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How OKRs Help Remote Teams Be More Productive

1 July, 2022
4 mins

The COVID-19 epidemic has altered business practices. Even more than a year after the start of the epidemic, the totally remote or hybrid form of work continues to be the norm. 

The disadvantage of working remotely is that team members do not know what their coworkers are doing, despite the fact that many firms have embraced these changes and adapted successfully to the conditions. In this regard, every employee runs the danger of being left in the dark. Therefore, managers must frequently check in with their team and communicate properly with the members to effectively manage and motivate them. 

OKRs help remote teams

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People may now connect to virtually anybody in the globe at any time, through practically any device, and from almost any location. This is drastically altering how individuals operate. 

Setting Okr management for remote teams is an excellent method to guarantee that all employees are on the same page, that there is no miscommunication or confusion, and that performance tracking is thus more manageable – even when people are working remotely. 

What is an OKR? 

OKRs (Objectives & Key Results) are a goal-setting approach that focuses everyone’s attention on what needs improvement at the corporate and team levels. The O represents Objectives. These are your aspirational or committed objectives. These objectives may involve expansion, change, or innovation. To achieve your OKRs, you will need to develop and implement various strategies and activities, and then evaluate their effectiveness based on your Key Results. 

Common problems experienced by remote teams

But first, let’s examine the typical issues that arise when businesses implement remote working. 

Limited visibility of progress

Because remote workers are not physically present in the office, it can be difficult to track their success, whether it be individual, team, or project progress. When confronted with roadblocks, remote employees may feel excluded and refrain from reaching out. Employers, on the other hand, confront the challenging issue of monitoring attendance without micromanaging. 

Misaligned teams

Out of sight, out of mind, and occasionally also out of tune. During the transition to remote work, teams and employers may become misaligned. It is no longer as simple as visiting a colleague’s cubicle to coordinate a project. Misalignment snowballs into larger issues, such as missing deadlines and poor cross-team communication, if not resolved. 

Low levels of motivation

Without the regular office antics (e.g., water cooler discussions) that encourage socializing and healthy collaboration, remote employees may suffer from loneliness and isolation. They may question how their everyday work relates to the company’s larger objectives. 

In order to alleviate these issues, it is advantageous to establish and monitor company-wide goals so that employees are always motivated to work together in the correct direction despite remote working conditions. 

How OKR Makes Remote Working More Productive

OKR, a scalable goal-tracking system influenced by Peter Drucker’s Management by Objectives, is an effective goal-setting approach. OKR was first introduced by Intel and is currently utilized by other remote-based firms, including Google, Atlassian, and LinkedIn. The six primary components of OKR are: 

Objective 

The goals that can inspire teams to perform their finest and most accurate job. Each squad should have no more than five objectives. Principal Outcome Metrics are used to determine if objectives are met. Each target should have no more than five major outcomes. 

Initiative 

The everyday chores, activities, or initiatives that can contribute to achieving the objective. Use the team’s everyday duties as initiatives wherever possible. For instance, if teams perform their work through Jira, then Jira tasks represent initiatives. 

Period or Cadence 

How frequently OKR must be rated and appraised before new ones are created. There might be a yearly timeframe for business objectives and a quarterly term for team objectives. A bespoke time is also feasible and is advised for teams just beginning to utilize OKR software. 

Grade or Score 

A scale ranging from 0.0 to 1.0 was used to quantify how successfully OKRs were satisfied throughout their era. A score of 1.0 indicates that an objective has been fully attained. However, the optimal OKR grade falls between 0.6 and 0.8. 

Owner 

The one is accountable for achieving a target. For effective deployment and maintenance, the complete framework should be owned by a member of the organization. 

Implemented correctly, OKR can make remote work more effective in the following ways:

OKR aligns everyone on the same page

OKR tools encourage goal alignment in both directions, with management establishing strategic objectives and teams defining tactical objectives that can contribute to corporate progress. This guarantees that even while working remotely, everyone prioritizes the correct tasks. 

Goal accountability and measurable results motivate staff to perform

Being responsible for crucial goals that can help to corporate success offers a team’s everyday work significant significance and increases their job happiness. Seeing concrete outcomes and understanding how everyday chores contribute to them inspires employees even when they are out of sight (or off-site). 

OKR delivers total progress transparency 

In addition to OKR cadence, there are OKR check-ins, which are periodic assessments of the target status. The OKR framework enables team members and supervisors to understand how they’re contributing to corporate goals and how work is developing, even while working remotely. During the periodic OKR check-ins, they can also identify and address any roadblocks. 

OKR allows companies and teams to adapt to changes fast

To obtain an advantage in a world where competition is intensifying, businesses must be able to adapt quickly to new circumstances. Which might be challenging to accommodate for distant teams. Since OKR includes a flexible timeframe and regular review, it is simpler for businesses to monitor project progress and implement adjustments swiftly if objectives and key results are not achieved. 

Both managing a remote workforce and adopting OKRs provide unique problems. Many of the challenges that remote work produces may be readily resolved with OKRs, despite the fact that it may appear that there are too many issues to think about at once. This makes it the ideal methodological instrument for virtually any team. 

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