Why Use a Remote Work Team?
While building up your local team is still an important objective, adopting a hybrid local and remote team will allow you to sidestep some key challenges associated with scaling your workforce. Using a remote work team can provide numerous advantages as opposed to only sourcing employees exclusively in your area.
One of the advantages of access to a greater talent pool of potential employees. Sourcing workers in your immediate area can limit the scope of talent in your company. However, having a remote work team can include employees from anywhere in the world, gaining access to talent you wouldn’t have found otherwise.
Another great advantage to a remote work team is gaining access to a larger network. With employees in other countries, your business network will inevitably grow as your employees will have networks of their own in their respective country.
A remote work team in a different time-zone can also lead to quicker releases of products. With workers adopting a “follow the sun” approach. This is where software engineers in one time zone start when those in another finish. This ensures that software is continually worked on and can lead to as much as a 67% reduction in development time if the company has a 24-hour development schedule.
What is Workflow Optimization?
As evident, there are several benefits to a remote work team. However, without the proper approach and management these benefits can easily be lost as a result of a slow workflow.
This is where workflow optimization comes in. Workflow optimization is the increased efficiency in the processes of a business. This can lead to faster delivery of work, and better communication and satisfaction of employees.
This guide will outline 6 ways to ensure workflow optimization in your remote work team.
6 Tips for Workflow Optimization:
1. Reduce Necessary Approvals for a Project
Many projects require the approval of several people for development to continue. This can limit the time spent developing and increase the time spent waiting for approval.
Furthermore, this can have a knock-on effect on subsequent projects, amplifying the problem.
You can combat this by limiting the number of people required for approval of a project. Ensuring that only those completely essential to the review of a project are necessary for approval. Furthermore, making sure approvals are regularly checked can also reduce the time spent waiting.
2. Centralise as Many Processes as you can
The time spent sending files across multiple platforms and asking your colleague the progress of a project is time that could be spent in development.
By having a common platform for files, messages and tasks employees can easily access files as and when they need to and are able to check the progress of tasks in a common place. This not only saves time, but also ensures employees are on the same page regarding progress.
Some great applications for this are Monday.com, Slack, Jira, and Asana.
3. Identify Reasons for Slowed Work
It is important to identify any roadblocks that might be slowing down your remote team. Look at the way your team process and look out for areas that could limit their productivity. Some common areas include:
Lack of Relationship
Having a healthy relationship with your employees can improve their wellbeing in the workplace and help establish a connection which in turn increases productivity.
This is another fault many companies are guilty of. Determine whether that catch-up meeting on a Monday morning is entirely essential or whether the time could be better spent on work.
Setting unrealistic expectations on employees can also hinder productivity, as they feel they will never reach their deadlines, leading to a poorer quality of work.
4. Effective Onboarding
First impressions are everything, and it’s no different in the workplace. Introducing your new employees to the workplace effectively will set them up for success. This can be done using these tips:
- Clearly demonstrating how and why the business operates the way it does. Explaining individual team members and areas of the business helps to improve their understanding of the company.
- Avoid overloading the new employee when they start. After spending some time at a company, it is easy to forget what it’s like for new employees who are unfamiliar with the ways of the business and give them more work than they can handle. Gradually increasing their workload can avoid this issue.
- Creating a written, standardised onboarding procedure will ensure all new employees receive the same effective onboarding. Even if it is done by different people.
5. Create a Schedule
We’ve all experienced double booked time slots and meetings overlapping. Having a clear-cut schedule which can be shared among employees is an easy way to avoid this. This allows everyone to be on the same page with regards to meetings and when people are free, avoiding mix-ups.
This can also allow managers to highlight key deadlines and demonstrate how much is expected of the employee.
Outlook’s calendar system a great tool for this, allowing employees to share their personal calendars with one another, and book meetings.
Whilst a schedule is important in making sure everyone is aware of important deadlines and meetings, it is crucial to allow your employees the flexibility to choose when they work.
People feel varying levels of energy at various times in the day, known as someone’s chronotype. Someone who’s an Owl Chronotype (works best at night) shouldn’t be restricted to a rigid 9 to 5 workday. If they can instead work at the times, they are most productive, they will produce work faster and of a higher quality.
A flexible working day is also beneficial to remote working teams, as employees across multiple time zones won’t be forced to work during the daytime of a different country.
Apply These Tips and Reap the Rewards
By removing roadblocks, making processes more efficient and having a happy workforce, these 6 tips on workflow optimization can help improve the productivity of your employees and unlock the benefits of a remote work team.