Smart Attend’s Crash Course in Remote Manufacturing Management and Working From Home During COVID

As the COVID-19 pandemic grinds on, most of us have found a new normal working from home (or #WFH, for our social friends). We’ve settled into our day-to-day schedule, we have our home office set up, and we know precisely how much coffee it takes for us to function in a day.

But, for manufacturers, what does remote working over the long-term look like? How do we continue to maintain productivity, manage on-site employees, and track output without burning out? To help, we’ve pulled together our top 5 tips for working from home along with links to more resources in a quick and handy guide to keeping your company rolling full steam ahead as we continue in the virtual working world.

1. Establish Communication Boundaries

Communication frequency, medium, and timing are crucial to team productivity but don’t be worried if you haven’t quite nailed the process yet. Are you a text by phone instead of an email person? Is Friday a no-go day for you? Invest the time to clarify expectations within your team and with fellow management; reducing hesitancy means maximizing productivity and morale in the long run.

2. How to whiteboard and collaborate without being in the same room

Innovation and creativity tend to evolve naturally when you’re sharing the same space; it’s difficult to riff off other ideas or have those side conversations that contribute to creative solutions when you’re all behind a screen. Thankfully, there are dozens of online tools to help streamline your ideating processes and help those creative spaces evolve virtually. Check out this list of virtual whiteboarding tools and their user ratings here.   

3. Managing Expectations > Micromanagement

Prioritizing weekly goals over setting static work hours for your team is ultimately going to provide the most output and lessen your risk for burnout. If team members didn’t complete their weekly deliverables, ask them what got in their way. Establishing a 1-on-1 and team meeting structure that works while investing in tech that helps track and outline weekly deliverables will contribute to productivity far more than trying to ensure everyone is online at the same time.

4. Invest in Tools and Tech

What are the non-negotiables for your team? 8 months ago, we were scrambling to find quick, short term, and cheap options to communicate and keep our teams on track. With the “new normal” it’s time to start investing in the technology that will not only make your lives easier but in the long run, maintain productivity and reduce burnout on your team. We’d recommend giving the Forbes list of best work from home tech tools a read here.

5. Remote Monitoring

Documentation by hand was outdated a long time ago, but especially now when virtually the entire world is, well, virtual. Plus, managing your dashboards and real-time updates can be difficult if you have various pages and software to check on each day. Consider investing in a real-time tracking system like Smart Attend to consolidate your real-time, high-volume production, and output data into one streamlined system that is accessible from any device.

Give us a shout at and one of our team members can walk you through Smart Attend’s capabilities and solutions.  

Looking for more? Give these articles and blogs a read: