5 Ways To Manage Remote Team Productivity During COVID-19

I interviewed Chantel McHenry, Senior Manager of Operations, on ways to ensure your remote team is productive while working remotely during COVID-19. Chantel shared 5 practical tips and strategies to help leaders maintain accountability and trust during a remote work situation.

1. Request Weekly Reports 

    • Ask for weekly reports from your team members that includes a list of projects completed that week, current priorities they're working on, and projects in the queue. Lay out clear guidelines for how projects should be organized and communicated each week.

    • This can give supervisors an opportunity to help their team prioritize what needs to be done and ensure everyone's aligned.

    • This is an opportunity for team members to share questions, comments, and concerns that need to be discussed.

    • Weekly reports are also a great way for leaders and team members to reflect on what they did well each week and where they want to improve. For a more in-depth report, ask your team to lay out their successes and improvement areas each week. Discuss in your weekly one-on-one. 

2. Establish Weekly Touchpoint Meetings

    • This is a 15-30 minute one-on-one virtual meeting with each of your team members. 

    • It’s a great opportunity to make sure they’re doing well mentally, spiritually, and physically. These calls provide space to align on priorities and allow for some human connection. 

    • You should also go through their weekly report to talk through bigger projects and address any questions or roadblocks they may have. 

3. Obtain Quality Project Management Software

    • Having good software systems in place gives supervisors and team members a good vantage point of the projects and tasks that everyone is working on. 

    • For larger video conferences or recording calls, Zoom is a leading platform.

    • For continuous instant messaging and on-the-fly video chats, we recommend Slack. You can set statuses on Slack that  tell co-workers what  you're working on as an additional layer of visibility.

4. Enforce Calendar Management

    • Consider implementing a calendar system that is transparent and visible to everyone within the company. 

    • It’s helpful to have team members keep an up-to-date calendar that shows projects, focused work, meetings, webinars, and other tasks they are working on throughout the week.  

    • For companies with flexible hours, you can also have employees document when they're out-of-office or at lunch to maintain alignment and reduce uncertainty. 

5. Seize Coaching Opportunities

    • If you find that a team member isn’t being as productive as you think they should be, see it as an opportunity to coach them in a unique way.

    • Asks your team members intentional questions to see if they have any barriers when it comes to completing tasks and understand who might need more hands-on assistance with time management. 

    • Virtual work is new to a lot of people, so as a leader, take the initiative to ensure your team is getting the resources they need to be most productive.

To express and build trust, it’s imperative for leaders to intentionally assume the best of their remote employees. During COVID-19, It’s inevitable for challenges and distractions to arise for people as they are working remotely. As we all walk through this new landscape, leaders should look for opportunities to gracefully coach their team members in order for everyone to come out of this challenge a stronger and more successful.