Thanks to the advancements in technology, millions of companies from all over the globe can keep their businesses up and running, despite the COVID-19 lockdown.
A growing number of companies decide to go fully digital and either send their teams to work from home or hire people from other countries. This comes with a considerable toll for upper management employees, who find themselves with a lack of time on their hands.
As a manager, you must maximize your time working remotely, especially if you want your team to thrive and grow. With so many distractions available all around us, staying focused on the tasks at hand will more than often become imperative for success. That’s where time management comes into play.
Many factors will determine your team’s health, but they’re all tied by your time management skills. Without enough time on your hands, it will be hard to solve pressing matters and conduct efficient 1 on 1’s with your team of managers. Additionally, it’s hard to set clear directives that have to be followed by entire divisions.
Some of the challenges you should expect when managing remote teams are:
- The misuse of a useful communication tool
- No accountability program in place
- No clear tasks and roles
- Lack of cohesion within the team
- No respect for other people’s time
In your upper manager role, you want to focus as much as possible on gaining more time. That’s your primary asset when it comes to growing the company you’re working for. With plenty of time on your hands, you’ll be able to successfully deliver on all your projects, discuss with the managers and teams under your coordination, and find new ways to grow the business.
Whether you work in IT, marketing, finance, accountancy, production, R&D, or management, you would want to focus on the following five time management skills and take your remote collaboration with your team to the next level.
Skill #1: Focus on Improving your Communication
In your position as an upper manager, communication is key to success. This is the most crucial aspect of your business because it can set the narrative for failure or success.
You are responsible for delivering the directives received from the C-level execs and the CEO to the team of managers. Failure to produce a cohesive message might lead to different results than what is expected by the top management.
Of course, you’ll also come with your directives, whether regional, statewide, or nationwide. You’ll want to communicate your goals to ensure the team under you know precisely what to do. Wrong communication might lead to massive delays of weeks or even months in project deliverability.
Be sure to communicate regularly with the managers and teams under your coordination to ensure that they are working towards the milestones they have received and are not wasting precious time on other projects that are non-vital for the business growth directives.
Skill #2: Leverage the Power of Effective Delegation
One of the best time management tips for upper management in 2020 is to learn how to delegate. If you want to get more things done is a shorter amount of time, you need to discover the vast power of delegation. More specifically, it would be best if you discovered what member of your team or manager is best suited for a specific task.
Effective delegation will not only make you achieve more and grow the business but will also stimulate a culture of openness and cooperation inside your company. People will communicate better between themselves and will share their mistakes and accomplishments.
Make sure to send regular internal newsletters to inform your team of the latest projects and the owner of the project, along with milestones and achievements.
Skill #3: Stay Away from Multitasking Traps
Working remotely comes with its own share of time traps. If the multitude of tasks and meetings can be quite time-consuming at the office, remotely, you’ll have to face a different set of “time traps.” Multitasking is definitely one of them.
Because you can’t talk to people directly, you might waste a lot of time trying to set up Zoom meetings. It’s essential to create your schedule during the day and leave at least half an hour in the middle of the day for unexpected calls or problems. If you’re stopping your work every 15 minutes to call someone, your efficiency will drop significantly.
Prioritize tasks and only call people if there’s a real emergency. If a particular situation can wait, do not waste your precious time focusing on it. Solely focus on one task at a time.
Skill #4: Keep up the Appearances & Be Responsive
The great news when working from home is that you can talk with people without video. You can send a positive message, even if your face transmits something else. That’s something you could not have done in an office, in a face-to-face meeting. Use it to your advantage.
Additionally, try to be as responsive as possible and be there for your team. You can set aside another half an hour a day for meetings with people who need your guidance or want a word of advice.
Skill #5: Know When to Take a Break
Time management does not only involve work-related tasks but also breaks. While some are taking too many breaks when working from home, others tend to work non-stop. Try not to fall into either extreme, but value your work and also make a commitment to take your breaks and relax as much as possible.
Scheduling downtime for you as an upper manager is crucial, especially if you want to have the mental strength to guide your team, set up clear directions to be followed, and grow your company like never before.