When remote workers are distributed among cities, states, or countries, it’s imperative to have streamlined processes in place that allow employees to complete their work with ease. Teams can benefit from having a concrete plan in place for how to perform tasks. Consider assessing your virtual processes and tools to help you and your team succeed in a remote work environment.
Here are some tips for streamlining virtual processes:
Reassess your current processes.
Sometimes it’s easy to keep doing things one way because that’s how it’s always been done. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the best or most efficient method.
List out the step-by-step processes your team follows to complete its work. This will be especially helpful if your team doesn’t have your processes documented in writing. Doing this task can help uncover processes that are unnecessary, not working well, or maybe not being completed. Work collaboratively with all team members to assess the current processes and ask for their suggestions for improvement. Reorganize and tighten up your processes to improve efficiency and make your team goals easier to achieve.
A part of reassessing your procedures in order to streamline processes is determining who is responsible for what. Maybe multiple people have handled a certain task based on who’s available to do so. Perhaps some tasks don’t have a point person assigned to them at all. When you work in a virtual environment, you can’t simply step into your coworker’s cubicle or run into employees in the hallway to ask if something got done. Procedures need to be in place for who handles what when working remotely so that work can be continuously moving along.
Condense your tools.
Remote workers have an abundance of communication and collaboration tools at their disposal. It’s a wise idea to be selective and only use those that are necessary and conducive to streamlining virtual processes. If your company currently uses a communication program, such as Slack or Hipchat, is it necessary for your team to use another one entirely? Can you condense your instant messaging tool and your project management tool into the same program to reduce overload? Having too many platforms can slow down productivity and cause workers to have notes and instructions about projects scattered across multiple programs.
Make meetings matter.
Many meetings are necessary and useful—and many are not. When streamlining your processes, consider the effectiveness of all your virtual meetings: daily, weekly, monthly, etc. Review what is covered in each of these meetings and assess if they are truly needed or if the information can be communicated more efficiently via email or chat. Meetings tend to interrupt worker productivity, as they have to stop and then restart their work. Reducing or combining meetings can give employees hours back to use for actual work.
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