By / June 13, 2017
With the surge in remote workforces- sometimes spread out across the globe- managers are finding new ways to ensure their teams are staying on track. Thankfully, the rise in telecommuters is due to the advancements in technology and as such, the applications and programs to monitor and track their progress, completed work and hours are readily available, as well.
It isn’t just hours, though, that managers will need to track. For instance, many managers recommend tracking the progress and subsequent completion of a project over hours worked because it can be incredibly easy for team members to extend the hours necessary to successfully complete a project. Having an intimate understanding to roughly how long it should take an employee to complete a project before assigning it goes a long way towards a more efficient- and on budget- project.
For those that do need to track the time, many apps are available for either their mobile devices or as desktop plugins. Timely, TSheets and Time Doctor are all exceptionally effective at tracking the time, project status and schedules of employees from afar. Their user interfaces, screen capture capabilities and notifications help both the employee and employer to utilize, share and understand the information before them.
Other applications offer timer features that set pre-determined amounts of work time, such as recommended by The Pomodoro Technique. Through this way of thinking, employees are able to work in short bursts, helping them to be laser focused, take a break and come back to their work again. This has said to be an incredibly productive way of working and a method that works very successfully for employees that work remotely and are often responsible for their own time management.
Additionally, there are cloud-based sites and services that allow your team to work cohesively together on projects, such as Trello, Asana or Basecamp. For Trello, a “collaboration tool”, you can easily see your to-do’s, tag team members, assign members to certain tasks and set up due dates. Asana and Basecamp offer similar features, with Basecamp users being able to view items being checked off or added to their list of deliverables. Basecamp also provides managers with the ability to oversee the progress throughout the day.
Finally, if distractions are a cause for concern, there too, are applications for overriding the accessibility to those. For mobile, PC and Mac users, tools such as Anti-Social- which blocks social media sites- or the Google-Chrome extension, StayFocused- which restricts instead of blocks “time wasting websites”- both give the user access to their files, Word documents and other creative programs without the incessant distractions.
All of these are fantastic ways to not only keep your remote teams on task, but to have documented reports of how they are spending their workdays. While at the heart of the telecommute workforce there must be strong leadership and a team full of self-starters, trust and communication both go a long way towards a successful company. As technology advances, CEO’s and managers will become increasingly comfortable with allowing remote workers to complete the projects and assignments they have available, leaving the success of their company in the hands of their employees- no matter where in the world they might be.