Looking at the current situation, more and more people are working from home. And the culture of working from home has been rising significantly over the last 15 years. Companies and people that are not accustomed to working from home might be having problems adjusting to working from home. They might be having problems adjusting to a different working environment. They might be having problems managing their team since they are experiencing remote working for the first time.
Managing a remote team isn’t an easy task. But with the use of project management tools, it makes it easier for companies to manage their remote teams. More importantly, a company should identify the problems that might arise when managing a remote team.
Problems While Working Remotely
As said earlier, managing a remote team isn’t as easy as it sounds. It is easy to manage an in-house team since they commute to the company and they are always working alongside you. But, a manager faces many challenges when managing a remote team. So, what are the problems faced while working from home?
Delegation of Roles and Responsibilities Fails
To ensure the project isn’t hampered in any way, the manager has to delegate the roles and responsibilities to remote teams and the remote teams also must understand their roles and responsibilities clearly. Without a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, the project is sure to fail.
Misunderstandings and Confusions Arise
Without a clear understanding of roles and responsibilities, misunderstandings and confusion are bound to happen. It will be difficult to know who is working on what tasks, and it will create misunderstandings and confusion. The worst case is that the team members might be working on the same tasks.
Communication and Collaboration Fail
Communication and collaboration are the keys to the success of the project. But without any medium to communicate with remote teams, collaboration fails. When working remotely, it is very hard to communicate with team members since the working hours might be slightly different from yours and he/she might be working from a different location.
Wastage of Time and Efforts on Rework
Since, it is impossible to know what other team members are working on, sometimes multiple team members might be working on the same tasks. One of the problems here is, the task that can be completed by one of the members is done by multiple members which is a complete waste of time and effort.
Another problem is the problem of rework. The team member might be spending time on low priority tasks and he/she might be doing the tasks without the right methodology. Because of this, the purpose of the task fails and the task needs to be done again.
Since the team is working remotely, it is really hard to manage a team. The team members are working from different locations and without clear communication between the team members, the teams will be in disarray.
Difficulty in Sharing Files
One of the problems while working remotely is while sharing files. The bigger problem here could be the unavailability of team members when needed and this could even lead to a catastrophe. And without any dedicated tools, it becomes impossible to share files and documents with the team members.
Fear of Project Failure
The worst that can happen while working remotely is the failure of the project. Since everyone is working remotely, there is not good coordination among the team. So, it will lead to the failure of a project. The team needs to know their roles and collaborate with each other. But without the use of project management tools, a project is bound to fail.
Fear of Work Productivity
Not everyone can be highly productive while working remotely. Even if the employee is working to the fullest, his/her results might not be outstanding, which creates a misunderstanding between the employee and the employer. The manager might feel that the employee is not working. There are chances that the productivity of an employee might not be good while working remotely. So, employees must find ways to increase productivity while working from home.
But, with the proper use of project management tools, the above listed problems can be solved and managing a remote team will be much easier.
Importance of Project Management Tools (Solutions)
There are many benefits of project management tools. Some of them are:
Clear Understandings of Roles and Responsibilities
With the use of project management tools, the manager can delegate roles and responsibilities. The team members will clearly understand their roles and responsibilities. The effect is that the tasks will be completed in time.
The manager can even assign tasks to the employee on a daily basis.
Bye Bye to Misunderstandings and Confusion
Once the team members know their roles and responsibilities clearly, misunderstandings and confusion will not arise. Each team member will know what tasks they need to do and they will know the requirements of the tasks. Since, they can communicate with each other using the tools, the hassle of misunderstanding and confusion are erased.
Easy Communication and Collaboration
With the use of tools like Slack, Trello, Asana, and so on, the team members can easily communicate and collaborate with each other. They will know their roles and they can easily share their problems. They can easily call each other whether it is a video call or voice call.
Since communication is the main factor to achieving a goal, the entire team can communicate and collaborate to achieve the goal.
No Chance of Rework
With the use of project management tools, the team members will know their roles and responsibilities clearly. The team members will do their own tasks. So, multiple team members won’t be doing the same task.
Keeps You and Your Team Organized
The project management tools help to keep the team organized since delegating roles and responsibilities becomes easier. The team members are updated about the projects and tasks regularly, so the workflow will be smooth. And hence the entire people working from home can be properly organized.
Tools like Slack, Trello, and so on help to share files from anywhere easily. The team members can upload and download files and documents when needed.
Track Progress of the Project Easily
When working remotely, it is very hard to know about the progress of the project. But with the use of project management tools, one can easily track the progress of the project easily. One can easily identify the problems hampering the project. Team members can easily share the problems and collectively solve the problem.
One can easily know how much work has been done, which tasks are completed and which tasks are left using the project management tools. And hence one can easily estimate time to complete a task.
Great for Tracking Time and Tasks
When working remotely, it is very hard to know if someone is working or not. But, with the use of tracking tools like TopTracker, one can easily track the time spent on a task and even review the screenshots of what the employee was doing. This helps to find out how productive the team members were and how much time they took to accomplish that particular task.
Some Project Management Tools to Use
- Version Control Systems like Github and Gitlab
- Zoho Mail
The project management tools automate our process and our workflows. These tools help to maintain discipline in our companies. These tools make our work easier, save our time and effort. These tools reduce any conflicts and misunderstandings that may arise anytime. More importantly, these tools help to achieve a company's goals and objectives effectively and efficiently.
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