access to the kind of technology help they need to get up and running again. Even if you can’t help them yourself, there are plenty of third-party resources (like Ekaru!) who can jump in and help resolve whatever issues show up.

3. Schedule Regular Check-Ins

Communicating with your team is going to be more relevant than ever. “This could take the form of a series of one-on-one calls, if your employees work more independently from each other,” as HBR advises, or it could be a daily check-in with the whole team to see how everyone’s doing.

The important thing is that your remote workforce knows that they’re not on their own and that their questions and concerns will be heard. Not only will this keep up your company’s sense of culture, but it’s also one of those tips for working remotely that’s easy to implement and can go a long way toward encouraging employees to stay productive and on track.

Tags: productivity, Time Management, remote work

Want to achieve your goals in 2019?  Get organized and take action!

Posted by Nancy Amato on 1/3/19 10:50 AM

This Year I WillIt's a new year and a great time to get organized so you can achieve your goals for the year.  January is a great time for business planning, and how you effectively use your time will have a big impact on your ability to achieve your goals.
  • Before leaving work each day create a To-Do list of your priorities for the next working day.  Don’t forget to do this on Fridays.  It will help you become more organized.
  • As you begin your To-Do list never spend more than 30 minutes being confused. Stop ask for help or - you are wasting time.  These are the boundaries you need to set for yourself.
  • One benefit of time management is that if you follow your daily list, it will reduce your stress level.
  • Set up deadlines on your projects. Put a time limit on your tasks.
  • Follow your prioritized list by completing the most critical and demanding tasks first thing in the morning if possible.
  • Schedule a break if needed every 90 minutes for a quick glass of water or a cup of coffee. This will help you maintain high productivity throughout the day.
  • Exercise and regulating your sleep patterns also helps with time management. Any form of relaxation is important.   Exercise is also considered a great stress reliever.  Going to bed the same time every night and waking up the same time every day helps with your overall wellbeing.  Many presenters have brought this up during the Hubspot Inbound conference.
  • Never procrastinate. You know the famous saying ‘Why put off tomorrow what you can do today? Procrastination wastes your time and your company’s time. I recently saw 'Mary Poppins Returns', and Emily Blunt said "Today or Never" - a great motto to live by!
  • This one is tricky: Learn how to multitask!  When working in a fast paced environment it’s the only way to survive some days.  This is not easy and may take lots of practice!
  • Start each day by being on time at work. Everyone has traffic to deal with and family morning rituals, but always give yourself extra time to get to work. If you start your day late everyday then you should stay later to make up your time so why start off late everyday…It’s a waste of your time!

 

If you need a little help with time management try a popular app called Toggl.  This app helps you improve what you are doing during the day.  Toggl will help you see where your time is spent and it will help improve your daily routines.

Tags: SMB, Time Management

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