With the recent "Work from home" shift, various organizations have trouble managing their workload. It has become challenging to manage multiple projects, assign tasks, and keep a track record of everything going on. Though remote jobs are the future, companies will soon be shutting down without proper workload management. But, what exactly is workload management, and why is it so important? Besides, how can you manage workload by working from your home? The answers to all these questions are below.
What is Workload Management?
Workload management is defined as the method of equally distributing or assigning tasks amongst employees based on their previous performance and skills. It is essential to maintain equality while dividing tasks to keep proper track of workflow and avoid burnout and stress amongst team members.
Besides, workload management also helps project managers to complete the given project before the deadline and have enough time for any revisions and client changes. It supports both employees and employers in various ways.
Why Is Workload Management Important?
Though workload management helps in the proper distribution of work, is it crucial? If so, then how? Workload management prevents employees from overworking and burnout. Due to fair work distribution, a person does not have to carry the burden of the entire project on their shoulders. It helps in sharing the load, which speeds up the process.
Besides, proper work management also prevents piling up of projects, as all tasks are taken care of. There are fewer chances of missing out on any tasks with good planning and execution, even during a busy workday. It also helps in completing maximum tasks within a stipulated amount of time.
11 Tips For Effective Workload Management
Though you know the definition and the entire process of managing workload, it's essential to execute it properly. If the execution is not done nicely, the whole strategy would backfire and result in more harm. So, here are some essential tips that would help you maintain proper work management.
Plan Your Work
Before you set out on assigning tasks to your team members, it's important to make a plan. By planning the entire work calendar for the week, you would cover all tasks and understand them better.
You can either use the pen and paper method or opt for project management tools for making the week calendar. Make sure to write down all the projects in the tool and define them properly. By defining the outline and adequately analyzing the project, you can decide which team can handle it properly and assign them the said projects.
Moreover, you can also set rough timelines, meeting dates, and other essential things in your schedule. Proper planning helps you focus better on the task without missing out on any point.
Know Your Team's Work Capacity
One of the significant mistakes that project managers make is not understanding the team's capacity and overburdening them with work. Every team member is unique and has a particular skill set that you can utilize to your benefit.
There might be some overproductive members who want to do overtime and handle tons of work, but it's not wise of you to assign them a higher number of tasks. Why? That's because there are high chances that they might get a burnout session soon, which will further affect the work process.
By understanding your team's capacity, you can appreciate the amount of work they can handle without any need for overtime or rework. You are helping the members to improve their performance and efficiency by allotting them work based on their capacity.
Besides, you can slowly and steadily increase their capacity to handle more work by doing so. That would further help employees manage sufficient tasks within working hours without suffering from stress or burnout.
Estimate Tasks & Set Realistic Deadlines
Most project managers decrease the project's deadlines to get maximum time for revision and client changes. Unfortunately, though it might seem like a good idea, there is a 99% chance it would backfire.
By setting unrealistic goals and deadlines, you are not allowing your team members to work correctly. Instead, they will work in a hurry to complete the tasks within deadlines, further leading to significant mistakes and might even require rework.
For example, let's say a project has a timeline of 9 months, and the project manager decreases it to 8 or 8 and a half months for the team. By doing so, you would still get a timeline of 15-30 days for revising the entire report, correcting flaws, and tackling any unforeseeable risks.
But, if you decrease the timeline to 6 months, with the mindset of getting three months for client changes, revisions, and other norms, then it would be pretty difficult for your team. Though they might be able to do so, there would be tons of mistakes; and you might even have to start the project from the bottom.
One of the best methods of managing workload is by prioritizing the tasks. By marking them based on urgency, you would cover maximum work in a day.
Most employees start with the big tasks, leaving the smaller ones for the last. But, beginning with the big tasks will take a lot of time and energy, and you will be drained out at the end of the day.
To prevent that from happening, make sure to prioritize the tasks based on their urgency, deadlines, and size. It would help you complete a maximum number of projects without stressing out on deadlines.
Allocate Tasks Fairly
A team has various members with different personalities and skills. While some members are over-productive and love to work for long hours, others stick to the routine. But, that doesn't mean you should assign tons of tasks to the over-productive member and fewer projects to the regular one.
It would stress out the employees and create disputes amongst the members. So, it's better to allot an equal number of tasks to every team member so that there's no stress, conflict, or burnout. However, make sure to assign tasks to those members whose skill sets match the project requirements.
Use Work Management Tools
Work management tools and software have entirely changed the outlook of project management in companies. With the help of these tools such as Asana, SmartTask, and ClickUp, project managers can easily keep constant track of the progress, distribute work amongst employees, and even set goals for the company.
As per statistics, project management tools have decreased the need for meetings, improved efficiency, and made workload a cakewalk. With the proper software, you would be able to keep an eye on all projects and tasks from the comfort of your home. Besides, you can also give a direct report to the client from the tool without extra work.
Most project managers still follow the old method of creating reports and sheets manually. However, with the help of automation tools, you can easily create such reports within minutes. Besides, these tools also remove the chances of human error in manual reports.
Moreover, automation also helps you in saving both time and energy. For example, instead of wasting time creating weekly reports, you can start planning a work calendar for the upcoming month and leave the report job to such tools.
Monitor Projects Constantly
It is essential to track all ongoing projects to keep up with their progress. Besides, constant monitoring helps in noticing any flaws in the system and correcting them before final submission.
Besides, with regular tracking, you can also understand the process, see any upcoming risks, and tackle them with ease. Constant tracking keeps you updated and helps you provide information to higher authorities and clients at any given time, without any need for preparation.
Communicate With Your Team
Communication is the key to successful project completion in any work environment. While managing the workload, you need to communicate with your team members to know if they have any upcoming projects or plans that might affect the task at hand.
Besides, maintaining transparency and effective communication helps your team members directly talk to you regarding any work-related problems without any barriers. Transparent communication also helps tackle risks, maintain a proper flow of information, and understand each individual properly.
The saying, "Jack of all trades, Master of none," perfectly defines multitasking. Unfortunately, though multitasking has become a trend, it does more harm than good. Handling multiple projects simultaneously divides your time, energy, focus and, in return, gives you more stress.
Instead of balancing multiple projects, it's better to focus on one task at a time. It allows you to concentrate on the given task properly and complete it on time, that too without any flaws. On the other hand, doing various chores at a time will create a lot of mess mistakes and ultimately make you lose the deadline.
Workload management is inversely proportional to multitasking and affects the entire process badly. While assigning a team member a task, you need to ensure that they are not working on any ongoing projects. By assigning multiple tasks, you are over-burdening your employee and unknowingly increasing your workload as well.
Cut Down Long Hours
A human brain does require time to wire out and relax. By cutting down long hours, you allow your team members to relax and get energized for the next day. Though working overtime is quite common in the corporate world, it does a lot of harm in the long run.
Instead of wasting time on useless meetings and making your employees stay for extra hours, it's better to start working immediately after entering the office. The primary benefit of starting early is that the employees are fully energized and can complete maximum work before lunchtime.
Apart from that, every organization should have scheduled breaks for their employees to relax. It keeps them away from the screen for a few minutes and gives them time to think clearly.
Besides, most companies opt for flexible timings, which gives their employees' a balanced lifestyle. They can efficiently work at their own pace at any given time, without being chained to any fixed working hours.
Workload management is a necessary process that every company should opt for. It helps in managing various tasks efficiently, without missing out on any. Besides, proper workload management brings tons of benefits for employees and employers. It increases efficiency and performance and brings good results while the employees work happily without burning out or getting stressed. Workload management is the way of getting that perfect work-life balance.