Having a remote workforce provides the flexibility modern employees desire and allows your company to hire based on talent rather than proximity to the office. To maintain efficiency among remote personnel you need employee monitoring software and a policy for measuring productivity.
Consider these three options for managing employees working outside of the office.
Ethical Employee Monitoring
Some of the programs you use for your business may include activity audits or reporting functions. These provide a basic metric for monitoring productivity in your remote workforce, but there are limitations.
Time spent in a particular app doesn’t always equate to work time, and being logged out may not mean work isn’t getting done. You could use keylogging software or doing random checks using remote access software, but that can feel like an invasion of privacy for the employee.
You want your employees to feel empowered to do their job – and if they want to take five minutes here and there to reply to a comment on Facebook that should be okay as long as they are meeting their productivity goals.
That being said, you should have a solution in place to protect your company from an unusual amount of non-productive activity — and data theft.
Using software like Employee Monitoring allows you to install automated employee monitoring software on all PCs. You can then setup alerts to be triggered when something unusual and potentially threatening happens. For example, if an employee tries to download or transfer confidential information.
This is ethical employee monitoring. You’re not spying on your employees but you are protecting your most important assets: your proprietary and confidential data.
Implement Routine Check-Ins and Evaluations
Remote employees must be held just as accountable for their productivity as staff members working in the office.
Checking in with remote workers not only shows you what’s getting done but also demonstrates an interest in your employees’ accomplishments. You can see where staff members might be struggling and offer help to improve the daily workflow, while offering praise for a job well done.
Try hosting video sessions for your check-ins to foster a stronger relationship with employees. This is as close to an in-person meeting as you can have!
Use Common Sense
Combining the information from employee productivity applications only tells part of the story. You get a good idea of how much time remote employees are spending on work, but the true measure of productivity is what actually gets accomplished in the end.
Pay attention to the output of each employee, monitoring how often they meet or miss deadlines and how engaged they are in collaborative projects. Compare their progress between check-ins, assessing the amount of work they complete to determine how well they make use of their time.
Knowing how productive your remote workforce is on a daily basis ensures deadlines are met while maintaining a fair balance in the workload. You’re better able to maximize your resources to get the most benefit for the company and provide a positive environment for both remote and onsite employees.