When running your business from home, and when managing a team that’s also working from home, there are a number of challenges and obstacles to consider. After all, doing work face to face is much different than being spread out. Fortunately, there are a number of tools available that can help your work from home team get things done.
In this guide, we’ll discuss 8 must-have tools to help you and your team get the most from your time working from home.
1. Video Conferencing
When working from home, not being able to work face to face can feel awkward and counterproductive, but thanks to video conferencing software, you can still meet with your team live and face to face virtually.
It’s important to be sure that you outline areas including etiquette and expectations. For instance, your team should know when their microphones should be muted and which backdrops are acceptable if you’re collaborating with other team members or clients. Better yet, consider investing in Conference speakerphone which allows you to converse with anyone involved in the live streaming all at once.
2. Project Management Software
Staying on the same page when working from home is crucial, and since you don’t have the usual on-site inboxes and outboxes, conference area, and other conveniences, you’ll need another way to ensure your team stays up to date on projects.
With project management software, you can do all of this with features including notifications, built-in chat, shared calendars, project requirements, and more.
3. Cloud Storage
You can sync on-site servers, but this is a timely and often risky process. With cloud storage, however, your team can easily access documents, upload, collaborate, and store information pertinent to your projects.
4. Time Tracking
When working from home, it’s important that you and your team remain accountable for the hours you’ve worked. Working from home can make it easier to get distracted or bored with work, but keeping track of time is a great way to quell lack of focus.
Cloud-based time tracking software is a simple solution for tracking hours when working from home.
If you were working face to face, you might have some sort of reporting, but working from home necessitates a new level of accountability. With reporting, you can share results with your team in a visual way. This analytical breakdown can be applied to various areas, including hours worked and results produced, to measure productivity, performance, and more.
6. Scheduled Breaks
While this might not seem as handy as the other five tools we’ve talked about so far, this just might be the most important for reducing fatigue and increasing productivity. Working from home can get dull, and boredom often leads to fatigue. When you schedule breaks as a team and encourage everyone to take those breaks, everyone in your team benefits. It gives your team a chance during the day to give their mind a break, get a snack, enjoy a hobby, play a game, or relax with their family and clear their minds at the same time.
7. Set Goals and Expectations
From the very beginning, outline the goals and expectations you have of your team as a whole and of each member. Each member should be aware of what you want them to accomplish. This will help encourage focus. Since everyone is working from home, also outline what you expect in terms of privacy. For example, when discussing sensitive information, you might request that there is no one else in the room, or if on a client call, you might request the same.
8. Offer a List of Suggestions
Again, this might not seem as important as collaborative tools at first, but offering a list of suggestions for your team can help them quickly overcome some of the obstacles in terms of working from home. On this list, you might include items such as noise-canceling headphones with a microphone, ergonomic chairs, and standing desks. Also, you might encourage your team to use a daily planner to stay on task, as well as alarms throughout the day.
Simply offering a list of recommendations can help your work at home team stay focused and on-task.
As we embark on a new journey in which so many people have been suddenly thrust into working from home, many are facing a learning curve like never before. Our hope is that this list can help you run your business more smoothly from home with your remote team, whether you’re doing it for the short-term or the long-term.
Thanks to technology, you’ve got more tools at your disposal than ever to make working from home a success, and even if you’ve only started working from home as a product of the coronavirus pandemic, you could find yourself enjoying a work from home schedule once you’ve got it nailed down!