Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Helping Your Employees Manage Their Time

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As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s safe to assume at this point that “how we work” will never be the same. Even after the pandemic passes, its effect on the workplace will linger.

On the professional front, the biggest legacy of COVID-19 is the way in which it pushed more people than ever before to work in a remote environment. Some employees and employers have embraced the change and made the most of it — but others have struggled every step of the way, such as employees who are unable to get motivated and leaders who don’t have a system in place for holding their team accountable. With that said, the face of workplace productivity, and how managers track it, is changing.

How to Keep Your Employees on Task

There’s no exact science to successfully managing remote employees. What works for you and your company won’t work for the next person, and vice versa. But regardless, it’s critical that you have a strategy in place for keeping your employees on task, all while taking time away from their job to rest their minds, body, and soul. Here are five things you can do to help employees manage their time:

1. Schedule Regular Check-ins

You don’t want to come across as someone who is micro-managing their team — autocratic leadership often leads to employees resenting their managers. However, if you don’t schedule regular check-ins, you may find it difficult to monitor your team’s progress.

This doesn’t mean you have to schedule an hour-long Zoom call every morning. It also doesn’t mean you have to check-in multiple times throughout the day. As long as you and your team know when you’ll check in with one another, it should be easy enough to stay on task. And if you do this enough, you may come to find that some people don’t really need it.

2. Require Them to Clock In and Clock Out

Just because your team isn’t working alongside you doesn’t mean they can’t clock in at the beginning of their workday and clock out when the day comes to an end. There are many time-tracking tools you can implement, including mobile time-tracking apps, with most of them benefiting both the employer and employee.

For instance, the ability for workers to clock in and out from any device allows them to work in a more efficient manner. And of course, when employers are able to track this, they’ll have greater peace of mind, avoiding fears of employee fraud when it comes to claiming work that’s getting done.

3. Organize Their Tasks and Responsibilities

Time management is difficult enough when you’re sitting in a physical office alongside co-workers. But when you’re working remotely, it’s even more difficult to stay the course.

As a leader, do your part in organizing tasks and responsibilities for your team. By doing this, you’ll both have a clear idea of expectations. Here are some ideas to try:

       Create and manage calendars on behalf of your team (such as a content calendar)

       Use motivational tools to push and reward your employees

       Set aside time each day to discuss progress

4. Make it Easy to Communicate

Even if you trust every member of your team to do the right thing, you’ll still want to stay in communication with them.

There used to be a time when communicating meant one thing: picking up the phone and making a call. But those days are gone, and there are more ways than ever to communicate efficiently. In addition to phone calls, other options include text messaging, email, and video chat. 

For example, both Zoom and Slack have experienced an uptick in activity as a result of the pandemic. Through the use of these tools—among others—it’s more efficient to work in a remote environment. For example, with Slack, you can send and receive text-based messages, while also making video and voice calls, as necessary.

As you experiment with different communication tools, you’ll come to find what works best for you and your team.

5. Request That They Take Breaks

Do you get the sense that your employees are working entirely too hard? Are they finding it difficult to disconnect from their job when the day ends?

It’s important to help them through this, as neglecting to do so can take a toll on their mental and physical well-being. Not to mention the fact that it can also kill productivity.

There are many benefits of taking breaks throughout the workday, including but not limited to:

       Easier to process and retain information

       An opportunity to rest your mind and body (such as your eyes)

       Creativity boost

       An opportunity to eat a healthy snack or meal

You can’t make someone take a break when they’re working remotely, but it’s something you should encourage. By doing so, you’ll show your team that taking time away from their desk is a good thing. It’s not something that will lead to trouble.

Conclusion

With the tips above guiding you, you’ll find it easier to engage with your employees and ensure that they’re working in the most efficient manner possible. Even when times are uncertain—such as what we’ve experienced with the recent pandemic—it’s a must to take the steps necessary to help your business survive. And a big part of that is making sure that your entire team is on the same page.

About the Author: Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he is trying his hand at being a freelance writer. He enjoys writing on a variety of topics but technology and business topics are his favorite. When he isn't writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.

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