Each day, a stream of tasks flows in from a number of sources to comprise the workday’s tide of activity. Without a good platform in place to manage the influx of tasks, that “flow” can easily begin to feel like a flood of information.
Maintaining a steady workflow–from initial task assignments to implementation–can be difficult to achieve. As the number of remote teams increases, so does the potential for miscommunication, and ultimately, poor project management outcomes. Seeking help for task management with a reliable communications platform can prevent negative outcomes, improve workflow, and build productivity within a team.
Defining Task Management and Identifying Productivity Issues
Task management is the process of overseeing the completion of a task from start to finish. The practice involves monitoring progress, tracking timelines, and ensuring proper planning to meet an end goal that executes all the necessary components of a task’s life cycle.
If you notice tasks falling through the cracks, it may be time for a better solution. Common task management challenges that can affect team productivity include:
- lack of communication
- failure to set and meet goals
- inability to collaborate
- lack of accountability
- unrealistic deadlines
For remote and hybrid teams, these challenges become amplified. The global pandemic’s onset caused many workers to transition from in-person office environments to remote status.
Additional communication channels such as email, video conferencing, and instant chats have become necessary tools for staying updated in a new digital workforce. And along with the benefits of these innovations also come challenges. Team members face difficulties in daily online coordination, which in turn, affects collaboration and task management adversely.
The simple act of asking a colleague a question in person has been translated into digital forms of communication, which can present challenges in coordinating meeting times via endless email threads. Project management has become increasingly reliant on additional platforms and digital tools, which sometimes contribute to the disorganization and miscommunication of countless individual tasks.
A recent report found that of 444 respondents surveyed, 61 percent started using new tools to help organize, communicate, and manage projects in 2021. Even after living with the pandemic’s effects since its 2019 (US) onset, many workers still face obstacles to connecting across time zones and keeping remote staff engaged.
Identifying task management challenges for your team and implementing new tools to resolve them can prevent negative project outcomes and increase the efficacy of task management.
Task Management Help: Tips for Success
Whether your team operates in-office, remotely, with a hybrid model, or across multiple locations, implementing tools to support task management can create positive results for many organizations. Here are some helpful tips to optimize daily workflows.
1. Set Priorities
When new client inquiries come pouring in on top of existing tasks, it can be difficult to prioritize assignments. Start with a to-do list organized by each task’s due date. This highlights urgent needs that must be addressed first. If your team utilizes a shared inbox, you can assign and delegate emails to team members, flagged with “normal” or “high” priority levels to designate importance.
2. Establish A Clear Line of Communication
The best way to ensure a consistent daily workflow is to establish clear lines of communication amongst team members. Poor communication allows tasks to fall through the cracks, but shared inboxes offer many features for improvement.
Giving each team member access to the same company email distributes the workload and allows the team to manage emails simultaneously. Hold your team members accountable by assigning them to specific emails. Gmelius offers a shared inbox solution for Gmail that gives teams access to company-shared mailboxes directly from their Gmail account.
Features like email notes, shared Gmail labels, and automation rules establish additional communication guidelines to ensure every task is completed for positive project outcomes.
Furthermore, Gmelius integrates with Slack for easy collaboration on email conversations. Teams can reply to emails, assign tasks, add internal notes to email threads, and change email statuses–all without leaving Slack.
3. Maintain Organization
If your team hasn’t already taken advantage of an organizational tool for tasks, now is the time to start. Remote work remains a viable solution for many companies, with increased numbers of remote workers projected into 2023. To ensure your remote team stays organized moving forward, invest now in tools to keep everyone on track.
Organization tools come in many forms, but the best solution will integrate with current platforms with which your team is already familiar. For example, many teams use Kanban boards to manage tasks visually, but using a separate platform requires employees to log in to email, retrieve the task, then copy and paste that information into a separate platform.
Gmelius allows teams to turn any email from their shared inbox into a task card for a Gmail Kanban board. Instead of opening a separate platform to manage tasks, teams can organize everything right from their Gmail inbox. Transform your team’s inbox into a visual, shared workspace so team members can organize tasks clearly.
4. Schedule Meetings With A Purpose
Remote teams are notorious for spending the bulk of their workdays in meetings. While schedules can vary, meetings remain vital for managing tasks efficiently, checking in with employees, and ensuring assignments remain on track–but they still take up time.
To streamline, instead of multiple gatherings throughout the week, schedule one weekly check-in meeting with a correlating agenda. This will ensure that discussions stay on track and attendees focus on urgent and important action items during the meeting.
While it's no secret that scheduling can be cumbersome, limiting the number of meetings reduces coordination time and allows team members to focus on critical tasks.
Gmelius offers a Gmail meeting scheduler so team members can insert their availability in the email’s composition window. Share Google Calendar availability and add Google Meet or Zoom links right within the message to streamline the scheduling process in one click.
5. Avoid Task Overload
Too many tasks can cause employee burnout, which has become a significant issue for remote employees. While remote work allows teams to complete assignments from home, the lack of physical boundaries between the two can impede one’s ability to “unplug.”
To avoid pushing your employees too far, limit the number of assigned tasks and make sure to distribute the workload evenly. Remember that in addition to completing general work tasks, employees also attend meetings, respond to emails, and coordinate with colleagues.
The best task management help platforms will provide clear insights into how many tasks each employee is assigned. Real-time data provides insightful analytics on team progress, assignment workload, completed tasks, as well as the time required for completion to improve future guidelines.
With Gmelius, managers have instant visibility of team Gmail activity. Analytics can identify bottlenecks in the task life cycle to help avoid employee burnout from overload.
Task management help tools come in a variety of forms. With Gmelius, your team can enjoy all the benefits of task management right inside Gmail, without downloading multiple applications or training staff on new tools. Gmelius offers simple navigation and countless features to organize tasks and improve daily workflows.
Are you looking for a task management help tool for your team? Check out our features and integrations and learn how Gmelius is built to improve team communication and collaboration. Ready to get started? Sign up today!