Our workplace may have been long ready for a makeover. However, 2020 brought on drastic, irreversible, and seemingly instant changes in the way we work. In this new environment, businesses had to quickly adjust their practices to accommodate remote working employees.
One of the main challenges business owners had to address was this:
How do you measure the productivity of remote workers?
While some studies have concluded that working from home increases employee productivity, employers may find it difficult to confirm whether it is so for their teams. Not knowing what your team members are up to and how they are using their time may lead to various workplace disruptions.
It may lead to an employer feeling that work is not being done and make them suspicious of time theft on the part of their employees. On the other hand, excessive control and micromanagement on the part of the employer can make workers feel distrusted.
So how can an employer measure and evaluate the KPI for remote workers?
How to Monitor Employees Working from Home?
There are several strategies that are often recommended for businesses with remote employees:
Setting clear goals and deadlines
Working from home can get hectic. This is why an employer needs to communicate tasks and project timelines effectively. To avoid constant check-ins and update requests, make sure everyone on your team knows when an assignment should be handed in.
Developing a remote working culture
A formal policy that outlines everyone’s rights and responsibilities can be helpful in managing a remote team. It will make sure that all your team members start on the same page. It will also offer guidance in case of workplace disputes.
Emphasizing trust and transparency
No amount of time and money you invest in workplace monitoring will be enough if you don’t trust your employees. To create a culture of trust, you need to be 100% open about your requirements and the techniques you plan to use to measure productivity. On the other hand, your employees should also be transparent about their working practices. They must give you timely updates about delays and other issues they may encounter.
Employing digital tools
As collaborative as your team may be, it’s practically impossible to set up a remote workspace without proper tools. You will need programs to manage projects, exchange ideas, track working time, and calculate project budgets. In fact, the right mix of monitoring and management tools can make all the difference between a happy and a hectic remote workplace.
Best Apps to Monitor and Track Remote Employees
There are lots of tools on the web that promise to make remote collaboration with your team better. Project management apps, cloud storage platforms, time trackers, and other apps can all make important contributions to a digital workspace. Here’s our pick of the top five tools that can instantly upgrade your virtual team and bring forward better results.
BaseCamp is where a lot of companies start when setting up a remote workspace. It’s an online collaboration app that lets you manage all your projects under one roof.
BaseCamp makes it easy for teams to keep track of all their tasks and deadlines in a clear and simple interface.
There are lots of built-in functionalities too. BaseCamp has been especially praised for its collaboration features which are absolutely essential when working remotely. As you work with the app, you will get access to group chats, message boards, team schedules, and more.
2. Google Drive
When you have many people sending in assignments remotely, you will need a tool to help you keep it all organized. Google Drive offers a great way of doing just that. It will let you create a convenient clutter-free environment to keep track of all your ongoing projects. You will be able to create documents, collaborate on presentations, make edits in real-time, leave comments and suggestions — and lots more.
Google Drive incorporates seamlessly into the Google tools ecosystem. So, if you are using Google Docs, Google Sheets, Gmail, and other Google apps, you get a perfectly interconnected data platform.
Easy access to all of your team’s work in one place, will help you consistently evaluate progress and efficiency. You will be instantly notified when assignments are uploaded, what changes are being made, and even who is currently working on a document. Google Drive is accessible across a variety of platforms and is also easy to use on the move.
Samepage is another cloud-based app that emphasizes collaboration. It brings together lots of features that a remote workplace will definitely need: project management, notifications, chats, real-time edits, and more. You can manage projects, organize meetings, share screens, set up work discussion groups, and even collaborate on documents.
The best thing about Samepage is that it lets you work with a wide range of content. This includes text, images, spreadsheets, videos, maps, diagrams, organizational boards, mind maps, and more. It also offers a chat-based solution to avoid losing track of discussions and is overall a great tool to stay connected.
You will also get access to a Kanban board for organizing large projects and agenda lists for managing smaller projects.
Traqq is the ultimate workplace time tracker. It uses automated screenshots and videos to monitor user activity and works in the background without causing distractions.
As an employer, you get a clear overview of the activity levels of everyone via neat online timesheets. This lets you analyze individual performance levels and use these insights for more efficient delegation. As a result, projects get done faster and there are minimal chances of unforeseen delays.
As an employee, you get a convenient distraction-free workspace and an automated way to report progress to your team. The app makes sure that your privacy and personal data are protected at all times. All the tracking is strictly limited to your work activity.
Among other things, Traqq can help you save lots of time on invoicing as you will be able to clearly see the work hours for each employee.
There is more than one way to make sure things get done. Sometimes, nothing can compare to a simple face-to-face chat. Here’s where Zoom comes in.
The app is the go-to solution for holding meetings online. It comes with built-in capabilities for video meetings, video calls, webinars, file sharing, messaging — and more.
Zoom works for both small and large teams. However, it’s especially well-known for offering the highest capacity for meetings out of all other video conferencing apps. With Zoom, you can get up to 500 people to sit in on one video call — which is more than most traditional workspaces can accommodate.
An in-person exchange of ideas and updates can prove to be an irreplaceable element of your working routine. In addition to improving collaboration and helping avoid misunderstandings, it can be a great tool to bring people together.
For a full list of the best productivity tools for remote teams, head to https://softwaretested.com/software-apps/best-remote-work-tools-to-stay-productive/.
Summing it all up
Managing a remote team is no easy task. This is something that employers should be aware of right from the start. Understanding the challenges of a purely digital workplace is an important first step to building a healthy and productive working environment.
With that, every challenge is a potential stepping stone. With the right management and tracking tools, you will be able to set up a space where your team can stay productive and deliver results. These same tools will also let you stay updated on project progress without resorting to micromanagement and exerting pressure on your team.