The outbreak of the covid-19 pandemic was an unprecedented transition in humankind’s history. It changed everything, the way we live, interact with each other, and even work in our professional lives. Although the pandemic has now left, its footprints are here to stay for decades. 

One of the most significant impacts of covid-19 was on workplace practices. When businesses faced lockdown and uncertainty, they started looking for new ways to ensure business continuity and resume their operations. Hence, remote work came out to be the most viable solution during these tough times. A Gartner survey found in 2020 that over 82% of business leaders agree to manage remote or hybrid workforces. However, managing remote or hybrid employees was another challenge that resulted in performance-related issues. 

So, if you are a team leader struggling to manage remote teams, follow these 5 tips to make your employees more productive with staff scheduling software. 

What is Remote/Hybrid Work? 

Remote work is a model where employees get the flexibility to work at a location that is far from the traditional office space. Remote teams interact with their team members virtually through digital communication tools and perform their jobs online. 

For instance, suppose your office is located in London but you are currently in New York. Your boss has asked you to urgently join a meeting and give some briefing to clients present in Australia. In this case, you just need a laptop with stable internet and a camera along with proper settings with minimal distractions. Just log in to a virtual interaction platform like Zoom, Teams, or Meet, connect with your boss and client online, and continue with your briefings anytime, anywhere. 

However, the hybrid work model is a bit different because it combines the aspects of remote work and office work. In other words, you work from home for three days a week and come to the office for the rest of two days. Both remote and hybrid work models are extremely popular and are being used by leading organizations for workplace efficiency. 

Why Managing Remote Teams is Challenging? 

Handling employees in an office environment is very easy. You can talk to anybody, get clarifications, and engage in quick discussions without any delays or hesitation. As a result, performance evaluation is much more convenient due to seamless collaboration. 

On the other hand, a remote work environment is completely different because employees working at a distant location usually become disassociated from their teammates. Additionally, limited face-to-face interaction leads to communication barriers that negatively affect overall performance. 

Similarly, monitoring staff productivity in the absence of a dedicated manager or supervisor becomes very difficult. You cannot ensure that your employees are meeting deadlines and working as per your expectations unless you have a source of uninterrupted communication.  

This is where staff scheduling software becomes essential to break the siloes and integrating remote teams with the in-office workforce. 

Handling Remote Teams with Staff Scheduling Software 

Here are a few ways you can effectively handle your remote teams and achieve your productivity goals with staff scheduling software:

1. Establish Clear Communication Channels

As explained earlier, communication is key to optimizing the performance of remote teams. With staff scheduling software, maintaining seamless communication with remote workers becomes very easy. 

Cloud-based scheduling solutions work as a centralized platform where remote team members can access their dashboards and perform their desired functions seamlessly. As a manager, you have to establish clear communication channels and protocols to ensure that everyone stays connected and informed.  

Moreover, integrate chat and messaging tools into your scheduling software to share updates in real time and keep everyone in the loop for better results.

2. Automate Staff Scheduling

Employee scheduling is not easy, particularly while managing a remote team operating distantly. You have to analyze the workload and staff availability first so that you can assign tasks accordingly and optimize the scheduling process. 

This is only possible if you use staff scheduling software. This cloud-based system can automate the scheduling process and eliminate manual tasks. Besides, you can easily create schedules, assign tasks, and track work progress from a single dashboard. 

Eventually, automating the scheduling process can save you time and help you ensure that all your remote employees are on the same page. This reduces absenteeism and significantly improves the attendance rate at your organization.

3. Promote Accountability

Another important thing to consider while managing remote teams is to promote accountability and transparency at all levels. The more your employees are accountable for their tasks, the better they will perform their jobs and contribute to your organizational growth. 

Staff scheduling software offers powerful features to monitor remote staff and get real-time insights into organizational performance. You can use these systems to track time and attendance, monitor progress, and see who is working on which task. Besides, the software allows you to generate instant reports with a few clicks and share these reports with all your team members. 

This way, you stay on top of tasks and ensure that everyone is meeting their deadlines. Besides, encouraging accountability will also build trust and foster a sense of ownership among team members.

4. Measure Performance Using KPIs

Once you have implemented a system of accountability and transparency in your organization, the next step is to measure remote team performance using KPIs. For instance, you can set a realistic goal to achieve a 90% attendance rate and a 95% job completion rate by the next two months. 

To achieve this goal, staff scheduling software can provide you with real-time insights for each week and month. You can identify potential issues on time and determine which factors are hindering your team’s success.  

Similarly, you can create customizable schedules based on your remote team’s workload and set deadlines that are achievable and realistic. As a result, your remote employees will stay motivated and focused and prevent job burnout and stress.

5. Provide Regular Feedback

Finally, the last step you should take as a team lead to manage your remote teams is to provide regular feedback and recognize high achievers. This is essential to maintain a positive work culture that promotes merit and motivates your staff to continuously improve their performance. 

Hence, based on your assessment of work progress, provide feedback on completed tasks. Besides, use the staff scheduling software to recognize team members for their hard work and achievements. This will help you increase morale and create a positive work environment that fosters growth and development. 

Final Words 

The rising popularity of remote and hybrid work models has forced employers to offer flexibility to their teams. The paradigm shift to these new work models has seen massive growth in recent years, particularly in the post-pandemic era. 

And when it comes to managing remote teams, the best way to make remote employees more productive is to use staff scheduling software. These cloud-based solutions allow managers to monitor staff performances in real time and make data-driven decisions for higher growth. 

Hence, while automating the scheduling process with staff scheduling tools, make sure to establish clear communication channels and promote accountability. Similarly, measure the performance of remote employees using KPIs and provide regular feedback to achieve your desired objectives.