It's safe to say that Covid-19 created a paradigm shift in how companies and teams worked. Think about it, discussing something with a co-worker no longer requires you checking to see if they're at their desk and then walking over.
But, even before the pandemic, there was a gradual change in how work was being done. Digitization and technological advances in software allowed teams, across the globe, to collaborate and work together in ways we've never imagined.
Remote teams, which were previously common only in the IT world, have quickly become the new normal, across industries. This trend is here to stay, and while there are multiple benefits, the remote zone brings its own share of challenges.
This article will examine how one can use resource planning softwares and tools to ensure higher productivity from remotely located teams.
Why Remote Teams are Here to Stay
By 2028, 73% of all departments will have remote workers. - UpWork
Remote teams have been a hot term in the work space for a few years now. But why is it so?
Companies that have positioned teams remotely have experienced the following benefits.
- Greater resource pool. Now companies can actually hire the best fit for their openings, instead of being tied to a geographic area.
- Reduced employee turnover. Increasing number of employees are seeking a better work-life balance and not necessarily being tied down to a traditional place and work environment. Take the millennials for instance, they want to be able to work from the beach. Remote teams put these employees in the driver's seat, they feel they are being heard and this reduces their chances of jumping ship.
- Lower infrastructure and facility costs. With remotely positioned teams, companies can save money as they no longer have to spend on rent, utilities, travel, computers, and other services required for running a physical location. A recent study by Capgemini highlights that remote work can slash operational costs by ⅓.
- Increased productivity of workers. A Harvard Business Review study revealed that remote employees completed nearly an extra day's worth of work every week compared to their in-office colleagues.
Challenges of a Remote Team
As mentioned earlier, the technology revolution has not only changed how we work together, but also hiring. As it's easier to manage remote resources, companies are no longer shying away from hiring people from a different geographic location, especially if they have the specific skill set. However, there are a few challenges.
- Initial upfront cost to set up remote access for members.
- Easy for employees to go off the grid, which can throw an entire project in chaos.
- Hard to track who's working on what and when via emails and calls.
- Difficult to get financial understanding of resource performance.
But with the right tools, the benefits can outweigh the challenges. Which tool? Think resource planning software.
How Resource Planning Tools Can Help
Planning projects via excel sheets or physical whiteboards come with their limitations. Today, implementing a resource planning software is the most efficient way to manage a thriving remote team.
First of all, a resource planning software will help identify the right resource for a project or task. You won't have to skim through all the resource resumes or calendars to see who has the required skill set and whose available.
A resource planning software will allow you, as a manager, to easily access and analyse information about your team's progress for an assigned project in real time. The software will also allow you to coordinate timelines, schedules and workload across resources, regardless of their location.
A resource planning tool will reduce any errors in marking attendance, calculating project budget, resource utilisation and resource capacity. The data is automatically captured and calculated as per the requirements entered. A project manager will also be able to assess how each team member spent their time on assigned tasks and understand how long it took to complete.
The software creates transparency and accountability within the remote team members as everyone can see project status, timelines and who is working on what task.
Bottom line is that resource planning and management software makes a project manager's job considerably more feasible. With elements of identifying, scheduling, and monitoring resources becoming more automated, a project manager can put their skills towards solving any unforeseen project hurdles or identifying new project opportunities.
About eResource Scheduler - How it Works for Remote Teams
One of the biggest hurdles in effectively managing a remote team is finding the right software tools that help support this type of work.
Yes, there are numerous resource planning solutions out there, not all offer the support scheduling and resource management while encouraging productivity and collaboration.
Enbraun's highly customisable and intuitive software, eResource Scheduler can elevate your remote teams. eResource scheduler enables project managers to view and keep track of project resources, schedules, and finances in real-time. The drag and drop scheduling feature helps make quick changes to plans, resources and tasks.
The on-demand reports on capacity, resource utilisation, and availability make it easier to take data-backed decisions just in case a project runs into an obstacle or additional requirements are added.
eResource Scheduler's timesheet module automatically records details like hours spent on project-related tasks and attendance, and calculates costs associated with those tasks. A manager gets a complete overview of work completed and pending in a single-view dashboard.
The software also offers a clean, colour-coded visual of project progress and tasks. This makes it simpler for all team members (based on access granted) and managers to see who's doing what and maintain accountability.
The Recipe to Manage Remote Team Right
Virtual and remote teams can be tricky. But here's our recipe on how to do it right. Implement a resource planning software, like eResource Scheduler.
As a quick refresher, here are the benefits you'll see by using eResource Schedule for remote teams.
- Automatically collects data on time spent on tasks via timesheet.
- Reduces overtime via resource utilisation reports.
- Provide visual layout of project progress. Colour coded utilisation reports that makes it easy to identify under and over-utilised resources.
- Calculates project budgets.
- Easy integration with existing HR, payroll and ERP systems via APIs.
It's a complete solution for all resource planning and management needs. You can coordinate, collaborate and track progress all through one easily accessible dashboard.
Ready to test it out and manage your teams more efficiently? Sign up for our free trial and see the difference it makes.Next Blog Previous Blog