Tech giants like Twitter and Facebook have already paved their way towards implementing the “work from home” model permanently; there are also other organizations that are rapidly becoming part of this historic shift.
As per Gartner, 31% of workers worldwide will work remotely by 2022. During the covid breakout, organizations have realized that implementing remote work is not difficult, but it comes with a set of new challenges such as team collaboration, work management, tracking work progress, etc. Thankfully there are task management tools that address all these concerns of management to manage their team and project remotely.
What Are Common Issues Project Managers Faces While Managing a Team Remotely?
Poor communication: Poor communication is one of the major issues with the team working remotely. Since they are located at different geographic locations, sometimes their communication tools do not operate at full strength or they don’t have the infrastructure to support the latest technology for communication.
Maintaining productivity levels: The work from home model has increased the employee’s productivity, but it is not true in all cases. Some employees struggle to focus on work due to household chores and other distractions. In such conditions, establishing uniformity in employees’ productivity becomes challenging for project managers.
Tracking multiple tasks with different team members: Large projects generally involves managing multiple tasks with different team members. Project leaders handling teams remotely find it difficult to coordinate with team members scattered in various geographic locations.
Dealing with internal conflict: Workplace conflict is a common scenario, but these conflicts become more frequent in a work-from-home situation. It can be due to miscommunication, lack of transparency, lack of assistance, lack of skills to operate tools remotely, etc.
Access information in real-time: Real-time information is crucial while working remotely. Sometimes stakeholders suggest new features or functions for the product, and if those changes are not communicated in real-time, it can add extra costs to the project. In a remote environment without the right tools, it is difficult to access real-time information.
Training new employees: Training employees in a virtual environment can be a tedious task. A face-to-face training session allows employees to have an open conversation with trainers, and they can put across their questions without hesitation..
Violation of security: The risk of security violation always remains high in the virtual environment. While in the office, the I.T technician continuously monitors the employees’ system, and if they encounter any security threat, they quickly resolve them. They keep the system up to date with the latest security patches and block all external access. In a remote environment, if an employee fails to follow the security measures, it can make the organization vulnerable.
Task management tools can be very helpful in overcoming these challenges and making the remote team more productive.
Why Task Management Tools Are Effective In Work From Home Situation
Organize work through Kanban board: The visual elements of the Kanban board allow team members to process the task information easily and prioritize their work. If there are any issues in the task, they can be quickly brought into notice. It helps team members working remotely to increase focus on the tasks and ship products quickly. Kanban board is a great way to organize the work, and team members can do lots of things. They can follow or unfollow a task, duplicate a task, remove a task, reorganize a column, etc.
Create tasks and sub-tasks: Projects are usually broken down into tasks and sub-tasks and later on assigned to the responsible team members. Task management tools not only provide the flexibility to create tasks and sub-tasks, but you can do a lot of other things such as assign due date, change or add team members, add comments, etc.
Create and automate workflow: Standardizing the workflow enables you to get a clear picture of business activities and helps to minimize the redundancy level. Task management tools allow you to create your own workflow or use a workflow template. Once you have created the workflow, you can automate them and streamline the entire business process.
Collaborate with team members: The centralized system gives real-time access to the tasks' status. A clear outline of the tasks enables team members to collaborate well and reduces internal conflicts.
Hold effective meetings: It is often observed that after attending important project meetings, the team members are left puzzled. It is because the information is overloaded or it is completely new to them. But task management tools make this easy by sharing the meeting agenda with team members in advance. No matter where the team member is located, the task management tool can schedule and send them details about the upcoming meetings and the motive of the meetings. It helps them to absorb more information while attending the meeting.
Connect tasks to calendar: While working remotely, the team members can easily lose their focus from the deadlines and result in an unnecessary delay. In order to prevent project delay, the task management tools allow team members to sync their calendars with their tasks. The calendar view gives complete details about the tasks such as start date, due date, tasks completed, etc. If you want to map your project tasks against time, you can even integrate Gantt chart software with your task management tools.
Easy integration with other software: Task management tools that integrate easily with third-party tools like Slack, Zoom, Isaak, etc., can help users to collaborate better and complete projects without hiccups.
Steps to Choose the Best Task Management Software
There is a wide range of task management software solutions available in the market- some are just focused on tracking teamwork while others offer end-to-end features. It is essential that you choose the right task management software.
Step 1) Analyze your requirements for the task management software. Try to figure out how task management software will add value to your business or project.
Step 2) Match your business requirements with task management tools. Task management software comes with tons of features, and to get a high ROI, you must match your business requirements with the task management software features. You can take the help of a community forum or use a review and rating website to shortlist the best task management software solutions.
Step 3) Choose the right software partner for task management tools. See how software vendors can help you with the smooth transition of task management software.
Task Management Tools on High Demand Due to Work From Home Situation
Wrike: Simplify your workload through this versatile task management software. Wrike offers features such as customized workflow, advanced analytics, shared team calendars, purpose-built templates, etc. The tool enables you to track project progress in real-time and facilitates team members to deliver work on time. The tool is extremely helpful to teams working remotely.
Trello: If you want a holistic view of your project then Trello allows you to see your project from every angle through dashboard, map view, timeline, and calendar. You can stay on top of every milestone and prevent bottlenecks before they begin.
Monday.com: It is a work O.S that allows organizations to build tailor-made solutions to manage projects and workflow. The easy-to-use interface lets any team member to head start with the project without any training. The tool offers infinite options to optimize the team productivity such as workflow automation, third-party tool integration, dashboard widgets, etc.
Asana: This task management software offers features that streamline routine tasks and improve your efficiency to handle projects remotely. It allows you to take a higher-level view of your project through “Portfolio View” and “Workload View”. It also supports real-time communication and reports.
Workast: If your team is using Slack to communicate, then empower your remote team with the next-generation task management software - Workast. It offers excellent out-of-box features such as creating tasks in Slack, turning an email into a task or converting a slack message into a Workast task. There are also other features such as managing tasks all through Slack, custom reports, task dependencies, templates, time tracking and bulk actions that helps you to increase your team productivity.
ProofHub: ProofHub is an all-inclusive project management and collaboration tool that offers teams ultimate control over their projects and teams. It is a highly functional tool that is great for both remote and in-house teams as it offers a plethora of project management, and communication features. From tracking real time project progress to visualizing tasks and from communicating among teams to online proofing, ProofHub has it all.
AI- the Future of Task Management Software
Technology can play a bigger role in enhancing employees’ productivity, especially when they are working remotely. Project managers see a great potential in AI technology to automate unproductive or repetitive tasks, thus enabling employees to focus on high-value work. It also helps them to reduce the gap in communication and save their productive hours.
Project leaders can use AI in various ways to optimize the productivity of remote workers. AI-based chatbots can be used for task management activities such as getting task status, reminding team members about overdue tasks, notifying risks associated with tasks, etc.
AI is also efficient in producing accurate and efficient reporting. Project managers usually spend hours collecting reports from team members about the project, but AI can do this in a fraction of time.
Another area where AI can be helpful is in training the employees. AI can be used to analyze the difficulties that remote workers face while performing the tasks. Based on that, it can automatically recommend the training session to the employee.
As the trend of work from home is becoming prevalent, project managers are adopting smart technology such as AI. It helps them to speed up the project management processes and manage their resources efficiently. In the future, the AI cognitive skills will be fine-tuned further to deal with even more complex tasks management activities.
Work from home is a new normal, and most project managers have embraced this new trend gracefully. However, there are a few roadblocks that prevent project managers from leveraging the benefits of the work from home model and raise doubt on its effectiveness. The role of task management software becomes critical to overcome these challenges and complete the project successfully. If you are experiencing difficulties in managing a team remotely, then it is time to invest in the best task management software.
This article is a guest blog written by Jimmy Johnson. To contribute a guest post to Workast.com, please complete the expression of interest form here.