While we wait for the pandemic to pass, one is for sure- remote work environments are here to stay. Although most companies were compelled to adopt a remote working system due to the pandemic situation, most of them are reviewing their organizational structure to incorporate remote working permanently for all or at least some of their employees. Work management systems are helping companies to manage their remote workforce more efficiently. There are many employee monitoring software to help companies to manage the teams’ productivity and keep communication running. Managing a remotely working employee has its own set of challenges primarily concerning human and technical issues such as lack of accountability, unreliable internet connectivity, poor software end-user training, collaborating with other departments, etc. Finding the right work management systems will assist organizations/managers to keep track of employees, and avoid confusion and loss of efficiency.
What is a work management system?
Work management systems are software that helps organizations to gain insight into their workforce and improve employee productivity. It helps them plan work, manage employee time, control labor costs, and improve efficiency. A good work management system automates processes, eliminates paperwork, and cuts tedious tasks, thereby allowing employees to focus on getting the tasks done.
What are the challenges of remote work management?
The drastic shift in work patterns meant that employees had to adapt to a new environment quickly. Working from home (WFH) has its advantages and disadvantages. Some of the top challenges that employers face when dealing with remote work management are:
- Employees face difficulty to download files, collaborate or effectively communicate with other team members or departments. This could be due to lack of access to the right video-conferencing tool, internet connectivity, instant messaging, or role-specific software.
- Lack of distinguished home-work boundaries may affect an employee’s ability to work efficiently.
- Some employees may face hurdles while learning/using collaboration and productivity-enhancing enterprise tools.
- Some employees have trouble being motivated when working from home. This lack of motivation can be due to people feeling disconnected from others or because they miss the work structure of a physical office and the inter-personal communication among team members.
- There could be distractions at home (eg- babies, pets) that impact employees productivity.
How can companies overcome the challenges of managing a remote work team?
Organizations need to provide secure and reliable access to critical tools. Company laptops, mobile devices, collaboration/communication software, business applications, and productivity tools. Companies must ensure the privacy of all employee’s personal data, hence they must provide separate laptops or desktops to stop enterprise applications from extracting any personally identifiable information from employees’ personal computers. It is the responsibility of the company to conduct thorough remote testing and set clear SOP.
Companies must re-train their employees in technical tools, social learning, and communication software to maintain the flow of work. WFH employees would require technical support throughout the day to ensure their work is accomplished. So, companies must be able to provide tech support to their remote employees and there must be a clear line of communication to ensure that information is flowing seamlessly among relevant departments and team members.
Even though employees are working remotely, companies must maintain a professional and positive work environment that enables all employees to embrace remote work and keep up morale. Corporate culture is still important in such situations. Management must introduce skill development sessions or group activities to foster inclusivity and collaboration. Mental and physical health must be a priority for all organizations. They must be on the lookout for signs of stress and burnout.
Investing in the right work management system or software is crucial to ensure that remote teams are able to coordinate properly and effectively to deliver projects on time. Maintaining productivity is a top priority for managers and these work systems can help them achieve their target. Different work management systems have different features, so companies must evaluate the features that are most valuable to their business and select the software that works best on them.
What are the top work management systems that companies can use?
ProofHub is an online project management software. It allows team members to have seamless interactions with fellow teammates and clients. It has features such as online proofing, discussions, chat to share feedback, and remote project management.
Jira is by far the most popular project management tool. With Scrum boards and Kanban boards, this software is best suited for agile teams. Apart from bug/issue tracking, this software is also known for customizable workflows, customizable dashboards, advanced reporting, an end to end traceability, different types of the report for tracking the progress, setting priorities, etc.
Basecamp is a project management and team collaboration software solution that is popular among managers and agencies due to its simple functionality and excellent user interface. It helps companies to manage projects and communicate with clients in a meaningful way. It offers a range of features and tools for sharing ideas, organizing conversations, and keeping everyone on the same page throughout the project.
Slack is a remote collaboration tool that helps companies to maintain communication among teammates, allow them to share ideas, and share comments in real-time. Slack can be used by remote teams to collaborate and message fellow team members.
Zoho Workplace is an online management tool that helps teams to create, collaborate, and communicate. Teams can plan, track, and collaborate online effectively with inbuilt Gantt chart reports, Kanban boards, forums, social feed, resource utilization charts, templates, timers, chat, and much more all bundled into one package with no additional cost. Email, notifications, chats, and announcements are updated in real-time. Its web conferencing feature makes it very for users to collaborate and communicate on projects.
Monday.com is an online project management tool that allows managers to assign and track tasks and follow processes across teams and projects. It has features of messaging, calendar sync, due date reminders, time tracking, graphs & insights, and forms.
Work management systems are designed to ease the workflow of the remote workforce. At Alkye, we help our clients to create business strategies to help them navigate risks and success in an ever-changing and challenging environment.