The wave of a pandemic has been the talk of the town for a some time now. Work from home is no longer a starter; it is a perfect platter making its way into organizational structures rapidly. After all, the results are there for us to see. However, it comes with its own set of challenges which, if handled properly, can ensure a seamless transition to remote or hybrid working culture.
This blog post looks at the benefits and challenges of going remote for organizations and tips for making this working model a success. And wrap up the discussion by sharing the role of a time tracking solution and how it can help bring out the best in your business.
What’s so Good about Going Remote?
Remote-friendly work culture is slowly becoming mainstream. And the good news is that people are demonstrating better productivity while working from home.
Globally, many research reports have advocated the success of remote working. To avoid the slightest possibility of our love for this working model coming in the way, we have sourced data from the leading research institutions, including Global workplace analytics, Stanford university, Gallop, and Owl Labs.
So, here are some interesting stats to give you good vibes about going remote:
- Teleworkers have exhibited a staggering 35-40% more productivity than their office counterparts.
- 70% of the people believe that meetings that are attended remotely are less stressful, while 64% of people prefer hybrid meetings.
- Work from home has produced optimum performance; hence, remote workers work with 40% fewer quality issues.
- Higher engagement of remote workers has resulted in 41% lower absenteeism.
- There has been a 12% turnover reduction after a remote work agreement is offered to a potential employee. This is because more than 54% of the employees intend to switch to other jobs if offered more flexibility.
- Organizations have gained massive profitability through work from home. On average, organizations save an average of $11000-12000 per year through a worker functioning from home, leading to more than 21% higher profitability.
What’s so NOT Good About Going Remote?
While these benefits are convincing, going remote has its own challenges. After all, to execute a 360-degree shift in the work culture is nothing short of taming a ten-ton gorilla. That’s because you can’t expect a formula that has worked for centuries to be replaced without any obstacles.
Here are some possible challenges you should know about:
A Drop in Employee Motivation
How to motivate employees virtually?
This burning question comfortably sits at the tip of an iceberg.
Employees generally need a sense of achievement and recognition to stay motivated (besides all the juicy increments and promotions). When they complete tasks on time and clearly see that their work has resulted in accomplishing a business milestone (exceeding sales target or securing a huge client), employees get an epic adrenaline rush and a significant boost in motivation.
But with remote working, it is difficult to provide employees enough visibility of how they are performing, which could demotivate them and lead to poor performance. The real reason is that managers lack the proper tools to measure their team’s performance, hampering them from appreciating or appraising individual members when the time is right.
Extended working hours
Jokes aside, this should never be the case.
No matter how hard you try to anchor down, one of the toughest challenges of managing remote employees is always time management. Lack of privacy and personal workspace can lead to a divided focus on work, especially when kids or pets are around. As a result, they might lose track of time and end up working extra hours, resulting in a blurred line between their work and personal life. Eventually, all this can cause employee burnout, affecting the overall productivity.
In this regard, time management for remote workers through resource planning and time tracking solutions can ensure balanced workloads for your team and turn out to be a game changer for your business.
Lack of team bonding
You are as good as your team, and with you unable to pass on a supporting hand, your team may find difficulties in crunch situations. With strong project planning methods, you can plan better for your team, save everyone some extra time, and invest that time in calling out for team bonding activities. After all, time spent with each other is time well spent.
Lack of trust build-up
As a manager, it’s hard to find reasons to trust your team members unless you see them working in front of you. This creates a barrier of mistrust, which is sometimes hard to cross. In such circumstances, managers feel the need to micromanage, which is infamous for curbing employee productivity. And micromanagement affects your emotional intelligence, rendering you unable to connect with your team empathically. In fact, lack of emotional intelligence has been reported to cause $400 billion in losses as it lowers productivity.
All of this ultimately hinders your ability to track your team’s progress, leading to messed-up project timelines.
For any team going remote, the situation is hard to overcome unless there is a mechanism that provides complete visibility into your employees’ performance and helps manage projects effectively.
Recommended reading: 3 Easy Ways to Persuade Your Remote Employees for Time Tracking
4 Tips to Manage Your Remote Team Effectively
As a manager, getting your remote team up and running is somewhat equal to catching the Golden Snitch.
You have to plan the entire process carefully, know how to tackle potential challenges, and be ready to embrace flexibility. Here, we have shared some great tips to help you catch that Snitch:
1. Create transparency and a sense of accountability
Step one for managing your remote team is to introduce transparency into the working process.
Everyone should be able to see their work progress and overall performance in the form of a digital work diary. This creates a sense of accountability where employees and their managers have visibility into activities during work hours and whether they were able to meet their goals.
Having insights into each employee’s work habits and performance allows managers to plan tasks intelligently, ensuring that a balanced workload is assigned. With all the puzzle pieces falling into place perfectly, you can maintain and even achieve higher productivity and customer satisfaction rates. (more on this in the next point)
For this purpose, a time tracking solution will come in handy, as it keeps track of work-related activities and shows exactly how they utilized the time to achieve their tasks.
2. Know your team's work capacity
Burdening your team with additional work creates stress, impacts productivity, and results in poor quality of work. You need to have accurate information on your team’s work capacity to distribute work fairly and manage project deadlines effectively.
And to ensure that happens, time tracking & task planning solutions can be the Robin to your Batman as they show the exact work each member has on their plate and how much more tasks they can take on for the day or the week. This allows managers to utilize their team efficiently without overburdening them with work.
3. Give employees room to breathe by not micromanaging them
Gone are the days when micromanagement allowed managers to lead teams to success.
Nowadays, employees need to know that they are not under continuous surveillance and their privacy is not being invaded. This relaxes their mind and ensures that they work on tasks with full concentration.
Fortunately, a few time tracking solutions, like timegram, give employees the freedom to create their own timesheets, ensuring that they only share productive activities with their managers. Managers benefit from this approach too, as they don’t have to view non-productive activities like time spent on social sites viewing cat videos or Gordan Ramsay roasting other chefs right in their restaurants on YouTube.
Recommended Reading: Employee Time Tracking vs. Employee Monitoring
4. Implement a Remote Time Tracking Solution
Implementing the right time tracking solution is critical to the remote team management jigsaw puzzle.
As contradictory as it may sound to the last tip, we agree that most remote work time trackers are known for being highly invasive and log anything & everything employees do on their system. While the goal is to measure progress on tasks and overall performance, they record the number of keystrokes, take screenshots and webcam shots, save your search activity, and more.
All of this makes employees … well … uncomfortable, causing them to work under stressful conditions.
But not with timegram.
Let’s look at what this time tracking & resource planning solution offers (that typical time trackers don’t) and how it ensures that your employees’ privacy is safe.
Project planning made easy
As easy as it sounds, project planning can be an ardent task if not done properly. The aftermath of poor project planning affects employee productivity and causes significant delays in project delivery. timegram enables you to have a bird’s eye of your projects and your team’s capacity, allowing you to assign tasks smartly.
Instantly know about your team’s availability
Remember when we said that balanced workloads are critical for happy and productive remote employees?
timegram provides managers with a visual dashboard that shows available work hours for each team member. This allows you to assign tasks accordingly, ensuring no one is underutilized or overburdened with work.
Integration of tasks with time tracking
Tired of dwelling on the billable hours for a specific project?
Well, we have a solution.
timegram effortlessly integrates your tasks with remote team time tracking. This helps you keep a strong check on the time spent on a certain task. Not only does it help you bill the right amount on your invoice but also provides clarity for future assignments.
Manage clients and projects seamlessly
When it comes to client management, client satisfaction is the most critical part. timegram enables you to track due dates, pending tasks and potential new projects so that you should always stay on top of everything.
After all, an old project successfully delivered is a new project successfully attained.
Create better project timelines
One of the main challenges in a remote work setting is inaccuracy when creating realistic project timelines. timegram gives you a clearer picture where you can instantly analyze estimated vs. actual time spent on completing tasks and use this information as a benchmark for future projects.
We have always said no to surveillance tactics. Tracking screenshots and keystrokes take a back seat as we believe happy, stress-free employees are the key to an organization’s success. With timegram, Your team doesn’t always have to show proof of work as the focus is mainly on pure work insights.
Want remote working to be a comfortable and hassle-free experience for your team?
Sign up for timegram to provide your team the toolset it needs to make remote working exciting for themselves and profitable for your business.