Harvest is a great tool that allows you to keep track in real-time. Instead of wasting hours on tedious manual time keeping, using Harvest or similar tools can give you a great insight into where your teams are dedicating their focus, and help you streamline on areas where they can cut down. This is especially useful in agency setups, where billable hours need to be accounted for and reported on. By checking in weekly on your team's time management, you can help them shift focus or pivot onto more critical work before it becomes a problem.
Microsoft Teams is one of the most prevalent and useful ways of staying connected with your team. You can schedule conference calls and video calls, and have access to an instant messaging platform at your fingertips. Download the app to stay connected when you step away from your home workstation, or to easily make video and conference calls from your mobile device. This is also a great way to segment different teams who are working on various projects, to keep updates minimal and information in one central location.
Asana and BaseCamp are two of the most popular tools for tracking project progress. Brief your team on a new project, segment tasks and subtasks and allocate a set amount of time per team member to hit your project deadlines. Email threads can often become buried in a busy inbox, so by using one convenient platform to access all projects you can ensure nothing goes amiss.
You can also invite your manager, clients, and customers alike to have access to a project, streamlining the workflow and removing the necessity to constantly update all who are involved.
By taking the time to upskill your management abilities, you'll be fostering the right attitude towards self-development that your team can draw from. Signing up for a management development course will help you to learn new techniques on leadership and management and provides you with the tools to successfully manage your team, all while adding a dash of magic to your management style.
If you can't attend in person, now is the ideal time to make use of online management training courses. The live, interactive sessions are designed to help you keep your team focused in a time of crisis and agree the core priorities, to help them manage their anxiety and keep up resilience – and many other useful and impactful lessons you might not know you needed.
Working from home can mean forgetting to take regular breaks. Make use of free reminder tools such as this Chrome Extension called Break Timer – which can be set to remind you to take a break at specific times or intervals.
Productivity and creativity are fuelled by relaxed and fresh minds and slogging away for 8 hours a day without a proper break is going to have a negative impact on anyone who tries it. Avoid burnout and stay mentally and physically fit by taking proper, regular breaks throughout the day.
Working remotely shouldn't equate to “out of sight, out of mind”. Hard work should be rewarded and recognised, no matter the circumstance. Why not celebrate work well done by using a tool like Wooboard? This gamified platform allows for peer-to-peer recognition and promotes engagement – something which may fall to the wayside as we see less of each other during the day.
One thing is for sure; making the move from in-office management to remote management is going to take some time to adapt to. Remember to conduct regular skills audits on yourself and ask for feedback from your team members in order to help you become the best manager you can be.