The end of the quarter is typically a time in which businesses sprint to hit targets and race to meet their Objectives and Key Results (OKRs). Under normal circumstances, it can be a pretty stressful period. But with teams around the world going remote as the COVID-19 pandemic continues, some companies are finding it extra difficult to hit their goals.

It’s not surprising. Maintaining productivity and staying focused can be a huge challenge for remote teams. In fact, a recent Wundamail survey found that most telecommuters identified "focus or motivation" as one of their biggest productivity hurdles. 

With that in mind, here’s how to ensure you still hit your goals as a new global reality emerges.

1. Think macro and cut out the noise

Use this new remote work reality to focus only on the tasks that are important to you and your team. That is, those tasks that lead you directly to your goals, even in the closing days of the quarter. How? Cut out pointless, old-fashioned work tools. Forget emails. Jettison spreadsheets. Instead, use real-time updates to provide visibility around work that’s on schedule, overdue, or coming down the pike. When you’re not sifting through emails from weeks ago or spending hours waiting on a spreadsheet attachment, it’s easier to stay focused and to hit your goals. Now is the time to bring your work into the 2020s.

2. Customize your workflows for a new reality

No two teams are the same. So why would they work the same? Customizing workflows tailors the new work reality to your team and makes goal-hitting easy. Instead of having to check in on work statuses, or even hold status meetings, team members can move work along a predetermined track in a shared digital workspace so that everyone who needs to know, knows. Something as simple as tailoring flows based on statuses like “active”, “completed”, “deferred”, and “canceled” can totally revolutionize how teams work and make hitting quarterly goals much, much simpler. There’s still time to adopt this methodology this quarter. 

3. Communicate, communicate, communicate

Poor communication is one of the greatest barriers to achieving goals. Indeed, some reports even put a figure on what it costs companies. How does a whopping $37 billion per year sound? It’s pretty simple: If teams don’t effectively communicate what their goals are — let alone aligning on how they will go about achieving them — it’s impossible to get results. This is especially true now that teams are geographically decentralized. Luckily, there’s a simple way to communicate effectively, get everyone on the same page, and achieve your goals: Make roles explicitly clear, assign a point person, and put things in writing. 

4. Stay on top of performance metrics with advanced analytics

The coronavirus pandemic came right in the middle of Q1 and had a huge effect on the realization of company goals. That’s why many organizations launched internal and customer-facing COVID-19 campaigns to deal with the evolving situation. We live in a time in which things change rapidly, and no two weeks, let alone days, are the same. Tracking performance metrics using advanced analytics is now vitally important. Why? It makes sure companies aren’t flying blind. This approach centralizes data and makes it easy to track how effective measures like remote work have been. With analytics, it’s easier to respond to situations, easier to plan for the future, and much easier to hit goals. 

5. Assess your goals for the next quarter

One way to make a success out of a really unusual Q1 is to reassess where you’ll go in Q2. There’s no reason to make your Q2 goals less ambitious, but the quarter close is a time to assess what achievements are important and what can be put aside. Your Q2 goals should be realistic, achievable, and measurable. If you host events, you might want to consider fully switching to virtual webinars or interactive digital events. Why? Canceling on a case-by-case basis in the next quarter isn’t a realistic strategy. It’s best to accept things have changed and get ahead of the curve.

How Wrike can help

We want to help businesses make it across the end-of-quarter finish line. Wrike’s features empower businesses to track progress on key initiatives, connect with team members and clients, and manage deadlines effectively.