Due to these uncertain times working remotely is becoming our new normal, but this new normal is causing challenges and overwhelm for employees and employers. Many employers are raising concerns about how to appropriately and effectively manage their teams and meet operational objectives. So, is having employees work remotely worth the effort? When thinking about this know that you are not alone.

 

Let’s review some key business challenges that employers are facing today and how you can avoid or work through them.

 

#1 Project Management

I believe that everyone can relate and say that Project Management at times has its challenges, but what are some of the challenges arising in a  telecommuting environment?

It’s safe to say that the #1 challenge in regards to project management and a remote team is the inability to come together in the conference room or office to tackle agendas, deadlines, or numerous other matters at h and. You now become inundated with emails going back and forth to different team members, text messages, calls, etc; all the while trying your best to remember to cc key members on the appropriate correspondence. After a little while, it becomes frustrating, stressful, and overwhelming. All the balls are in the air and you are struggling to juggle them all. Well have no fear there are SOLUTIONS!

 

Technology has been evolving with us! There are many different online tools that you can utilize, depending on your industry and project types. Tools that can track tasks & progress, assign tasks, and even establish/run a virtual video meeting. These tools and programs are similar to the ones we use in-office now and transitioning to a virtual platform will prove to be a breeze. A cloud-based project management platform is best when managing remote teams. To assist you in the search for the best application/platform for your business, consider demoing prior to implementing any into your operations.

Suggested Platforms:

Microsoft Teams

Monday.com

Asana

Trello

Smartsheets

Basecamp

And Many More!

 

#2 Communication & Collaboration

Organizational communication has been an issue amongst businesses for some time now, not only within a telecommuting environment, but within an office environment as well. During these uncertain times new virtual communication issues are coming to fruition and the implementation of new processes are only as good as the operator. In order to streamline and systemize organizational communication, employers must first lead by example and then have or build a team to support their ideal company communications structure.

When building a team with company ideals and structures in mind, employers must do their due diligence when searching for the right candidate for open positions. First focusing on a candidate’s education, experience, and skill sets which are essential to a candidate’s capabilities to properly perform within a position. Next to reviewing soft skills and observing how candidates communicate throughout the interview and hiring process are integral. If a candidate is not communicating effectively or efficiently through the process then there is your red flag and indication that the candidate is not the right fit for your organization. Searching for the right candidates is time-consuming, but will save you time and money in the long run. When you or your company is strapped on time, consider hiring a Recruiter that will be able to provide the time and resources needed.

Another essential to effective communication is organizational collaboration. When working remotely make sure each team member underst ands each other’s context. Team members might assume that when another team member doesn’t answer their message or questions right away, that they don’t care. When the proper information is provided on team member’s context, then assumptions go from they don’t care to they are indisposed at the moment. Prefacing communication with context assists in preventing miscommunications when issues arise that are out of the ordinary. Advise your team to give other team members the heads up when they are elbow-deep in a project and can’t respond right away. Over communicating is ALWAYS better!

 

#3 Observability

One of the main reasons why employers shy away from teams working remotely is that they are unable to observe their team working and completing tasks. To employers, this serves as instant validation that in fact the work is being completed, but physical attendance is not proving the team member is being productive. Managing and observing virtual team progress is the same as in-office teams. There are multiple resources and platforms available to track productivity, progress, and time utilization. Many applications and platforms offer data logs, timestamps, communication threads, filtered reports, and project statuses to keep employers on top of their team.

 

Other methods for staying on top of your team are daily or weekly calls/video calls and daily reports, thus holding your team accountable for project progress.

 

Suggested Time Tracking Platforms:

Toggl

Harvest

Everhour

Due Time Tracking

HourStack

TopTracker

Tick

RescueTime

 

# 4 Security

How do you keep your company’s proprietary and organizational information safe? Create security policies and requirements such as uploading, downloading,  anti-virus software, anti-malware software, and password creation. In addition, educate and train your team! Provide them with an understanding of the risks and how to diminish them.

Suggested Tips:

  • Passwords
    • Create Strong Passwords
      • At least 8 characters in length
      • Include a mix of upper & lower case letters
      • Include at least one number & special character
      • Do not use personally identifiable information
    • Protect Your Passwords
  • Use Two-Step Authentication
  • Don’t engage in Spam
  • Encrypt Emails
  • Use a VPN (Virtual Private Network)

#5 Consistency

Consistency regardless if you have in-office teams or remote teams can easily become a challenge if the cultivation of your team was not started during the onboarding process.  The onboarding process should always include organizational training and resources so that all team members that are brought on are on the same page. Another essential in cultivating consistency is company culture and each team member knowing each other’s roles. Being forthcoming as an employer and organization will all your employees will also increase consistency and harness strategies. Regularly update employees on business objectives, goals, and how they play a role in the bigger picture as they are the faces on the frontlines of your business.

 

If you are in need of the best candidates for your business, please feel free to reach out to us. Our expertly trained Recruiters are here for you to screen and source the best candidates for you. Contact us today to start attracting the right candidates for your team!

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