Maximize Your Virtual Team Productivity in 5 StepsThe Flow TeamLast Updated: June 18, 2020
Building a virtual workspace is an undertaking on its own. And when working from home comes with a myriad of added distractions and challenges, building a truly productive space is even harder. Remember that the barking dogs in the neighbor’s yard and the household chores piling up aren’t the only things getting in the way of your team’s progress. The workspace itself can make or break virtual team productivity. That’s why we’ve decided to share several effective ways you can overcome the hurdles of working remotely and improve the way your team works.
How to Improve Productivity in Your Virtual Team
Before we get into what you can do to boost productivity within your virtual team, we want to make a brief mention of one thing to steer clear of: the lure of micromanagement. When team members work remotely in cities around the world, it can be tempting to virtually hover over their shoulders. But getting attached to how, when, and why things are done generally has the opposite effect on productivity. Instead, the best path forward is to support your team in managing their own workflows in the ways that work best for them.
Step 1: Help Your Team Manage Their Projects
Equip your team with project management software that helps them move through projects in an easy, clear, and organized way. Train team members to take full advantage of the software’s built-in tools so they can successfully manage their own tasks and schedules.
For example, create a principal location where all project data can be found, and continue to add tasks and resources to keep everything together. Make use of activity dashboards so team members can see updates on what’s been completed and what still needs to get done at a glance. Use visual timeline tools and calendars to track progress overall. Take advantage of templates, project duplication, and recurring tasks to avoid creating similar projects and tasks from scratch. Centralize all notifications about a project or task—its Home, if you will—to create an almost tangible workspace out of an otherwise virtual experience.
Step 2: Help Your Team Manage Their Tasks
Your team will also benefit from tools that manage individual tasks. The best tools facilitate automation to make the work a lot easier and to help you and your team save time. Look for features that allow you to schedule recurring tasks and duplicate existing ones. Custom task templates preserve critical steps and details so team members don’t have to waste time recreating them. Start dates and deadlines keep a record of a task’s lifespan and make prioritization straightforward. And tagging tasks with keywords such as “bug fixes,” “feature requests,” or “unassigned” will make finding these to-dos a lot simpler.
Step 3: Communicate, Communicate, Communicate
To maximize virtual team productivity, you need to promote ongoing constructive communication as well as casual chit chat. Remember, even remote teams need to feel connected to each other, and it doesn’t always have to be about work. You can facilitate stronger connections with an internal chat tool that allows private messaging, group channels, and in-task communication. When conversations are organized accordingly, critical information is less likely to get lost. Plus, team members won’t feel left out. By subscribing to chat channels, tasks, and even projects, they’ll be notified of messages and updates to stay in the loop.
Additionally, it’s important that your teammates feel that they have some agency over their time and space. So, your chat tool should give the option to personalize communication settings—to mute notifications during an especially busy time, for example.
Step 4: Inspire Your Team with an Inclusive Culture
It’s always good form to respect distinct work styles and personalities. Cultivating understanding and patience in a diverse workplace is essential to people getting along, but you have an added challenge with a remote team. Inspiring this sense of inclusivity should be an integral part of the company culture. In addition to prioritizing tools designed to foster collaboration and productivity, the company’s larger vision should be very familiar and should recognize the contributions of all team members. People who feel that they’re a part of something bigger are much more likely to feel empowered in their day-to-day work.
Step 5: Combine Software Solutions into One Platform
If you’re trying to accomplish these steps by stringing together a wide variety of tools, you may be undermining your own efforts to boost productivity. If the tools don’t integrate well together or certain game-changing features are missing, your team will get frustrated and discouraged. An all-in-one remote platform that also offers a host of helpful integrations is the solution that will empower your team’s productivity.
Inspire Your Team with an Intuitive All-in-One Workspace
In order for your team to feel motivated and engaged, they need to actually love the work they’re doing. Otherwise, the day-to-day just feels like drudgery even with the work-from-home perk. Taking the above steps can certainly help you maximize virtual team productivity, but what about this other element of enjoyment and inspiration?
One way to guide your team members closer to loving the process is to give them a space that is customizable and elegant. Think of it like a corner office full of windows and natural light with a personal assistant to help carry the load. The quality of the work environment matters even when the office is online. With an all-in-one platform that brings together the right tools, you solve many of the common pain points before they ever burden your team. And it’s with an inspiring space that you can give your team the most valuable support.
When you need an online workspace that elevates team engagement and productivity, turn to Flow. It’s built for virtual teams, and it has the power to align your entire team on shared goals. Try it out today.
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