6 Steps to Write Time Management Action Plan for Remote Teams

Given the transition to remote work in 2020, this type of workflow is slowly becoming the norm in many industries.
Remote meeting
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According to Forbes, 74% of professionals expect remote work to become standard, with 97% of employees unwilling to return to full-time office jobs in 2021.

This makes proper planning and time management important for remote work project managers, given that more and more employees expect it to become a standard.

Writing a practical, applicable action plan for your remote team is a subjective matter, dependent entirely on your team's roster and work habits. With the right remote work tools at your disposal, as well as proactive communication, you and your team can craft a proper time management action plan. Let's take a look at how to do just that.
The Upsides of Having a Time Management Action Plan in Place
Why should you spend valuable time writing a time management action plan in the first place? According to Small Biz Genius, 40% of people feel the greatest benefit of remote work is the flexible schedule. Companies that allow remote work also have 25% lower turnover, showcasing just how positive of an impact remote workflow can have.

People love working remotely, and putting a carefully designed time management plan in place will allow them to balance their lives more easily. Outlining exactly what you expect from them, when, and in what quantity will help them organize their time more precisely and deliver more quality work. Beyond that, you can look forward to several important perks manifesting themselves in your remote workflow:
  • Less stress, anxiety, and absenteeism
  • Better communication and collaboration
  • Improved workload planning and prioritization
  • Less downtime and better focus on important tasks
  • Ensuring that all tasks and milestones are met on time

Writing a Practical Time Management Action Plan

1. Set Remote Team Expectations Upfront

To make the most out of your time management action plan, you should set up a meeting with your remote team to discuss it. Ask them what their thoughts on such a plan are, what they would do in your place, and how to best approach the writing process.

What does each team member expect from the remote team going forward, and what are their "don'ts"? Knowing your team's mindset upfront will allow you to craft a more personalized action plan which the team will use in practice.

2. Define your Remote Team’s KPIs

To track your team's remote workflow as objectively as possible, you should define a set of Key Performance Indicators (KPIs). KPIs can be set for both long-term goals and short-term milestones to allow for precise workflow management.

You can rely on SMART to create a set of KPIs and format those goals into documents to share. Writing down and sharing your KPIs with the team will enable everyone to pursue smaller milestones while contributing to long-term project deliverables.

3. Set Deadlines for Project Deliverables

For your action plan to take root with the remote team, each of the projects and KPIs in the plan will require a deadline. Deadlines will ensure that your team is always on top of upcoming presentations, meetings, and final deliverables.

Thanks to that, you will be able to prioritize tasks within your action plan to meet every deadline as expected. The result of this is that your team will realize that the time management action plan is indeed useful for their workflow. Beyond that, your remote coworkers will pay much more attention to deadlines for specific milestones and goals within any given project you are working on.

4. Standardize your Workflow Tracking Software

What kind of remote work tools will you use to track the team's workflow going forward? Relying on manual tracking, micromanagement, and taking the team's word on how much they've worked isn't practical.

Instead, you can use TimeFlip to track the team's productivity through all the features you might need, like direct or Pomodoro timer, task tagging and prioritization, and data export. The team behind TimeFlip intended for teams to focus on practical time-tracking rather than cumbersome UI elements which would slow the workflow down. It features both web and mobile app-based tracking for your team's convenience.

TimeFlip respects your time and understands that time-tracking software can often become a hindrance rather than actually help make work easier. Standardizing this type of technology in your team's action plan will enable everyone to stay on track with upcoming deadlines and to contribute to the team.

5. Arrange Scheduled Check-In Meetings for the Team

Expecting your remote team to work based on a strict schedule is a losing game, especially if you work with internationals from around the world. Instead of insisting on working at the same time, allow your remote employees to work at their own pace while respecting set deadlines.

In the meantime, arrange scheduled meetings and check-ins for the team to attend to make sure everyone is still on track with their work. This will give your staff autonomy and agency over their work while leaving them to work independently and without micromanagement. All the while, however, you as the project manager can use TimeFlip to periodically glance at everyone’s productivity.

6. Be Available for Feedback and Coaching

As the project manager, your job is not only to organize the team’s workflow but also to enable members to develop as best as possible. Coaching is still an important part of a remote team’s dynamic, regardless of time zone or language differences among colleagues.

Set aside some time in the action plan for individual coaching and feedback with each employee under your wing. Try to come up with personal KPIs for them to track to allow for more personalized professional development to take place. Be available for suggestions, criticism, or worries your remote colleagues may have, and the results of that will manifest in the quality of their work.

Putting your Time Management Action Plan into Motion (Conclusion)

Once the time management action plan is written, it’s important to put it to good use. Post your action plan on your team’s cloud storage, send everyone an email, and share the plan via your team’s instant messaging chat.

Return to your action plan during meetings to check up on how everyone is dealing with it and if any updates are necessary going forward. Leading a team remotely is even more challenging than doing so in person. With the time management action plan, that process can become more manageable and enjoyable for everyone involved.
  • Jessica Fender
    Jessica Fender is a copywriter and blogger at Writeload with a background in marketing and sales. She enjoys sharing her experience with like-minded professionals who aim to provide customers with high-quality services.
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