A lot of us work more than we can cope with, which can lead to extreme pressure, stress, and a possible burn out in the long run. With our current work arrangement where more and more of us seem to be working from home, it’s more different, often, challenging for us to ask for a smoother workflow. We don’t have anyone else overseeing our work, and because of this, it can lead to us taking on more than we can manage, and that can be unhealthy and detrimental in the long run.
Remote working isn’t for everyone. For it to run successfully and effectively, as a manager or one who leads a team, it’s essential to keep employees who are working from home disciplined to follow a process you’ve set-up for them (or you’re about to set-up), and willing enough to communicate issues and concerns. If this is done correctly, you’ll even be able to pull your employees to get comfortable around this kind of work arrangement.
So, where do you start? Let’s explore the steps you need to take for you and your team to avoid task overload and have a smooth workflow.
Onboard your employees
Onboarding is standard in the human resources and sales departments. HR managers onboard candidates to their strong positions while sales agents onboard interested clients who’d like to avail services or products the company is offering. But how does this process apply to your current situation?
Remote employees need to know where to ‘go’ even if they are working from home. There should be an orientation discussing goals and strategies that will help them achieve metrics, set proper job expectations, and make sure that they are prepared for this kind of work environment. Employees should have a clear mind and access to tools to have a smooth workflow.
And even if you’re all working remotely now, introduce everyone to each other through a Skype or Zoom call where you are present to get them comfortable with others around even if this is done virtually.
Use easy-to-understand tools
There are so many things that could go wrong if your employees are each using different tools on their own. One might be comfortable in using tool A, the other prefers tool B. You’ll have to establish easy-to-understand tools common for everyone that are easy to use, and which will boost their productivity. Train them or provide a short walkthrough if necessary. Otherwise, contain links to guides they could read independently and meet with them to train on the tool once everyone’s ready.
At GroupLink, we’re a huge fan of Slack. It’s a collaborative tool designed for teams through various chat rooms called channels. It works for us because it often replaces email as our method of communicating and sharing, and allows for files and other information to be stored in one place.
When working from home or wherever you are, it can be a bit challenging to communicate with employees whether you’re trying to delegate some tasks or you want to ensure that they are not missing out on anything. So it’s crucial to choose from the available tools out there that everyone is comfortable to use.
Also, we and all our clients also prefer to use our cloud-based solutions such as GroupLink everything HelpDesk, GroupLink Workflow Process & Incident Tracking, GroupLink for SafestSchools for project-based workflow.These have also been made available at NO COST to new organization entities during, and for 4 months beyond the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic lock-down crisis.
Each of the above tools allows for the following kind of workflow management benefits:
- Multi-Departmental Solution
- Email and Calendar Integration
- Email-to-Ticket/Incident Automation
- Business Process Automation Using Workflow
- Customizable User Interface
- Business Process Automation Using Ticket Templates
- Ability to Delegate Tickets/Incidents
- Ability to Auto Assign Tickets/Incidents
- Ticket/Incident Escalation and Service Level Agreements (SLAs) Ability
- Reporting with True Business Intelligence
- Scheduled Automatic Reports
- Dashboard View for Oversight and Team Views
- Self-Help Knowledgebase
Monitor your projects and track their time
Often when working from home or remotely it can be quite tricky to track tasks and/or projects being worked. To keep track of them, use project management tools like Monday.com where everyone can see what tasks are queued to them and what tasks are in progress. In this way, you can see who’s working too long in one task, and who’s working too fast. You can then include this during your monthly evaluation (if you have one).
If you want a seamless workflow for everyone, you need to be able to tell who is working and who is not. Some employees who are working from home might take advantage of the current situation where you can’t supervise them, and they may tend to work beyond the working hours without delivering the tasks they’re supposed to do, or perhaps they didn’t work at all.
Use can tools that can become your log sheet, such as Clockify. By using this tool, you can make sure your employees are not working too much or working below the required work hours.
It’s easy to get carried away with tasks getting on top of you, especially with your employees working from their homes, and no one is supervising/monitoring what they’re doing. But by adapting to the changes, to your role, and the new processes, it’ll prevent you from panicking. It will also boost productivity among your employees and will help achieve your team’s overall goals.
What about you? How are you managing your team to avoid an overload of tasks and for better workflow?