Automation not only simplifies your personal life, but your professional life as well. It involves using systems and applications to automate repetitive tasks (robotic process automation) and processes (business process automation). Besides saving costs, automation boosts employee productivity and standardizes all processes. Managing a remote team can be challenging, especially for collaboration, tracking, leadership, resource allocation, and morale. This is because with remote work, you move from a centralized setup that you can monitor and easily control.
Using automation to manage remote teams help you maintain project flow, bridges the gap between remote workspaces and office-based legacy systems, alleviates pressure on the IT department, and eliminates unnecessary administrative tasks. It also allows you to record your processes, tasks, workflows, and completed work history. This improves your ability for remote-team monitoring. Here are ways to use automation to manage your remote team.
1. Resource Management
Resource management refers to effective resource deployment whenever and wherever they’re required. It’s an essential project management activity and plays a crucial role in project success. Some of the factors contributing to poor resource planning include unrealistic schedules, poor capacity planning, poor documentation of resource utilization, insufficient appropriately skilled resources, and more. You can control and track resource allocation, forecast resource demand, and analyze resource availability using resource management software.
With the right remote resource management software, you can ensure optimal resource utilization, create a resource pool, and manage skill metrics. You can also monitor workloads so you can keep them under control using a waiting list. The ideal resource management tool helps you manage several projects, boost productivity and project success.
2. Employee Productivity and Time Tracking
While managing a remote workforce requires trust in your team members, some of them may take advantage of invisibility and slack off during work hours. Even when you have set expectations, your staff may fall prey to distractions. However, you can gain insights into how effective your remote team is with productivity and time tracking software.
It comes with monitoring software that gives you an overview of your staff’s technology usage habits and manual time tracking applications for team members to demonstrate how long it takes them to do their work. Using remote employee monitoring software, you can see how your team spends their time, how long they’re active, and how engaged they are.
3. Communication and Collaboration
Due to lack of physical interaction when working, communication and collaboration may suffer. Remote collaboration is the ability of a team to remain consistently effective and deliver exceptional results while ensuring high morale. For effective remote collaboration, empower your employees with tools and business processes to access the information and support they need in real-time. To collaborate effectively in a remote team, teams should use a combination of asynchronous, real-time channels depending on projects, subject, and urgency.
You can automate mundane tasks, simplify workflow, increase efficiency, and keep the team connected with the right collaborative tools. Consider investing in cloud technology to increase employee collaboration despite being in multiple locations. When you save and store digital business assets in the cloud, your staff can access, edit, and share data in real-time, making it easy for employees to seamlessly work on the same project with little to no downtime and interruption. This reduces missed deadlines and provides more precise control over shared files.
4. Remote Workforce Management and Leadership
When managing a remote workforce, you need mindful leadership practices to measure and optimize performance and keep your team satisfied. To successfully manage your remote team, focus on open communication, monitor team productivity and employee engagement, and avoid loss of efficiency through remote workforce management systems.
The ideal remote workforce management system depends on a team’s specific duties. However, it should have file sharing and storage features, project management and tracking, meetings, and communication.
5. Employee Onboarding
Remote employee onboarding can be challenging. However, automation can make the process easier and faster. Through the automated task notification, new employees can quickly move through the onboarding process. While it’s easy for new remote hires to fall behind and hinder their performance even before they begin, automation ensures seamless completion of the onboarding process.
With an effective onboarding process, hires come with the company’s expectations in mind, making them more informed and motivated about your business’s goals and their role in helping you achieve them. Since online employee onboarding is streamlined, a triggered workflow opens communication lines, provisioning, and new employee files. This saves time and enhances the user experience.
6. Workflow Automation
Workflow automation involves the design and execution of automation processes that involves the flow of data, files, or human tasks that are routed between systems or people based on predetermined business rules. Using a drag and drop interface to add and organize tasks, you can plan and design workflow automation to improve or simulate existing processes. By automating workflows, you improve efficiency, productivity, accuracy, accountability, and job satisfaction.
7. Streamline Remote Work
Automation standardizes all processes, converts them into streamlined workflows, and makes them accessible through a central dashboard to ensure employees can track everything going on within the team. It allows you to create templates for various processes and automatically duplicate them to create a new process, which saves time. Through seamless tracking, reviews and approvals are quick as they require lesser check-ins with team members.
8 . Employee Engagement and Transparency
When you automate, streamline, and convert processes into workflows, they become easily accessible to employees, improving transparency and accountability within the remote team. When a team member submits their work, you and the rest of the team automatically get notified, reducing miscommunication and ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Additionally, if a task isn’t completed within the stipulated deadline, the remote team automatically gets notified of the delay. Through automation, task assigning and deadline setting becomes easier. To improve employee satisfaction and engagement, you can reassign them tasks based on their skills. Consider maintaining a skills inventory to be informed of each employee’s skills. This will help you assign them tasks they can comfortably and quickly handle.
Automation isn’t necessarily about replacing your workforce with technology. It’s about streamlining tasks and processes to give your staff enough time to focus on more complex work issues. If you want to scale your remote team, automation is necessary to help you maintain efficiency.