Thanks to the pandemic, remote working has become the norm in so many industries. It has a lot of benefits, such as eliminating commuting time, reducing costs, and removing office distractions. Of course, there are challenges too. One of those is time management, something that can be difficult to have oversight on when you have a remote team.
The good news is you can help remove the challenge by having a good remote time management plan in place. Here’s how to create one and get the most out of your teams, wherever they work.
Why Create A Time Management Plan?
Is a time management plan needed for remote workers? It’s highly recommended, as there are lots of benefits that you can reap by using them. These include:
A better sense of direction for staff, and knowing what’s required of them.
Fewer miscommunications in the workflow.
More engagement for those who are working from home.
Less time is needed for organizing employees.
Better final product and client satisfaction.
So, there are plenty of benefits to using a time management plan in your team. Now, you need to know how to write it. These tips will help you get the most from your plan.
Set Expectations Upfront
The very first thing you’ll want to do is discuss a time management plan with your team. You’re going to want to set expectations upfront, so they all know what’s expected of them as they’re working remotely.
Ensure that you listen to this team at this stage. What are they expecting from the remote working system? Is there anything they’re concerned about, or anything that they want to happen? This feedback will help you put a plan together that’s easy to use and realistic.
Pick Between Time Tracking Or Productivity Tracking
When it comes to time management plans, you’ll either want to focus on time tracking or productivity tracking. “On average, many employees will prefer to stay working remotely as they prefer the flexibility it gives them,” says Fiona Carmichael, a project manager from Dissertation discussion and OX Essays. “You’ll want to keep this in mind when making a decision.”
Productivity tracking will usually allow for more flexibility in the workflow, so many employers will choose this method when creating their plans. However, it does depend on the work you do, so consider carefully before you start putting the plan in stone.
There are plenty of time management platforms out there you can use to create your plan. It is highly advisable that you use one, as trying to do it over instant messaging or email is going to be far too difficult to track. With a platform, everything is kept in one place so everyone can see what’s needed from them at a glance.
As well as a platform like Slack or Trello, consider using cloud storage like Dropbox or Google Drive. This allows everyone to share files, so you and your clients can access them when needed.
Define Your KPIs
You’ll need to create and define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for your team as they work remotely. What will be expected from them? You can set both short and long-term goals for each team member, and then they have a clear idea of what they need to be working towards. This is something you can discuss in individual coaching.
Now you have all the tools in place, you’ll want to create a regular slot in the schedule for a meeting with the whole team. This should allow for everyone to share where they’re at with a project, and give feedback. This will be how the team gets together, as they won’t be working in the same space.
Remember that as they’re remote, the team may not be working the traditional 9 – 5. You’ll want to find a time that works for everyone. Doing this ensures that you can stay flexible, and give your team the space they need.
Also, you can organize meetings into mandatory and secondary meetings. Make the agendas available for all sessions, so staff will know what will be discussed.
Plan Out Individual Meetings Too
Now that you have group meetings in the schedule, you’ll have to ensure that you make time for one on one coaching and development, too. This needs to be handled whether your team is remote or in the office, so either way, you’ll be ready for it.
Take the time to reach out to every team member, and work out the best time for individual coaching. It’s arguably more crucial in remote teams, as you’ll be looking to help them stay connected and focused on their work when they’re not in the office.
It’s even more important you do so when you have younger employees or recent graduates on your team. They will need coaching to help them reach their full potential, and it can be harder for them to do so when they’re working remotely.
Have Deadlines In Place
You’ll have deadlines for KPIs and deliverables, whether your team is in the office or remotely. When your team is remote, it’s even more important to make these deadlines as obvious as possible.
“As the team aren’t centralized, it’s easy for them to lose sight of the big picture,” says HR manager Graham Pike, from Paper Fellows and Boom Essays. “You want to ensure that everyone is on the same page.”
Create timelines and deadlines in your action plan, and have them available to view within your chosen platform. That helps staff stay on target when they’re working, and get everything delivered on time.
With these tips, you’ll be able to create a time management plan that works for you and your team. It will make remote work much more feasible and every staff member will know what’s expected of them. Start writing your time management plan now, to get the best results.
Do you want to know how Engagedly can help you manage your remote teams? Book a live demo with us.
Srikant Chellappa is the Co-Founder and CEO at Engagedly and is a passionate entrepreneur and people leader. He is an author, producer/director of 6 feature films, a music album with his band Manchester Underground, and is the host of The People Strategy Leaders Podcast. He is currently working on his next book, Ikigai at the Workplace, which is slated for release in the fall of 2023.