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The COVID-19 pandemic has drastically changed our work, with a massive shift towards remote work and distributed teams.
With the higher acceptance of remote working, it becomes a great responsibility for project managers to ensure that their teams are equipped with the necessary tools to thrive in this working model that presents unique challenges, such as:
- Communication barriers
- Time zone differences
- Difficulty in maintaining team cohesion
With such challenges, a project manager must choose new tools and strategies to ensure that their team remains productive and efficient.
In this blog post, we will explore some key tools and strategies project managers can implement to successfully manage remote teams.
So let’s get started with:
The Challenges Of Managing Remote Teams Faced By Project Managers
As a project manager, you will face several challenges when managing remote teams. These include:
1) Tracking Progress:
With team members spread across different locations, it can be difficult to keep track of:
- Who is working on what task
- How far have they progressed
- Total targets they have complete
- How many milestones have they accomplished
This makes it difficult to ensure that the project is moving forward at the desired pace and identify any potential issues.
2) Monitoring Productivity:
When it comes to remote teams, it can be challenging to monitor:
- How much work each team member is doing
- How productive they are
- What URL and apps are they using to complete tasks
Without such information, it can be difficult to accurately assess the project’s progress and make adjustments to ensure it is completed on time and within budget.
3) Managing Workload:
Without being physically present, you may find it difficult to manage the workload of your remote team members. You may struggle to:
- Balance workloads
- Allocate resources
- Assign tasks
- Set realistic deadlines
This can result in decreased productivity and morale among team members, ultimately impacting the project’s success.
4) Visibility In The Workflow –
At times, project managers may find themselves with limited visibility into the workflow of their remote team members.
This can create problems with:
- Coordinating tasks and scheduling meetings
- Ensuring that timelines are being met
- Ensuring that deadlines are not missed
This can create a significant challenge when managing the project effectively, as project managers may not have the necessary information to make informed decisions.
5) Marking Attendance-
One of the biggest challenges when it comes to remote teams is how to track Attendance. As team members are not physically present, it can be difficult for project managers to monitor:
- Whether or not team members are logging in and logging out
- How much time they are spending on each task
- If they are taking too many breaks or lunch hours
Without an effective system for tracking Attendance, it becomes nearly impossible for project managers to ensure that their team is working efficiently.
6) Managing Project-
Project managers can find it difficult to ensure their team is aware of their role within the project and the tasks that need to be completed.
This can be made especially complicated if the project includes:
- Multiple teams or departments
- Requires coordination between them
- How many users are involved
It leads to confusion and miscommunication, ultimately impacting the project’s success.
7) Assigning Shifts –
It can also be difficult to coordinate shifts and assign tasks as needed with remote teams.
As team members are not always available at the same time, it can be difficult to ensure that everyone is online when needed and that tasks are being worked on time.
This can lead to delays and ultimately detrimentally affect the project’s outcome.
As we are familiar with the challenges faced by project managers in remote teams,
A project manager must have the right tools and strategies to manage remote teams successfully.
Let’s check out
Tools For Dealing With The Above Challenge
1) Workstatus –
One of the best tools that can help project managers tackle the challenges of managing remote teams is Workstatus, a workforce management software that provides real-time data on employee activity and productivity.
Workstatus offers a range of features that can help project managers:
- Track progress
- Monitor productivity
- Manage workload
- Ensure visibility into the workflow of their remote team member
Here are some of the key features of Workstatus:
1) Time Tracking
3) Workforce Management
4) Employee Activity Monitoring
6) GPS Tracking
8) Attendance management with Selfie Validation
10) Central Dashboard
- Free Forever Package: ₹0 forever
- Premium Package: ₹199 / user/month
- Enterprise Package: Get a customized plan
Another tool that project managers can use to monitor productivity and manage workload is RescueTime.
This tool tracks how much time team members spend on different apps and websites, giving project managers insight into how their team spends their time.
Here are some of the key features of RescueTime :
1) Time Tracking
2) Productivity Tracking
3) Intelligent Reports
4) Session Scheduling
6) Automated Insights
7) Dashboard Management
8) Multiple Platform Support
- RescueTime Lite: Free
- RescueTime: $12.00/month
3) Timedoctor –
Timedoctor is another comprehensive tool project managers can use to track and monitor employee activity. This tool has several features to help project managers stay on top of their teams.
Here are some of the key features of Timedoctor :
2) Productivity Tracking
3) Activity Levels Monitoring
4) Task Assigning & Management
5) Employee Engagement Reports
7) Multiple Platform Support
- Basic plan at $5.9 /month, 1 user.
- Standard plan: $8.4 /month, 1 user
- Premium plan:$16.7 /month, 1 user
As we have discussed the tools that project managers can use to tackle the challenges of managing remote teams,
Now we will look at a comparison table that lists the differences between the three tools.
Overcoming Remote Team Management Challenges with Workstatus:
1) Time & Productivity Tracking
The time & productivity tracking feature of Workstatus allows project managers to track the time spent by remote team members on each task, monitor their productivity levels, and identify areas for improvement.
Here’s how to use this feature:
Step 1: Sign up for a Workstatus account and create your organization. You can then invite your remote team members to join your organization.
Step 2: Download and install the Workstatus app on your team members’ computers or devices. The app will automatically track their time, activities, and productivity while they work.
Step 3: Set up rules for activity tracking, such as which apps and websites should be tracked during work hours. This will help you monitor your team’s productivity and identify any distractions affecting their work.
Step 4: Use the time tracking and productivity reports generated by Workstatus to monitor your team’s progress and identify any areas that need improvement.
2) Task Management
The Task Management feature of Workstatus enables project managers to assign tasks, set deadlines, and track progress in real-time.
Here’s how you can use this feature
Step 1: Log in to your Workstatus account and navigate to the “Tasks” tab.
Step 2: Create a new task list and add all the tasks that must be completed for the project.
Step 3: Assign each task to the appropriate team member and set a realistic deadline for completion.
Step 4: Prioritize tasks based on their importance and the resources required to complete them.
Step 5: Monitor progress in real-time by tracking time spent on each task and how much work has been completed.
3) AI- Powered Reports
By using AI-powered reports, project managers can gain visibility into their remote team members’ workflows, coordinate tasks and schedule meetings, ensure timelines are being met, and make informed decisions to manage the project effectively.
Here is how to get started with the different reports
1) Time & Activity Report:
Log in to your Workstatus account and navigate to the “Reports” tab.
Select the “Time & Activity” report, which provides a detailed breakdown of each team member’s time spent on work-related tasks.
- Benefit: This report can help project managers identify which team members are productive and which may be struggling.
It also provides an overview of the types of tasks that team members are working on, allowing managers to allocate resources more effectively.
2) Weekly Report:
Select the “Weekly” report, which summarizes each team member’s work activity.
- Benefit: This report provides a quick overview of how much time each team member has spent on work-related tasks, which can help managers ensure that timelines are being followed and deadlines are not missed.
3) Apps & URL Report:
Select the “Apps and URL” report, which provides a breakdown of the apps and websites team members use while working.
- Benefit:This report can help managers identify any potential distractions that may be affecting productivity and take action to minimize them.
4) Timesheet Approvals Report:
Select the “Timesheet Approvals” report, which shows all timesheets that require approval and allows managers to review and approve them.
- Benefit: This report helps managers ensure that team members accurately report their time and provides a quick and easy way to approve timesheets.
5) Project & Todo Report:
Select the “Project & Todo” report, which overviews all tasks assigned to each team member.
- Benefit:This report can help managers ensure that all tasks are completed and identify areas where additional support may be required.
6) Attendance Report:
Select the “Attendance” report, which summarizes each team member’s Attendance and time off.
- Benefit: This report helps managers ensure that team members adhere to their schedules and take appropriate time off.
7) Attendance Management
By using the Attendance Management feature with selfie validation of Workstatus, you can easily track the attendance of your remote team members, monitor their working hours, and ensure that they are logging in and logging out at the right time.
Here is how you can get started
Step 1: Log in to your Workstatus account and navigate to the “Attendance” tab.
Step 2: Create a new attendance policy for your remote team. You can set up policies to track start and end times, break times, and lunch hours.
Step 3: Enable the selfie validation feature, which requires team members to take a selfie at the start and end of each work session to verify their Attendance.
Step 4: Customize your attendance report by choosing the information you want to track, such as the time spent on each task, the start and end times, and the breaks taken.
Step 5: Review the attendance report regularly to ensure that team members follow the attendance policy and work efficiently.
4) Project Management
By using the project management feature of Workstatus, you can effectively manage your projects and teams, improve coordination, and ensure that your projects are completed successfully.
You can get started by following the steps.
Step 1: Log in to your Workstatus account and navigate to the “Projects” tab.
Step 2: Create a new project and add all the details, such as project name, description, start, and end date, and assign a team to it.
Step 3: Divide the project into tasks and subtasks, and assign them to the appropriate team members.
Step 4: Set up priorities and deadlines for each task, and track progress in real-time.
Step 5: Use Workstatus’s reporting features to track project progress, identify areas for improvement, and make informed decisions about resource allocation.
5) Automatic Scheduling
Using the scheduling feature of Workstatus, you can effectively assign shifts, manage your team’s availability, and ensure that everyone is working on the tasks that need to be completed.
Here are some steps to get started:
Step 1: Log in to your Workstatus account and navigate to the “Scheduling” tab.
Step 2: Create a new schedule and add all your team members to it.
Step 3: Assign shifts to each team member based on their availability and the tasks that need to be completed.
Step 4: Set up reminders for shift start times to ensure everyone is online when needed.
Step 5: Use the schedule view to see who is available at any given time and assign tasks accordingly.
Step 6: Update the schedule as needed based on changes in availability or project requirements.
Step 7: Use Workstatus’ reporting features to analyze team performance and identify any issues with scheduling or productivity.
In conclusion, embracing remote work has become necessary in today’s fast-paced business environment.
Companies that adopt remote work policies must equip their teams with the right productivity tools and strategies to ensure maximum team performance.
Workstatus stands out as one of the best options to get started with remote work, offering a variety of features such as:
- Time Tracking
- Project Management
- Team Management
With Workstatus and other productivity tools, companies can seamlessly transition to remote work, maintain productivity levels, and create a positive work environment for their remote teams.
So what are you waiting for?
That is all for today.
Thanks for reading!
Q: How can project managers track the progress and performance of remote teams?
Project managers can track the progress and performance of remote teams by using project management software that allows for:
- Task and project tracking
- Setting clear goals and objectives
- Regularly checking in with team members
- Using data analysis tools to identify areas of improvement
Q: What are some tips for managing remote teams effectively?
A: Some tips for managing remote teams effectively include:
- Establishing clear communication and expectations
- Providing regular feedback and support
- Fostering a culture of trust and collaboration
- Leveraging technology and productivity tools
- Staying flexible and adaptable in response to changing circumstances.