Rilee Chastain, May 20, 2014
Could your virtual team be more efficient? Try out one of these helpful tips!
It’s no secret that working virtually can be extremely beneficial for your company, especially if you are an international business that has team members located in many different places around the globe. Working from home not only allows employees more freedom to work in the ways that are best suited for them, but it also gives them more time to devote to working and being creative, rather than taking away valuable work time on a unnecessary morning and evening commute.
However, the key to having a successful virtual business is a productive, effective virtual team—something that may be harder than you think when you are your own self motivator and manager each day. To help you increase the productivity of your own virtual team members, here are three helpful tips that we have found help to increase workflow and motivation when you work from home:
Take The Morning To Map Out Your Day
If you have a busy day full of meetings, assignments and phone calls, you may not want to waste any moment of your day, so you jump right into your work as soon as you sit down at your desk in the morning without creating a set plan. However, taking some time in the first moments of your morning to map out a plan and a schedule for your day can actually save you time in the long run.
Creating a work schedule or to-do list for yourself is helpful because it not only sets a specific amount of expectations for yourself throughout the day, but it also gives you an idea of where you should be at in your work flow at different moments—as long as you are realistic with your expectations. For instance, if you notice that you haven’t even gotten halfway through your to-do list by lunch, you will know that you have to pick up your pace in the second half of the day. This is harder to do when you are simply keeping track of your assignments in your mind and you may forget about small, last minute tasks.
In addition to a good ol’ fashion pen and paper to-do list, there are also a number of helpful programs, such as Toodledo, that not only let you create an assignment list for yourself each day, but also help you rank them in order of urgency, complexity of project, and even link them with your co-workers to-do lists.
Communicate Which Team Members Are Working On Different Projects
Keeping on the same page with all of your company’s team members is hard enough when you are working on complex, intricate projects. However, add in the virtual, work from home environment, and it makes the process of communication and task management that much more complicated. Therefore, it’s important that virtual team members are more open and communicative than ever about who is working on what.
Jira is a great online program for tracking team planning and organizing projects. It not only allows you to assign work to your fellow team members and organize your own projects, but you can also track overall team activity to see how well different projects or assignments are coming along amongst each team member. You can even sync Jira with your Sococo account to bring together the ultimate virtual communication tool to streamline team communication and have an effective office setup.
Know Your Own Social Media Limits
In this day and age, it’s hard to be off of social media all together during the work day—especially if you work in marketing, communications or any other kind of digital sharing industry. However, you can be strict about how you use social media each day without cutting yourself off completely.
Facebook Nanny, for instance, is a great Chrome web extension that blocks access to Facebook on your Chrome browser unless you have a notification. For example, if you have a new incoming message or alert, you can log in to respond. However, it will not allow you to simply browse away for hours on your Facebook Newsfeed—a common time suck for many people who work from home. Still spending too much time on social media, even with this helpful app? The classic Nanny for Google Chrome extension will block any site you deem a distraction… with no exceptions!
What is your favorite productivity tool or program? Be sure to share it with us on the comments below. Also be sure to check out Sococo today to help streamline your virtual team’s daily processes.