How to Monitor Employees Working from Home?
With the world starting to lean more towards the hybrid workforce, there’s increased pressure on managers and leaders to motivate their teams to get things done while still following the flexible working model. One of the biggest challenges is figuring out how to monitor your employees while working from home because how can you be sure that they are working?
Homelife is full of distractions, obligations, and other things to do that are far more exciting than work. How do you monitor employees working from home, and can you track what they are doing online?
Pros and Cons Of Employee Tracking
● Easy to manage the hybrid work model with tracking
● Helps you keep things moving
● Can be a hassle to set up the hybrid work from home tracker
It’s easier than you might think to be able to track your employees’ working habits, even if they are remote. Here are some of the tools and tips you can use to do so.
Deadlines have been around since the dawn of time, and they are one of the best ways to make sure that your team members are actually working. If they get the work in by the deadline then you have a good system in place to get the work done, if not, then they might need some help to see where everything is going wrong.
Having a goal-based structure and telling your employee ‘I need this done by this date’ is very effective to get them in gear. If they get the project done by the deadline, then they are working effectively from home. If not, then you might need to speak with them to see if something has come up to stop them from getting the project down.
Set A Schedule
While you shouldn’t monitor your employees while they are at their desks, you can make sure that they are all at their computers by having scheduled meetings or calls at certain times of the day. You might decide to have a 9:00 AM meeting every Monday to go over the week or decide to schedule one-on-one calls to check in on progress.
Heck, you could even open up ‘office hours’ where you are available through skype or another service to answer questions. Having some level of structure for your remote workers can keep them going in the office environment mindset, while also making sure that you are available in case anything comes up.
Provide Transparency With A Management App
One of the best ways to make sure that a team is working and getting everything done is to use a project management application such as Asana or Trello. These websites allow you to set tasks on boards and assign them to each member. For example, you could have an overarching task for everyone to look at, and then specific individual tasks that are designed to be done by various members of your team. Everyone is able to see the management tasks, and your employees are able to move their tasks through the chain and keep you updated in real time.
If you are specific with the steps, you can easily follow an employee’s task from start to finish as they move it from board to board. The transparency can also keep other employees on track, as they should see that their fellow workers are being productive and moving their assignments along.
Promote Summary Reports
These reports won’t just have your employees recapping what they did for the day, but they can also provide a real sense of accomplishment for them. Being able to write down what they completed today can put things in perspective for an employee. They might have thought that they did a fantastic job, but when writing the report, they saw that their work level wasn’t as good as they thought it was.
Similarly, other employees might be having a bad day and then recap the day and see they got a lot done. An end of day summary can also be a very powerful tool for you because you can see patterns with your employees and catch any mistakes before they happen. You can outline issues one on one with a worker, or with a team, and help them become more effective remote workers.
These end of day recaps can be done during team meetings or submitted in document form, whichever is easiest for you.
Finally, you can analyze the email volume of your workers using software such as EmailAnayltics. You are able to see how many emails have been sent, received, and opened by a specific email address. You won’t be able to see the content of the emails, but if you have your employee’s work email you can assume that the majority of those emails are work related.
Time tracking tools such as Time Doctor or Toggel can be important as well. These can be installed on work computers and work by having your employees use a timer whenever they start and stop a task. For example, let’s say they time themselves, and writing a report takes two hours. You are able to see that data, and with enough of the data, you can see where your employees are able to work fast and where they slow down.
Then you can assign work so everyone is working on the items that they can do the fastest and the best. Analyzing employees isn’t a foolproof method, but if you like your data points then it could really work for you.
Just because an employee takes a long time to do something doesn’t mean they are lazy. Working from home has a million and one distractions and other obligations, so make sure to talk to your employees and see what you can do to help them out. You could extend deadlines, support them in using an office ergonomic chair or adjustable standing desk, or offer to share their situation with others to see if the workload can be lessened.
No matter what, there are plenty of ways to make sure your team of remote workers is pulling their weight, and you’ll find the one strategy that works for you.
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