Many hands make light work. At least, that’s what they say. The truth is that many hands only lighten the load if they’re all working together. Work might be even more difficult if some hands are pulling in a different direction or not pulling their weight at all.
Whether you’re a team manager or a team player, unity and productivity should be among your highest priorities. After all, who wouldn’t want to get more done in less time? This earns your business more money, lands your team more achievements, and opens up new professional opportunities for both.
Teams have tried to become more productive with varying degrees of success in many ways. One method that is easily vouched for is the implementation of shared calendars. This article will outline some of the many ways this simple tool can unlock an entire new tier of potential in your team:
1. Easier Communication
Communication is one of life’s most valuable skills. Through proper communication, your personal relationships can thrive. Good communication also makes working as a team a whole lot easier. There is a lot of evidence out there regarding families, friends, and teams that have fallen into disarray due to poor communication.
While you might look at a calendar and see a bunch of dates in boxes, this tool offers numerous other benefits. For example, any event you create in your calendar can be shared. This can let your entire team know about the time, date, location, and nature of an upcoming meeting or event. They can add this to their own calendar and quickly access all pertinent information.
When you’re planning upcoming meetings and events, you can also get a clear picture of everyone’s availability. This makes date selection a whole lot easier, especially for remote teams. The fewer messages it takes to get information across and to make plans, the better.
2. Better Coordination
Being a part of a team requires a lot of coordination. Efforts need to be unified despite staggered deadlines, rotating schedules, and last-minute adjustments. Some teams even operate across different time zones, which is a separate challenge entirely.
One way a shared calendar can help with coordination is through increased schedule transparency. Let’s say as a manager, you want your team to know what your availability is like for any questions and updates they might want to bring to you. Instead of corresponding through a long stream of emails, you can share your calendar with its open slots. This way they can quickly check when would be a good time to contact you.
3. Improved Time Management
How your team uses its time is crucial to its overall productivity. Time is perhaps the most valuable resource, but it is so easily wasted. An online calendar can help your team maximize their use of time to complete projects faster without sacrificing quality.
There are several different time management methods that can be implemented through the use of an online calendar. One such method is called time blocking. Simply put, you block out sections of time to dedicate to a singular task through this method. This can help teams focus by hyper-fixating on the most important task at that particular time. Blocks of time can also be used to ensure adequate break time is being taken so team members aren’t overworked or stressed out.
These time management techniques can be implemented as a team or individually. Sometimes, helping a single team member become more productive and efficient helps the group. For example, they can’t move forward if the team waits for one member to finish their specified task. Help that member manage their time more effectively; everything will move along more quickly.
Better time management helps with your team’s work-life balance. When team members can pursue hobbies and spend time with family, morale tends to go up. Happier employees often work harder, stay motivated longer, and unite more easily. A content team is more likely to be retained and only get better with time.
4. Even Workload
Each member of your team is vastly different from the others. They have their unique strengths and weaknesses that hopefully complement each other well. They will also have varying levels of motivation, commitment, and energy. As a team leader, your goal is to spread the workload as evenly as possible, considering all of these variables.
You can look at team calendars and individual work calendars to gauge the workloads of each team member. With this information, you can better delegate new assignments so as not to overwork anyone. This provides improved tracking of responsibilities so that you’re better aware of where everything has been assigned.
To help you view this easily, try using a couple of your online calendar’s special features. For instance, color coding tasks based on who they are assigned to provide a quick overview of team balance. Time analytics can give numerical values to the division of labor in your organization.
5. Automatic Updates
Even if you diligently use your calendar to plan every aspect of your day, unexpected circumstances will lead to changes. Some of these changes you’ll need to relay to your team as quickly as possible. An online calendar will automatically update itself when changes are made, even to those you’ve shared it with.
Of course, you can’t expect your team to be eyeing their calendar at all hours of the day. Luckily, they don’t have to receive updates. Notification settings will notify all member participants of any changes you make. If the time or meeting location is being changed, they will be made aware of it.
You can also receive notifications when you’re added to a new event. Employees can do this to notify you of their progress on an extended series of projects. A calendar event can signify a new deadline they have set for themselves, along with any notes they’ve made regarding it.
6. Better Scheduling
Ask any team manager you know, and many of them will tell you that scheduling is one of their least favorite parts of the job. Between sick days, vacation times, and overtime, there are many scheduling hurdles to jump through. This can bog down your personal workflow and your team as they try to get situated.
Everything about your online calendar can make this easier. Time off requests can be processed much more quickly. Better layouts make rearranging schedules a much simpler task. The improved visibility and sharing capabilities means that employees can work with each other to cover shifts better. The less time spent worrying about these details, the more time can be spent making business happen.
Through an online platform, you can create multiple calendars. One of these calendars can be specifically for scheduling needs. This can show the team which shifts need to be picked up, when available vacation days are, and any hour changes to be aware of.
You can’t go wrong with an online calendar for yourself or your entire team. Many online calendars are free to use, accessible across multiple devices, and easy to learn. Start implementing one into your work routine and watch how the improvements start stacking together.
Featured Image Credit: Thirdman; Pexels; Thank you!