Everyone will experience a lack of productivity at some point in their lives. Being unproductive has a lot of root causes, but most people do not realize why it happens. Inefficiency is especially evident during these times, as most employees from all over the world work from home due to the pandemic. This can provoke feelings of isolation and discomfort run high, which can eventually lead to loss of productivity.
As hard it might seem, there are ways to combat productivity issues within a remote team. Listed below are some of the most common ones that managers might experience when managing a remote team, coupled with solutions to overcome the problem.
One of the benefits of working at an office is having the chance to interact with other employees. Social interaction within the workplace promotes camaraderie, encouragement, and good morale. A sudden change in the environment can have a negative impact on the workers, which can affect the productivity within the organization.
To combat this specific issue, managers can use communication apps and tools to their advantage. For example, using business management software can help promote productivity by improving the overall workflow. It also allows teams to communicate and connect in real-time, which can help keep delays at bay. In addition to this, managers can hold team meetings through Zoom, Skype or similar platforms to encourage people to interact.
Sudden Shift of Environment
For employees who are used to going to the office every day, suddenly going remote can be overwhelming. Doing so can affect their time management skills, task tracking, and of course, productivity.
To keep team members from feeling saturated by the remote team management setup, consider doing it gradually. For example, managers can ask their staff members to come to the office about three times a week, and for the rest of the week, they can work remotely. Supervisors can then increase the frequency of remote work per week until the workers get used to it.
Dealing with Distractions
Unlike working in an office, working from home can usually cause distractions to the remote team members. These interruptions can include having the urge to do other things aside from work, pets, noisy environments, and other people inside the house.
To make everything easier for the team, managers can suggest solutions such as designating a specific room that employees can work in. This location should be quiet and have minimal to zero interruptions. Letting other people inside the house know when it’s time for work can also help the situation. Additionally, using a business process management solution can also make things easier, as this helps with proper task and time management.
Difficulties in Team Communication
One of the main challenges of leading a remote team is communication difficulties. When everyone is in the office, managers can just come up to their employees and ask for a meeting whenever they need to. However, with a remote setup, things can be different, and this can hinder productivity within the organization.
This is where the importance of business process management software comes in, as the tool can help remote teams keep track of everyone’s tasks. Projects can easily be managed even if everyone is working virtually, and every team member is just a chat away. BPM tools can help with proper collaboration as team members can share documents, manage and track employee vacations, see the project progress in real-time, and schedule meetings when needed.
Dealing with Security Issues
IT professionals are often present in an office environment, and team members can easily count on these people to fix security issues for them. However, network problems can arise at home, and not everyone can solve this. Productivity rates will be affected when this happens, which can slow down the whole team.
To avoid this from happening, have your IT personnel install security software on your team members’ laptops and computers. Anti-virus software and remote-access VPN can be used to protect the company’s data from being compromised. Cybersecurity awareness webinars can also be held to teach employees what they should do if this problem arises.
Time Management Issues
Since employees are working in their comfort zones, it can sometimes be challenging to manage their time, especially if there are lots of distractions around them. This can make managing a remote team difficult, as low productivity rates can affect the overall performance of the team.
Managers can pitch multiple solutions for this problem. Ask your team members to dedicate a fixed working schedule. You can opt to use time-tracking apps to monitor your remote team’s productivity and presence. Again, using BPM software can help with proper time management and task scheduling.
Having a Hard Time Managing a Work/Life Balance
The lines between having a work/life balance at home can get pretty blurred. Some employees struggle with spending too much time after work on their tasks, while some might find it difficult to start their tasks when they are expected to. This consequence can negatively impact productivity rates, which is why proper time management and prioritization is a must.
Encourage your staff members to track their time. Again, having a well-thought-out schedule can massively help with solving this issue. If they are expected to work for about eight hours a day, then tell them to avoid overworking themselves by exceeding that allotted time.
Having Different Time Zones
Some companies choose to outsource their employees from other countries, which means that they would have to deal with different time zones. This can cause issues with scheduling and communication, which can then lead to poor productivity rates.
To fix this problem, managers and team members can connect using business process management software. This way, tasks can easily be viewed, tracked, and updated. Moreover, you can also set a schedule wherein both the managers and employees can sync with the tasks at hand.
Leading a remote team can be done easily when everything is planned. As long as you are using the right software, scheduling things properly, and regularly syncing on tasks, everything will go smoothly and productivity rates would not be affected. Now that you know how to manage a remote team, it’s time to put that BPM software to good use.