April 8, 2020

Best Practices for Productivity During Quarantine

The changes and challenges brought about from the  remote working transition are hitting company productivity levels hard. How do you keep projects moving when outside risks, like an outbreak of COVID-19, threaten to derail your entire project or shut down your organization? 
With the right focus and tools, teams can be equally as productive in their remote work-from-home environments. Working from home doesn’t need to be a halt in productivity, production or connection. Here are some essential practices to ensure your projects continue to progress in an emergent situation. 


Remote Decision Making

We all know the company cannot stop functioning because we are working from home, so how do you continue making effective decisions at home, away from your team? Decisions are made all day throughout your organization, so to keep that forward momentum while working remotely, ensure you are partnered with the right technology for the job. During this time of quarantine, tools like virtual voting, e-signatures, and remote meetings are going to be essential for the management of your team. 

Combined with the right virtual tools, implementing the practices in this article will create an environment for great productivity and effective decisions during this quarantine and in future remote working situations. 

Project Planning Through Productive Task Management

Having a project plan in place can make all of the difference when your team is working remotely. It is much easier for work to become disorganized when working with remote teams. While your team’s physical location may vary, the project still needs to be visible to all, throughout the project’s lifespan. Employ a central and accessible location, like a task management system, to share progress with the entire team. It is easier to employ a more fluid project structure when everyone is in the office and can touch base in-person at any point with questions or concerns. Without the luxury of face to face interaction, a more detailed plan for projects and work becomes essential. Set your check-in times, deadlines, and processes early on to continue having the same level of productivity you saw from your team in the office. 

Create an Office Environment at Home

Working from home is a productivity haven for some people. For others, working from home throws a wrench into their daily schedule and thus their efficiency. In situations like the COVID-19 quarantine, when organizations are forced to shift their work to remote offices, employees are required to adapt to the new environment of their job. 

The best option for working from home is to create an entirely separate area of your house to work from and turn it into your new “office.”  Having a dedicated space for your work helps to create mental boundaries between being “at work” and “home” as well as limiting distraction. For some, this is not an option, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and productive from home. There are a few easy choices to make in deciding where you will spend your time “at work.” Setting your workspace up on the couch in front of the tv, for example, won’t lead to a productive day. Every work environment inevitably has its own set of distractions. Just as you found a way to tune out that colleague whose inside voice was anything but, you’ll find a way to overcome the disruptions that come with your new setup at home. 

Intentional Communication

Working with a remote team means you cannot simply walk over to someone’s desk or office to discuss the status of a task, so it takes more intentional and planned communication to keep the wheels turning. Whether it’s instant messaging, conference calls, or video chatting, there are more ways than ever to keep in touch with your team. A little time and energy can provide the feedback your team needs to continue forward momentum on projects. 

Choosing the right communication style can help you meet the team’s needs and keep projects moving. 

  • Email – for quick interactions or directives
  • Chat Programs – for instant messages where you need real-time interaction
  • Video Chat – for longer conversations, brainstorming or problem-solving, or performance conversations
  • VoIP – for handling internal and external calls
  • Project Management Tools – for project-based communication that needs to be kept organized 

If you are managing a remote team, a communication plan can establish expectations. How often should your team expect to hear from you? Which tools should they use for which type of communication? Preemptively answering these questions can avoid common miscommunications of remote teams. 

Read more on communicating expectations and other remote working tips in our article, 4 Tips for Productive and Effective Remote Working Situations.

Govenda keeps projects moving

Govenda is a board portal software that can be used throughout your organization to equip your teams with the right communication, collaboration and management tools to keep your organization running full steam ahead during this pandemic. We are partnering with organizations to provide a powerful remote experience that includes key features such as virtual voting, e-signatures, digital surveys and more. As the portal with the fastest onboarding period on the market, start a conversation today and be up and running with Govenda in no time.  

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