COVID-19 Pandemic: Effective Time Management While Working Remotely

Is it possible that your team has lost the whole concept of time since they have been confined to a space filled with distractions and interruptions?

COVID-19 is the new face of change. The pandemic has uprooted our freedom and the liberty to work from our offices. And the prevalence of remote work has caused us nothing but problems. However, there is a solution to the madness.

This is a particularly sensitive phase we are at. Every step counts and every action carries weight. Similarly, time is the most important resource right now that needs to be utilized properly. 

Managing time and effectively tracking performance are the essentials of remote team management. So if losing the resource of time is your team’s biggest problem, I have compiled an array of solutions that can help you out. 

Point Out The Source Of Wasted Time 

To solve a problem you need to know where it originates from. We are all time thieves in some way or the other. And, it is easy for your team to lose track of time when at home, confined at a place where they are not used to being the most productive person. Losing control means losing time

And losing time can be due to poor management of projects and also due to the many distractions one faces at home. However, in the case of remote work something as common as the loss of work time can be taking place because of a lot of reasons:

  • A poorly organized workflow that does not agree with everyone’s schedule.
  • Picking random channels for communication among team members.
  • Using social media at their own liberty for personal use during work hours. 
  • Not following an established login as well as signing off time. 
  • Conducting meetings with no real agendas
  • Following team collaboration methods that are often ineffective and unfruitful. 

Suggest How To Set Boundaries

As a manager switching their whole operation to remote mode, you probably know effective management of a telecommuting team comes from established guidelines. To finish up your work before deadlines, boundaries need to be set and directives need to be given.

Even though flexibility will be the basis of remote team management, it will also help you manage time. Knowing and acknowledging the problems of your team is the top priority. However, every person’s availability needs to be documented.

After that, you will need to emphasize the importance of all these factors to your team for work to run smoothly:

  • Maintain strict rules for working hours. 
  • Plot time out for stretching your legs and relaxing.
  • Dress nicely as you would if you were going to the office. 
  • Tell your team that taking breaks for exercise and reading is important. 

Manage Time Using The Right Tools 

To effectively manage your projects working with a remote team, you will have to depend on automation tools for every operation to run smoothly. Whether it is to manage and track progress, instill collaboration, keep a check on employee engagement, or indulge in daily chit chat, tools are important.

If you are a leader in search of ways to save the time of your employees, you must already be looking for reliable software platforms. Especially tools that help you organize and schedule. Nowadays there are tools for everything. For example,

  • There are software platforms that help you divide your work process into task lists so that you can move through a workflow with ease. 
  • These help you visualize your goals better and give motivation to your remote team to work hard every day. 
  • Some tools allow you to store documents and files to provide instant reviews and feedback
  • Also, we are all aware of tools that help with communication through video conferencing to stay connected with our teams. 

Keeping Track Of Productivity

Productivity is best managed when you are able to track the performance of your employees and the exhaustion of your resources. The pandemic may have pushed your company into crisis mode, which makes preserving time and utilizing it wisely an even bigger deal.

Here is what you can do to take care of productivity and beat deadlines effectively:

  • Give the gift of organization to your team and cut your work time in half by using project management software or a time management software platform.
  • These will help you organize, schedule, and deliver like never before, leading you to success at double speed. 
  • Use tools for communication that allow sending messages and sharing files instantly. 
  • Have different tools for proofing and reviewing that have annotation and markup tools so your team can convey their message in a better way. 
  • Allow your team to view their goals and milestones in a more visual way to drive motivation and hence overall productivity. 

Prioritizing And Delegating Tasks 

It is a known fact that micromanagement delays the functionality of a remote team. Just because your employees aren’t physically there to solve issues does not mean that they are not contributing anymore.

And, just because you can no longer see the people you manage does not mean that all control is lost. I feel that delegating responsibilities, especially at this point in time will help instill the qualities of accountability and loyalty.

There are many benefits of delegation, for example:

  • It helps you sort priorities. 
  • And, it helps you organize time, tasks, and projects. 
  • It will give you the time to focus on all the activities of your competitors. 
  • You will be able to learn about all the trends in the market. 
  • It will also help you build a bond of trust and collaboration between coworkers. 
  • Lastly, it will help you improve efficiency along with productivity, aiding with time management. 

Conclusion

The biggest tip I have for maintaining productivity during this lockdown period is to manage time efficiently and utilize every minute decisively. Establishing guidelines and untangling the web of communication between team members is a great way to manage time proficiently.

Cover image via Stocksnap.io

About Vartika Kashyap

Vartika Kashyap is the Marketing Manager at ProofHub and has been one of the LinkedIn Top Voices in 2016, 2017 and 2018. She is also a contributor at Business.com, The Next Web, YourStory, and Huffington among others. Her articles mainly revolve around productivity, leadership, and common workplace events. She also loves to read and travel to new places.