With the outbreak of the Covid-19 virus, and the recent natural disasters around Australia, businesses and employers are having to adapt very quickly to new ways of working in order to cope with the challenge of this unprecedented situation.
We offer you a few tips on working remotely and reminders of GovReports functions that can make managing your remote team easier.
GovReports Practice Management Tools
GovReports allows you to set up jobs and tasks, assign them to clients and set scheduling details. Jobs can also be categorised by priority and status and assigned to particular staff members.
Set up task templates to add to client jobs to ensure regular and ad hoc services are accomplished for clients. For example, you may have separate templates for weekly bookkeeping, monthly bookkeeping, BAS checklist, EOFY checklist, or individual tax return. You can then assign the template to a client and/or staff member and customise the tasks within the job to the needs of the client.
As a manager, you can see the status of jobs on the Job Summary tab of the Dashboard.
Alternatively, you can see jobs assigned to specific clients from your client dashboard WIP tab. You can also use Timesheets to track time against specific tasks.
Check the GovReports Help Centre – My Practice for full details on how to set up jobs, tasks, templates, scheduling and time tracking. Also visit our webinar page for links to previous webinars that demonstrate how to set up your practice management tools.
Streamlining processes and procedures is valuable for both tax practitioners and small business owners, especially with a remote team, to ensure that your business’ practices are being followed.
Tools and Technology Suggestions
If you don’t already have tools for managing remote communications and projects, try these well-known apps. Maintaining and encouraging team communications is important, especially for those employees who may not be used to working alone.
- Slack – team communications
- Asana – communications and project management
- MS Teams – team communications, storage and file sharing
- Team Viewer – screen sharing and communications
- Zoom – video conferencing and screen sharing
- Todoist – task and project management
- Wrike – tasks and project management
- Evernote – note taking and task management
- MS OneNote – note taking and project management
- RescueTime – tracking your use of apps to improve productivity
- Pomodoro Tracker – time management and effective work habits
See our article on Cyber Security Tips and Tools for suggestions on staying safe and secure in the digital world. If you are setting up staff with access to apps at home, cyber security is a priority.
Working from Home
There are many considerations in setting up staff to work from home, but making your workflow clear by using jobs, tasks and scheduling within GovReports is one way to reduce the stress of transitioning to remote work.
Apps such as those in the list above allow for easy communications and video conferencing while some or all team members work remotely. Maintaining regular connection and interaction between employees and management is essential at this time.
We suggest exporting your jobs list to CSV so you can import into your project management app of choice, or at least use it as a reference so that task and job names are kept consistent across the various apps you will be using.
If you are new to supervising a remote workforce, one of the challenges will be how to measure productivity. You may not have had time to prepare for changing the work setup for workers and find that there is quite an adjustment period for both staff and management. However, employers will need to implement practices and strategies that allow you to assess the productivity and efficiency once staff have settled into new ways of working and communicating.
You may need to get advice from an HR expert to inform you of how to best manage the productivity and efficiency of remote workers.
Fair Work Ombudsman Advice and Australian Government Health Alert
The Fair Work Ombudsman has updated their information on coronavirus and Australian workplace laws.
The website offers guidance about health and safety, directing employees to stay away from the workplace, working from home, quarantine and self-isolation, reduction of hours, redundancy and more.
Daily updates about the current status of the virus outbreak, essential information, links and advice can be found at the Australian Government Coronavirus Health Alert webpage.
We hope the impact on your business is manageable and that you stay safe and healthy.