It is hard to manage different teams in different locations. The COVID-19 pandemic has stopped us from micromanaging our workers as most of us stay at home and rely on the advances of technology to do the job. Sure, it is not an ideal setup to manage field teams virtually. When you can’t see how they work, that puts you in a blind spot. How do you convince your clients you are the right company for the job if you don’t even know what your workers are doing right that minute?
The thing is that you don’t have to be blindsided by the impossibility of the situation during this pandemic. It is possible to manage field teams even as you stay in the office or at home. You can do that with the use of different devices, tools, software, and apps.
Project Management Software
You need to list down the tasks and activities of the team every day. This will help you manage them more effectively. Identifying the tasks that they need to complete every day will bring you all closer to the completion of the project. A good project management software also encourages collaboration. The team members can tick off the boxes as the tasks are completed, thereby making sure that there will be no useless repetition of tasks.
What kinds of work are usually in the field? Workers in construction sites usually only have one or two supervisors to oversee their work. The same goes for people who apply thermoplastic road paint for highways. Since they are working on the road, it is unlikely for their supervisors or managers to follow them everywhere. The only thing they can do is to watch from afar, which in today’s terms means that they’ll be waiting in their office for the final report.
Many companies are now using a tracking device to make sure that the workers are at the right place at the right time. These devices also allow the monitoring of the workers’ performance and interactions. For some companies, this is an important tool to make sure their workers stay in place. Yet, for others, a tracking device doesn’t show too much confidence in your workers.
If you are going to let your workers use their personal devices to communicate with the office, you better compensate them for it. The only way for your workers to communicate and collaborate effectively is for you to give them the tools to do so. They can check-in virtually via a messaging app and online time tracking software. You should also create different threads in these messaging apps, allowing your workers to communicate with each other even if it’s not about work in general.
Share Information in Real Time
One of the most important things that field workers need to understand is the importance of sharing information with all departments responsible for the tasks. When they do this, it becomes easier for the other departments to resolve issues and address problems immediately. They won’t have to wait for problems to exacerbate before trying to find a solution to them. Doing so makes it easy to manage field workers virtually.
Make Field Workers Part of the Team
If you are going to have a Christmas party, make sure that even your field workers are invited to it. Don’t make them feel isolated when they already are. Give them access to the information they need, too. Don’t make them feel like they have to bend over backward to accommodate your instructions, but you cannot even do the same for them. If there are policy changes in the office, keep them in the loop. If you’re planning a meeting, make sure the schedule falls on their available time.
Foster a Remote Culture
It is easier to build an office culture when you see each other every day. It is quite different for businesses with remote teams working just about everywhere. You have to make an extra effort to communicate every day. Even when there is nothing to report, encourage field workers to communicate with the other team members via the apps and software. Although they don’t see each other often, your workers have to be a team.
Technology is making it possible to do all kinds of work anywhere. In the past, it is impossible to manage workers without physically visiting them in the field. But thanks to apps, devices, and tools, this is not only possible, but it is already a norm in many industries.