Negosentro | Tips to Better Manage Your Time For Keeping Distributed Teams | In 2022, 62% of US-based employees between the ages of 22 and 65 worked from home. Distributed teams are made up of these employees who work remotely, instead of working in a central company office.
Although 77% of remote workers report greater productivity, team management is still a tough nut to crack for many companies.
If you’re leading a remote team, you may face multiple challenges like tracking work progress, maintaining effective communication, following up with team members, or keeping up with deadlines. To keep up, you must find ways to manage your time intelligently.
In this article, we share actionable tips to help you better manage your time when leading a distributed team.
1. Manage Your Meetings Better
Online meetings are great for keeping up with the work progress of your distributed team. During meetings, employees can present their work and get feedback in real-time.
But, too many irrelevant meetings become a serious time-wasting machine. More than half of global employees get invited to meetings they find irrelevant.
It gets even worse when 1-hour meetings become 3-hour discussion sessions that lead to no productive gain.
To keep your distributed team efficient, plan meetings well ahead of time, with clearly defined agendas and time slots for specific activities. Only send invites to teammates who’re involved in the meeting.
Also, use less complex and fewer buggy tools like zoom, to avoid time wasted on technical issues.
2. Find the Optimal Tool for Communication
According to the Connected culture report, 71% of employees who reported being productive employees also reported feeling well-connected to their colleagues.
Thus, employees who communicate regularly are more productive. This is why finding an optimal tool for communication is essential.
With a great communication tool like Slack, teammates can report daily, weekly or monthly progress directly – through tools like chatbots, chat rooms, or channels.
Team members working on sub-projects or tasks can also be grouped into rooms, to save you time and effort on reporting and follow-up. Here, for quickly managing multiple reports, you may consider using a pdf merger downloadable online, or a pdf editor.
3. Automate Low-Value Tasks
As a manager, certain tasks require your full attention, but others don’t. If you can, use modern technology to automate the tasks that require less of your attention: low-value tasks.
Your presence is essential at a meeting, but you do not have to sign 50 documents by hand – use an electronic signature on a pdf creator app to automate this task.
Creating and assigning redundant tasks to teammates is another activity that can be automated with the right PM tool. Having to remind teammates of delivery dates, deadlines, or meeting times is one more redundant task that should be automated.
Find the right tools to help you automate tasks that are repetitive.
4. Be a Better Remote Worker
The best way to lead is to lead by example. By showing the way forward and becoming a better remote worker, you can inspire teammates to step up their game.
Always delivering work on time, following up the right way, and making conditions appropriate for remote teammates will eventually save you time in the long run.
Encourage teammates to take responsibility and become more autonomous, by showing the example – being the best remote worker you can be.
Here are a few things you can do…
- Share your work-day structure with your team
- Share your schedule, so people know when to reach you
- Schedule work well ahead of time
5. Сheck Software that can help you
There are many different software solutions and features coming up in recent times, to make remote work better.
Tools like Zoom are constantly improving; with webinar services, collaborative whiteboard features for effective presentations, and now avatars. If your meetings are better managed by such a tool, you end up saving lots of time.
Another cool tool to consider is a pdf package that comes with pdf merge software, pictures to pdf converter, and can split pdf files online, plus a lot more.
Do your research and find some of these outstanding software tools that can help you save time managing your remote team.
- Task management tools capable of automation.
- Planning tools – work days, schedules, reminders.
- Effective file management and file-sharing platforms
- Effective team collaboration
- Automating communication, etc.
6. Focus on Things Done not Hours Spent
Spending your valuable time tracking work hours invested by teammates is not a smart thing to do. Your time should be spent tracking actual work done.
It already takes too much time and energy to keep up with how many hours employee X or Y commits to work every day. You’ll even need separate tools for this.
Managing finished tasks/work is much easier and better. This, of course, means it’s your responsibility to break down projects into much smaller daily, weekly, and monthly individual tasks that teammates have to deliver.
With the right tool like Trello, it’s easy to manage all these micro-tasks and deadlines. Your teammates deliver real, measurable progress with their work, while you’re able to save time and effort keeping track of hours of work committed.
7. Delegate Responsibilities
According to John Hunt, a professor at the London Business School, only 30% of managers believe they can delegate well; and only a third of these managers are considered good delegators by their teams.
Delegation is a crucial skill of management. Without it, work is not only inefficient but a lot of your time is wasted.
Delegation requires you as a manager to identify your strengths and weaknesses. Do the same for all members of your team. Now split and assign tasks according to these strengths and weaknesses.
Employees get to work on tasks they’re great at, while you avoid wasting time on tasks that can be better handled by someone else.
While the future of remote work seems bright, managers who fail to manage their time effectively will always struggle to keep up. Above are 7 actionable tips to help you manage your time much better when leading a remote team.