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Workplaces are opening up across the country. Everyone from Apple to the President is trying to get people back to their desks. But the latest research from Pew shows that 59% of people who can do their jobs from home still are!
In business, time is money. Remote teamwork is here to stay and remote employee monitoring is now a real need. It can ensure that workers are as productive out of the office as they were in it.
How can it be done? Let’s take a closer look at a few options open to employers looking to boost their employees’ productivity.
Employee Monitoring Software
If you’re serious about tracking your employees, employee monitoring software is the way to go. Employee software monitoring involves tracking what your employees are spending their time on.
For example, it can show how much time was spent on email applications, Word, or Slack. It can also show how much time was spent on Facebook, which would not usually be considered productive. The software can also send you screenshots of suspicious or potentially malicious activities.
It can track employee attendance and punctuality. You can monitor the productivity of an individual or get stats for a whole group of employees.
It not only helps you see whether your team is working but also highlights what they are working on. This may reveal that a lot of time is spent on admin that could be more effectively used on other tasks. Lightening the admin load may make your team more productive.
Another pro is that when employees know they are being monitored, it keeps them on their toes. You can also ensure that the team is focusing on the right priorities so that deadlines are met.
Provide Effective Onboarding and Monitoring
Getting remote employees off to the best start is crucial and you need to develop an effective onboarding protocol.
In a traditional office setup, colleagues learned a lot subconsciously by observing their peers. Remote workers don’t have this luxury. You need to keep interaction between colleagues positive and frequent.
This won’t happen by chance. You can either regularly ‘drop in’ virtually to answer questions or provide training. Even better, buddy them with a colleague who can be their main point of contact. They can then bounce anything the buddy can’t help them with back to you.
Also, take time to introduce them to the team using video conferencing. This can help to break down barriers and speed up the integration of new members into the team.
Be crystal clear about your expectations for remote working. This includes:
- Working hours
- Professionalism in communications
- The working environment at home
Give them the tools to make this happen. That may include office equipment that they didn’t need in the office, such as high-quality headphones for Zoom meetings.
Schedule regular progress meetings rather than constantly checking that your employees are working. This can make them feel micromanaged and distract them from their work.
Institute End of Day Summary Reports
To get a handle on employee productivity, ask them to submit a report on what they’ve done each day at the end of the day.
This needs to be done with care so that it doesn’t take up too much of their time. Train your employees to get into the habit of making a brief note of what they’ve done as they go. At the end of the day, they submit this to their line manager who then reviews it.
This can be very illuminating. It not only shows up how much work they’ve done but can also show where they could be making better use of their time.
It also provides an agreed starting point for follow-up discussions. The employee has a sense of accountability yet feels that you trust them to organize their own workday. It also gives you a chance to give them deserved commendation for staying on track and being productive.
Address Technical Issues
Technical issues such as dodgy computer equipment or lagging internet speeds can lead to huge frustration. They can demotivate even the most productive employees.
If you pick up on these issues when monitoring your workers, address them as quickly as possible. This may mean looking at ways the company can provide access to better quality internet or improve their tech support offering.
When you take these concerns seriously, you send out a clear message to your employees. They are valued and you want them to feel happy in their work.
Remember Employees Are Humans
You want to create the best work culture possible, even when your team is spread over a wide area. It’s crucial to obtain employee buy-in to whatever form of remote employee monitoring you use.
Resist the urge to micromanage or jump on every perceived drop in productivity your software picks up on. Consult with HR managers in your company to strike the right balance. If you do use monitoring software, share the results with your employees so they can understand its benefit.
Remember there is no substitute for employee communication. All workers will have their ups and downs. Even if they can’t see you in person, they still need to feel your interest in them and their work as an individual.
A Word on Legality
Monitoring employees must be done in a lawful way. Laws around privacy vary in different jurisdictions. Before embarking on any program of employee monitoring, make sure that you are acting within the law.
Making a Success of Remote Employee Monitoring
The key to success in remote employee monitoring is getting employee buy-in.
They need to see it as their opportunity to have their hard work recognized. As time goes by, they’ll see that you’re not using it to micromanage them. When handled skillfully, it can keep everybody on track and moving forward together.
For more insights into how to get the best out of your employees, check out our Software section today!