Whether you’re on vacation, attending a conference, or simply working from home, being out of the office can feel stressful.
Other than potential internet issues, disrupting noise levels, and other unwelcome distractions—being away from your team can sometimes leave you feeling out of touch with your agency.
That’s where the beauty of technology comes into play.
If you’re worried about the mice playing while the cat’s away (or projects slipping through the cracks), this post might help you sleep better at night. Below, we’ve outlined what you should monitor to make sure your agency is running smoothly while you’re out of the office.
Four Tips to Manage Agency Activity
1. Monitor Timesheets
Ah, timesheets. They are the necessary evil that helps your agency measure efficiencies, capacity, and workloads. They are also excellent tools to monitor your team’s activity whether you’re in OR out of the office.
Tip: Make it a best practice across your agency to track projects in real time using a timer (instead of at the end of the day, week, or even month). This helps keep time tracking accurate, and your team efficient.
Having access to everyone’s timesheets may seem a little intrusive, but remember that this will help:
- Keep your team accountable for their respective projects.
- Reveal what each team member is working on throughout the day.
- Identify if there are efficiency issues.
- Verify if you are charging enough for your team’s services.
2. Utilize Job Management Tools
When you’re out of the office, it’s nice to have a transparent view of what projects are in the pipeline for each client.
Tip: Use job management tools to assign tasks, view due dates, monitor the status of each project, track milestones, and so much more. This insight gives you the power to reassign projects, share project statuses with clients, and even evaluate the compatibility of an account team.
Ultimately, this responsibility falls on each account manager; however, if something should come up and the client should contact you, you’ll have quick access to the client’s projects and each corresponding status.
3. Set Daily Priorities
Setting daily priorities is the roadmap to creating a productive agency culture.
We all know it’s important to prioritize daily tasks, yet this simple chore often falls to the wayside the moment our to-do list expands.
Tip: Make it an agency requirement to share daily priorities as a team. You can begin posting daily updates on an internal social network (such as Yammer, Tibbr or Convo), run through your priorities during internal meetings, or send updates via a daily email chain. Use whichever method works best for you and your agency.
This practice holds your team accountable for their assigned projects, and keeps account managers and other senior leaders up-to-date with each person’s workload.
4. Trust Your Team
At the end of the day, you need to trust your team to be accountable for their projects (even when you’re not in the office). When conferences, vacations, illness or meetings pull you out of the office, the best thing you can do is step away from your computer and focus on the moment.
Plus research has shown that trusting your team increases productivity—and improves your workplace culture!
Tip: When you’re out of the office, designate one or two employees as the “authority figures” who can answer questions and make decisions on your behalf. This helps you let go when you’re away, and prevents you from being stretched too thin.
Micro-managing is not the solution to your out of office worries; however, slight tweaks to your agency processes could give you the peace of mind needed to loosen the reins. Meet with your senior leadership team and brainstorm ways you can implement (or improve) new agency policies to better accommodate client needs and internal accountability.
How do you keep track of your agency when you’re on the go? Share your insight in our comments section below.
Image Source: David Blackwell via Flickr