Over the last several months, millions of employers across the United States have been forced to rapidly transition to a distributed workforce model. This is a shift that has undoubtedly benefited national public health and safety. At the same time, however, it has created some novel challenges for employers.
In particular, it’s become difficult for many employers to gauge the success and productivity of their remote employees. When everyone’s working in a single office, it’s typically easy for employers to keep an eye on their teams and to ensure that company time is being used productively. When your employees are all working from home, on the other hand, it can be a challenge to keep track of how they’re spending their time on any given workday.
Thankfully, there are a wide variety of tips and technologies that employers can leverage to measure productivity among their remote employees.
8 Strategies for Measuring Daily Productivity Among Remote Employees
To optimize the performance of remote employees, it’s essential for employers to develop effective communications strategies and implement some means and measures of accountability.
With those ideas in mind, here are eight ways to keep track of (and maximize) productivity among your remote employees:
- Establish (and communicate) clear expectations and deadlines. Unless all remote team members are on the same page regarding expectations, projects are virtually guaranteed to lose traction and end with suboptimal results. In light of that, it’s important for employers and team leaders to be able to clearly articulate and communicate goals and deadlines to all team members.
- Take advantage of time tracking software. In the office, employees are typically expected to arrive and depart at specific times of the day. Obviously, those rules have the potential to slip once a team transitions to remote work. Employers have the potential to prevent that slippage from occurring by leveraging employee time tracking platforms such as Toggl, Scoro, and BeeBole.
- Take time to provide regular feedback. The transition to remote work will be accompanied by a learning curve for employers and employees alike. In order to make the transition as frictionless and successful as possible, it’s important to regularly connect with your team members to discuss and address any roadblocks that they’ve been encountering.
- Implement a policy of daily employee check-ins. If you oversee a relatively small team, it can be highly effective to ask your employees to draft and send daily reports outlining their recent workflow. Ideally, these regular reports should provide you with details regarding:
- The tasks and projects that they’ve recently been engaged with.
- The progress that has been made that day.
- The likelihood of meeting that task or project’s established deadline on time.
- Whether or not they have any extra time to take on additional tasks.
- Delegate employee oversight responsibilities to supervisors. Keep in mind that you don’t need to track remote employee performance entirely on your own. You also have the option to delegate select members of your staff to the role of productivity supervisor or time-tracking czar (you get the idea). By selecting individuals among your workforce who are responsible for reporting remote employee performance back to you, you’ll be much more likely to track your team’s productivity as a whole, while simultaneously maintaining enough bandwidth to be able to handle all of the tasks that you have on your own plate.
- Maintain an open line of communication. It’s also possible to track remote employee productivity by keeping an eye on when individuals are “offline” and “online.” Slack, most notably, has become a particularly useful tool in this regard. By requiring your remote employees to keep their Slack accounts open while they’re at work, you’ll have a visual indication at all times of who’s at their desk and who’s away.
- Implement a weekly review process. As your team adjusts to the communication and logistics challenges of remote work, it can be extremely useful to connect everyone at the beginning of each week to discuss processes, problems, and potential solutions. This doesn’t need to take more than an hour or so on Monday mornings, but it’s a great opportunity to allow your employees to voice concerns and collaborate with one another.
- Trust your team members. Lastly, but certainly not least, it’s important to keep in mind that trust plays an important role here. Too much oversight can lead employees to feel that their employer perceives them as being unreliable and irresponsible. In order to foster a feeling of mutual respect and camaraderie among a remote workforce, employers should aim to balance supervision with trust. In other words, you should make it your goal to provide your employees with the basic degrees of autonomy that they’ll need to thrive in their new remote setting.
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At Patel Consultants, we’re committed to continuing to pair employers with talented job candidates during the ongoing COVID-19 crisis. To learn more about our staffing services or to start searching for your next star employee, please email Nick Malefyt at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us today!