Remote worker monitoring

IN last week’s installment, I pointed out that remote worker monitoring, including time tracking, is a vital tool in a business’ drive to be successful and productive.

Robert Mandeya

Whether it is a permanent move or you are just transitioning to remote work temporarily in an effort to limit exposure to Covid-19, monitoring can take the assumptions out of distributed teamwork. It apparent that employers across the world are starting to implement employee monitoring so that they are able not only to track the time their team spends on client projects (to maximise billing) but to also build trust and accountability, freeing up everyone to focus on work instead of wondering what is going on.

Keeping track of employees

Many managers and employers are finding out that as their business or team grows, keeping track of what every employee does on a daily or hourly basis is a difficult task. This can lead to huge reductions in performance as costing employees is not as easily recognised as it should be in many organisations.
Not keeping track of what employees are doing and costing their time will also lead to a loss in earnings as billable time declines. Most entrepreneurs and business owners are feeling like they have lost a grip on their company due to the absence of physical contact time many were so used to.

Time tracking and monitoring

To avoid these scenarios where managers and executives feel they have lost control of the work situation, start-ups, creative agencies, and even huge corporations are looking into how to monitor employees working from home.

When it comes to managing remote teams, time tracking and monitoring are essential. It helps leaders and managers gain a complete understanding of how each project is getting completed, who is working and when, and how efficient their workflow is.

For those considering implementing remote worker monitoring at their companies but are not sure how to do so, we have to put together a handy guide to help you get started.

Benefits of remote monitoring

Employee monitoring in a remote environment has huge benefits for both individuals and organisations. Knowing that the time they spend working productively is being tracked means that remote employees are more accountable for their output each day. Thus, they are far more likely to be motivated and produce greater results on a regular basis.

Beyond this, freelancers and independent contractors can take great peace of mind in time tracking and employee monitoring. They can be rest assured that their work hours are being tracked and documented independently. This means that they are far less likely to face issues when it comes to billing justification and payment, remote staff monitoring also helps to build trust.

As an employer, you can know that the work you are paying for is being completed on time and as efficiently as possible.This same principle applies to agencies when it comes to client billing. Timesheets and activity reports can be shared with clients so that they can closely monitor a project’s progress, and see which parts of the process require the most time and resources.

As an agency, this gives you more rationale for future estimates, as well. Remote monitoring also offers huge benefits when it comes to management. Team leaders and business owners can focus on core tasks, which helps increase billing and efficiency overall, rather than wasting time micromanaging.

Best practices in remote monitoring

If you intend to implement remote monitoring policies in your company, think about why you want to implement time tracking in your company — is it to keep an eye on employee productivity, monitor performance, increase billing, or for another reason? So there must be clarity on the intention to introduce remote monitoring first.

Once the intention for implementing the policy is established, look for the software that has the necessary features to accurately monitor your workers and provide information for your goal. These features could be URL and application monitoring activity tracking, or purely basic time tracking features.
As soon as you have found the right fit for your company, it is time to introduce the policy to your staff. When doing this, it is best to frame the introduction of remote staff monitoring as a hugely positive addition to your company. Talk about how it will empower individuals to be more accountable, and that the best performers will be able to shine more clearly

After introducing the policy, check in weeks and months so your team has a chance to give feedback. You can also use this time to discuss what you have learned about work patterns and productivity since you started monitoring. This data is useful—not only as a judge of productivity—but to also help you assess if a goal was set too low, why a goal was not reached, and for comparing employees to identify areas for individual improvements.

Mandeya is a certified executive leadership coach, corporate education trainer, management consultant and founder of the Leadership Institute of Research and Development. — robert@lird.co.zw, info@lird.co.zw, Facebook: @lirdzim or WhatsApp: +263 772 466 925.

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