It has been a year since most of us abruptly left our corporate offices and set up our home “office”. We left behind our desk chair, the slightly stale breakroom popcorn, and fluorescent lighting. However, what we did not leave behind were our office-centric collaboration systems and processes.

As you and your team have probably experienced, office-centric collaboration systems and processes do not enable virtual efficiency and productivity, nor work in a remote work environment. You cannot lean over the cubicle wall to ask a quick question, catch up on a project over coffee in the breakroom, or gather your team for a quick ad hoc meeting to address project derailers.

You are a leader in the new world of work. This world requires that you reimagine how your team works so your company can be agile, profitable, and the best place to work for your team members. 

Here’s how.

Leverage the diverse work style strengths of your team to optimize individual and team performance.

The highest performing teams are diverse. Identify and leverage the work style diversity of your team members. Work style is how your team members think about, organize, and complete their tasks.

In any office you will find four work styles:

  • Logical, analytical, and data-oriented
  • Organized, plan-focused, and detail-oriented
  • Supportive, expressive, and emotionally oriented
  • Strategic, integrative, and idea-focused

Your logical, analytical, data-oriented team member excels when she processes data and solves complex problems. She will focus like a laser to achieve any stated goal or outcome and will ensure that you stay on budget.

Your organized, detail-oriented employee thrives when he establishes order from chaos, outlines project plans, and creates to-do lists. He will ensure work is completed accurately and on time.

Your supportive, expressive direct report expertly builds relationships, facilitates team interaction, and sells ideas. She will keep all stakeholders up to date on work and effectively communicates ideas through the organization.

Your big-picture, integrative team member can serve as a catalyst for change, brainstorm solutions to problems, and synthesize disparate thinking. He will drive innovation, ensure variety in both thought and execution, and keep you moving forward.

The next time you delegate a task or put together a project team, consider each of your team members’ work style strengths and watch your team’s productivity soar!

Enable effective remote and hybrid team collaboration and work management systems and processes. 

According to Asana’s Anatomy of Work Index 2021, 60% of an employee’s day is spent on work coordination rather than the skilled, strategic jobs your team members were hired to do. Why? Because your team wastes hours on “work about work”.

“Work about work” is the activities that divert time and energy away from your team member’s strategic, revenue-generating tasks. It includes communicating about work, searching for information, switching between applications, managing shifting priorities, and following up on work.

To optimize team performance and reduce wasted time, develop clear processes to plan, organize, and prioritize workloads and tasks.

Ensure goals and timelines are clear.

  • Your team cannot be effective if ambiguous expectations exist. Assess your communication to determine if it passes the “champagne test”.  You know you passed the test if your team knows when to “pop the cork” and celebrate the goal’s successful achievement.
  • Identify the deadline.
  • Does this deadline impact the team’s other priorities? If so, what work must be reprioritized or eliminated?

Assure accountability.

Identify who has the “A” or is accountable for the completion of the project. Only one person can be accountable. This does not mean they will complete all the work. However, it does mean they are responsible and must ensure that the work is completed.

  • Is there a clear division of tasks? Does each team member understand their specific tasks?
  • Which tool will you use to support and maintain accountability? For example, dashboards, checklists, scorecards, and regular, consistent check-ins.

Implement one system to manage your team’s workload.

  • Your team members change between 13 tools on average—30 times a day!— according to Asana’s Anatomy of Work 2021 survey. Identify and implement a work management platform where your teams can communicate, clearly “see” who is responsible for each aspect of a project, and know when project tasks are completed.

Focus your team’s time and energy on results-only work.

Time and attention are finite and precious resources. It’s time to shift from output-based work—the number of emails processed or hours spent in Zoom meetings—to impact-based work. This is work that generates revenue, supports your customers, enhances your team’s culture, and serves your stakeholders.

  • Connect your team member’s individual role to organizational goals and performance. Communicate to your team members how their individual tasks and projects will meet your organization’s goals, drive profitability and performance, and make a difference for your customers.
  • Eradicate busywork, rework, and work that can be automated. Challenge your teams to assess their work and identify work that is not connected to organizational goals, is duplicative, and can be automated. Then empower them to eliminate and automate the work.

Your old, office-centric collaboration and communication systems do not work in a remote workplace. Now is the time to reimagine how to achieve your organizational goals.

Leverage the diverse work style strengths of your team to optimize individual and team performance.

Enable effective remote and hybrid team collaboration and work management systems and processes.

And focus your team’s time and energy on results-only work.

Your team is looking to you to drive productivity and performance in the new world of work. So, what will you do?

Originally posted on LinkedIn by Carson Tate.