Remote work is the present and the future of the global business. The COVID-19 pandemic disintegrated entire companies and encouraged managers to embrace work from home as the only way to keep the business running as usual.
If you are facing the same situation, you must understand how remote teams operate and help your employees thrive along the way. Project management takes a lot of delicate handling, so we prepared ten tips to help you delegate tasks during remote work. Let's take a look!
10 Ways to Simplify and Improve Remote Work
According to the report, nearly 70% of companies are taking steps to enable employers to work from home without interruptions. If you are going through the same process now, these ten tips can help you big time.
1. Document a clear communication strategy
Communication is at the root of remote work, so you need to begin by documenting a clear communication strategy. It means you should formalize business communication and determine the best channels of correspondence.
For example, you can decide to use group chat for everyday messaging while leaving emails for official reporting and documentation. The goal is to define certain norms of online behavior and teach every member of the team which channel to use in any given situation.
2. SMART goals are more important than ever
It is almost impossible to run a successful business without setting the right objectives, but remote work forces you to determine the so-called SMART goals. This is critical if you want to maximize productivity without wasting too much time on the go. Here's what SMART goals really mean:
- Specific: Every employee should reach a set of clear and highly specific goals.
- Measurable: It is important to quantify objectives and make it easy to measure results.
- Achievable: Don't ask remote employees to do impossible things, but rather focus on goals that are achievable here and now.
- Relevant: Forget irrelevant tasks and concentrate on important things only.
- Time-bound: Of course, every task should come with a deadline because you need to ensure timely delivery.
3. Communicate regularly
Remote employees cannot meet in-person to discuss their plans and projects, but you can encourage regular communication. Daily communication is a must as it will help you all to understand common patterns and maintain focus in the long run. Of course, don't forget to take breaks and leave a few hours for each team member to concentrate on his/her specific duties.
4. Organize weekly team meetings
If you want everyone to understand the way your business is going, you need to organize periodical meetings of the entire organization or department. The best solution is to schedule weekly online conferences, but you can do it more frequently if you believe it's necessary. Create a simple agenda and let everyone express their opinions or questions about the current project – it will clarify misunderstandings and perhaps even lead you to fresh business ideas.
5. Organize one-on-one meetings
One-on-one meetings are just as important as team conferences. Such communications will help both you and your remote employees to discuss projects in great detail.
Individual sessions are essential because you don't have the opportunity to meet colleagues in person and talk about the specifics. Besides that, it allows managers to build stronger relationships with their subordinates and understand their personal and professional problems much better.
6. Small talk is mandatory
Your primary concern is to get the job done, but it should not turn you into a productivity machine. On the contrary, you should remember that small talk remains mandatory because it represents the essence of human interactions.
If you want to replace a renowned concept of watercooler conversations, you need to encourage remote employees to chat freely and share funny stories, jokes, and other interesting news every day. That way, you can boost employee morale and keep the entire team happier and more engaged.
7. Avoid micromanagement
Micromanagement is never a good thing, but it's particularly painful and annoying during remote work. The question you need to ask yourself is: Do I trust my employees?
If the answer is ‘Yes' you must leave them alone and let them work independently upon task delegation. The only exception is allowed if you notice someone struggling with a given task or if you have a new member of the team who still needs some time to adapt to your style of work.
8. Announce an “open door” policy
Another great tip is to announce the “open door” policy and kindly invite everyone to address you in case anything unpredicted happens. If any of your colleagues is facing a challenge or issue, they must feel free to ask for help or feedback. They should not be afraid of talking to the manager, so encourage them by introducing the “open door” policy.
9. Choose the right communication tools
Remote work can hardly function flawlessly without the right communication tools. Luckily enough, you can find and test hundreds of communication platforms on the Internet. Every tool offers you the basic features like instant messaging and conference calls, but the best ones also come with additional functions. Some of our favorite platforms include Zoom, Basecamp, Slack, Google Drive, and Krisp.
10. Beware of work hours
More than 20% of remote employees claim that their biggest problem is the inability to unplug after work. As a manager, you have to take care of it by setting limitations to business communication and allowing your colleagues to take a break. They might be online 24/7, but they don't want to work 24/7.
The Bottom Line
Work from home is not a big deal, but teams that are used to traditional office setups might have a problem while trying to adapt to the new situation.