Locked Up: Keeping Your Remote Workforce on Track Amidst Health Crisis
Using time tracking software and video conferencing software can help to keep your remote workforce in check, and your options are many.
- By Finidi Lawson
- Jun 04, 2020
The coronavirus pandemic has changed the mode of operation of many businesses across the world, and yours is likely affected too. With 29 percent of remote employees struggling with work-life balance, you are probably thinking about how to keep your remote workforce productive during amidst this crisis.
Remote employees can be very productive. At the same time, they can be counter-productive without access to the right tools to make working from home more comfortable. Using time tracking software can also help to keep your remote workforce in check.
Whether you’re a pro or a newbie in the outsourcing game, this guide will show you the best methods to help you and your remote workforce be on the same page in your business.
How to Keep Your Remote Workforce on Track Amidst Health Crisis
The pandemic has taught many businesses how to manage remote workers with about 46 percent of American businesses that have already implemented WFH policies in their companies. The goal is to be equally or more productive than when they had to be physically present in a traditional office setting.
Since your remote employees work far away from you, it will be impossible to monitor them directly, know their needs, keep tabs on their progress, track their work and ensure their wellbeing. However, with the right tools at your disposal, you will be able to manage your remote workforce as if they were physically present at a traditional office setting. The right apps will help you make the most out of remote employee monitoring.
What Are the Best Tools to Keep Your Remote Team on Track Amidst Health Crisis?
The best tools for your remote team to stay on top of their game while working from home amidst the coronavirus pandemic range from time tracking software to schedulers, remote employee monitoring tools, video conferencing platforms, work management tools and so on.
Below is a list of tools that are ideal for your remote workforce to knuckle under and start completing the tasks that are most important to your business efficiently:
Slack is an excellent communication tool with text, audio chat and video call features. It helps to achieve safe and secure management and tracking of documents between you and your remote workforce. It also features advanced search modifiers, uses shared channels across workspaces, streamlined and customized sidebar, lightning-quick navigation, and so on. You can even set reminders that will make remote employee monitoring easier.
With Slack, you can also perform searches from history for quick access to useful information that you have accessed in the past. Furthermore, Slack does not only support sharing documents, but it also allows you to share images and videos with your remote workforce seamlessly.
2. Microsoft Teams
Teams has many things in common with Slack. Still, it seems more sophisticated with a plethora of features, such as being fully integrated with Office 365 that helps you to directly access useful applications, including email, Skype, OneDrive and SharePoint.
Teams cuts out the trouble of long email threads by enabling a chat room for you and your remote workforce, where you can quickly address issues and answer questions that they may have on their minds. Moreover, you can also make calls and conduct video conferences directly from Teams.
Its real-time collaboration is also a feature that makes it a useful tool for remote employee monitoring. Other features of Teams include its accessibility across all devices, the ability to integrate third-party applications, cybersecurity, slash commands, and “@” feature.
Zoom is a suitable video conferencing tool for remote workers. Although its functions are not limited to video conferencing, it can help make meetings between you and your remote workforce realistic.
Some of the features of Zoom that make it ideal for remote employee monitoring include the ease of accessibility from any device and easy adoption with WebRTC technology. It also enables access to robust security solutions throughout, in-built screen sharing tools, HD video and audio calls for seamless online meetings, and support for about 1,000 video participants and 49 videos.
Skype is popular across the world and is usually more preferred by most remote workers, especially because it is simple to use and understand. Skype has similar features to Zoom, such as its instant messaging function with chat history, emoticons and formatting.
It also allows users to make calls using Skype call IDs or the conventional mobile phone numbers. Like Zoom, Skype also supports video calling and screen sharing. And in addition to that, it supports other functions like SMS text messaging, wireless hotspot network access, and so on.
Trello is a useful project management tool with many incredible features that simplify how you organize projects with your remote workforce. Perhaps the most appreciated feature of Trello software is its “boards” and “lists” functionality.
Standard features of Trello project management software include a detailed and quick overview of front/back cards, easy drag-and-drop editing and in-line editing, convenient organization with labeling, tags and comments.
It also features a progress meter checklist that helps you to quickly follow the status of the projects you assigned to your workers. Trello also makes remote working worthwhile with features, such as card records archive and secure files upload across local devices, Dropbox, Google Drive and Box.
Asana is another sophisticated project management software like Trello. It also features “Timeline” and “Calendar” in addition to the board and list features on Trello PMS. Besides having a variety of built-in template to suit your type of project, Asana also has the following features:
- Activity feed
- Create custom calendars and views
- Create “My Tasks” list and “Focus Mode."
- Track tasks and add followers to the tasks
- Get notifications and reminders
- iOS support, HTML5 mobile site
- Multiple workspaces
- Project Sections and Search Views
- Real-time updates and ability to see remote workforce’s tasks and priorities
- Create projects and tasks, and then set project goals, permissions, priorities, and due dates
- Comment on tasks
If you are having a hard time trying to figure out how to track work time when working remotely, Traqq is a useful time tracking software that simplifies the issue. Tracking the amount of time remote employees spend on their projects is vital, and Traqq can help you achieve that with the following features:
- Monitors user activities with automated screenshots and videos
- Detailed reports and timesheets
- Mouse and keyboard tracking
- App and website monitoring
- Adds/edits time manually
- Automates reporting and invoicing.
8. Google Calendar
Google Calendar is another time management software that is not only useful for efficient time management while working from home. Much more, Google Calendar can help to create a balance between your personal life and remote work, with incredible integrated features.
Some of the features of Google Calendar that make it a useful time management tool include creating new calendars for your different life endeavors, scheduling meetings with groups using “Suggested times” and “Find a time” sub-features, and so on.
It also allows users to hide their event details and only share it with who they want. You can also add a Google Hangout to your event, add attachments to your calendar, enable your world clock and enable working hours.
9. Google Drive
Google Drive is a safe and secure file sharing software that is ideal for remote working teams. It has about 15GB space for sharing and storing files in a cloud. However, you can get the paid version if you need more space for sharing data.
It is also built to work with other Google apps, such as Google Photos, Docs, Sheets, Slides and Forms. One other incredible feature of Google Drive is the fact that you can access most files you have stored in the cloud offline.
Dropbox is another useful file-sharing tool like Google Drive. Dropbox allows users to save files in a cloud. It also helps them customize how they share files and restrict access to specific files to a particular group of people.
Keeping your remote workforce on track will no longer be an arduous task if you learn how to use the tools listed in this guide. The right tools will help you monitor your remote workforce's activities so that you can strategically resolve issues that may affect your business negatively.