3 Ways to Maximize Your Team’s Productivity

Your team’s productivity can grow sustainably no matter the conditions with tools, processes, and mindset changes.

The new state of global circumstances has disrupted our world and our plans. No one was ready in the first quarter of 2020 to plunge the world into a recession and force people to alter the way they work. However, one truth remains: companies and teams must still be productive.

Companies were forced to work remotely, you were forced to find sustainable ways to keep your team productive despite the coronavirus. As a leader in this remote environment, it is more important than ever to design, communicate, and adhere to the tools, processes, and practices that support productivity—at functional, mental, and emotional levels.

As you face a new era of challenges and opportunities, take time to consider these three key areas and how they can help you and your teams achieve the productivity you desire.

The software provides extensive tools to support sustainable productivity, individually and as a team. When you consider a remote workforce, these tools become even more important.

Of course, Slack and Zoom are staples for remote work collaboration and video conferencing, respectively. When using these tools, find ways to keep the human element alive. We start Zoom sessions with meditations (and get great feedback) and he can share his gratitude with his coworkers over Slack.

On the productivity side, tools like Monday.com allow users to streamline workflow customization and automate simple tasks, eliminating less important, time-consuming issues. Trello is another easy-to-use productivity tracker for individual or shared projects.

There is likely a SaaS platform for your industry niche or specific needs, so do your research online.

For example, 15Five is designed for team productivity and puts an extra focus on culture, which is harder to maintain during remote work. If you need programming collaboration, GitHub is a well-regarded platform for code sharing. There are also SaaS applications for design teams that replace in-person collaboration with a shared cloud solution.

Another good tool is a digital whiteboard where the team can collaborate, brainstorm, and carry out projects of different complexity.

And something very important for team leaders: always keep backup copies of all documents, so we recommend that you have with a large capacity hard drive to store everything without risk of loss.

In addition to examining software tools to facilitate remote collaboration, communication, and accountability, you also need to review your processes to examine whether they are still relevant and effective. After all, a tool won’t help you if the results don’t help you.

In our case, we needed to change our communication cadence due to double-duty and assumption-based work during the initiation of shelter-in-place directives. To remedy this, we instituted a daily 30-minute Zoom at the same time every morning for the executive team.

This is one example, but the need is clear: review each of your processes and change whatever is necessary to meet today’s unique needs. Don’t forget to consider how your vendors or suppliers impact your processes, and pay special attention to any inputs that may be difficult to acquire during work stoppages.

My peers and the social community continue to express confusion as to why they are not more productive despite having more time than ever before and while working from home. They have gained time usually committed to preparing for work and commuting.

So why is it difficult to be productive? The coronavirus has placed a cloud of uncertainty and pain over all of us. You may feel like you are being held back, or you may feel numb or cognitively slow.

As a leader, consider the following ways to help address the emotional side of these circumstances so your team can reduce mental blocks and focus on their work:

Start meetings with 60-second check-ins. Ask each person to quickly share their state of being, without needing to go into too much detail. It’s as easy as saying: “I’m Andrew. I’m feeling restless, tired and anxious today.”. This helps everyone connect with each other and realize that they are not alone in their feelings.

Lead from a place of truth and vulnerability. You don’t need to tell people that you’re going to be fine or predict when the quarantine or the virus will end. You need to be real, share from your heart, and give people permission to be human. Start your meetings with a five-minute meditation. It helps put everyone in the moment and can help calm everyone’s nervous system.

Remind people that your mission still exists and that your work will have a positive impact on customers.
Make room to be human. This time requires all of us to be more patient with the kids at home, the surprising difficulty of maintaining a daily schedule and rhythm, and the emotions that exist right now. If you can make room for that, your team can breathe and worry about fewer things.

We are living a unique moment in history. These times require us to adjust everything in our lives, especially our processes and expectations. Consider each area on this list and see how they can help you implement new or change existing routes to productivity.