Time Tracking: Six Ways to Know Your Employees Are Actually Working

Many company managers use time tracking for remote employees to check if their team is really at work, even if they cannot physically see them. You’ve probably used a time tracker to monitor your employees, too.

But contrary to popular belief, time trackers aren’t the only way to ensure your remote team’s productivity. There are several ways to monitor your work-from-home employees. And they measure much more than the screenshots and the hours ticking by.

In this post, we’ll explore six ways to make sure your employees are actually working. We’ll also give you an overview of what performance metrics you should consider monitoring for your team. You’ll also learn why it’s best to deploy an online solution that caters to various aspects of remote team monitoring.

Can Work from Home Employees Really Be Productive?

Several managers are thinking if a work-from-home employee can truly be productive. That’s because working from home is a completely different experience than physically working at an office. This difference is what may influence remote employees’ productivity levels.

The lingering fear of remote employees slacking off is totally normal and understandable. But most employees can indeed yield fruitful amounts of work even when they’re at home. This runs true especially for those who are already used to working alone.

The key to adequately checking productivity is to monitor the right metrics showing that your productivity goals for the team are met.

Productivity Metrics You Should Monitor

Productivity metrics will guide you in finding the appropriate monitoring measures for your team.

For instance, there’s nothing wrong with time tracking for remote employees. It’s actually a good practice and a simple yet effective way of checking in on remote employees. However, obsessing over that particular measure without checking on other parameters isn’t going to show productivity in an overall sense.

Now, we’ll group these metrics depending on your teams’ job speciality:

Time Tracking: Productivity Metrics You Should Monitor

Marketing Performance Metrics

  • Lead Conversion Rate
  • Return on Marketing Investment (ROMI)
  • Customer Acquisition Cost (CAC)
  • New Marketing Qualified Leads
  • Website Sessions

Sales Performance Metrics

  • Sales Per Agent
  • Revenue Generated Per Sales Agent
  • Call Volume
  • Average Selling Price
  • Lead-to-Win Conversion Rate

Support Performance Metrics

  • The Volume of Calls Attended To
  • First Response Time
  • Average Answer Speed
  • Customer Issues Tackled
  • Customer Satisfaction and Feedback

Human Resources Performance Metrics

  • Rate of Employee Turnover
  • Payroll to Revenue Ratio
  • Profit, Expenses, and Revenue Per Employee
Ideally, you must stick to less than ten metrics per team. This avoids metric overload and streamlines your supervisory methods.

Six Methods for Monitoring Remote Employees

Six Methods for Monitoring Remote Employees
Now, let’s move on to different ways of monitoring your remote employees. We’ll start with the onboarding process then move on to the different monitoring tools and techniques you can deploy for your remote team.

1. Do a thorough employee onboarding.

Before anything else, give your remote employees a thorough onboarding. This is especially crucial if you and your team are both new to a work from home set-up.

A comprehensive onboarding sets the right tone and expectations even before they delve into the actual work. There’s also a higher chance of being more productive and dedicated if your employees have been properly informed and guided of the policies covering work-from-home setups.

HomeSquad’s online solutions deliver a seamless onboarding experience for both you and your remote team. You can:

  • Setup your work-from-home policy
  • Oversee your team’s compliance
  • Document all onboarding activities
  • Create alerts, audits, and reports for the team

With HomeSquad, you can keep your team abreast of the company policies and monitor their compliance and work performance during their remote onboarding process.

2. Structure your workload through tasks.

Break down your workload into easily-digestible tasks with set deadlines. Then, distribute them fairly around your remote team. Providing them tasks with deadlines enables your team to work more efficiently towards reaching your group’s common goals.

However, you must make sure that your team isn’t focused on individual task outcomes. Keep them looking at a common goal by explaining and reminding them of your team’s entire mutual goal, of which their task completions are an integral part.

3. Utilise a project management program or app.

Utilise a project management program or app

Plenty of businesses operating remotely utilise project managements programs or apps. These tools are dedicated to organising and monitoring group projects. You can create tasks, assign them accordingly, and integrate with online productivity tools to help your remote team quickly get their respective jobs done.

You can use data gathered in a project management app to check on the different productivity metrics we’ve earlier discussed. For instance, you can check the following:

  • Minutes or hours your customer support agent took in resolving individual client cases
  • The average speed at which your support agent answers all client calls
  • Number of leads your marketing team has generated for the entire day
Project management apps also improve your team’s focus on working, even when they’re in remote locations. The app can serve as your team’s virtual office, a place where they can work, collaborate, communicate, and check-in with you and with each other.

4. Track your employees’ time at work.

You can use a dedicated time tracker software or app to track the time spent by your employees in working. Such trackers can also do the following:

  • Take screenshots to show an employees’ online activity at pre-determined times
  • Record keystrokes and mouse movements
  • Calculate productivity rates based on keystrokes, time, and mouse movements
  • Present your activity and productivity levels in a comprehensive report

Time trackers are also excellent tools for helping your remote workers establish their work structure and productivity levels.

Time tracking for remote employees has long been used by several work-from-home businesses. However, this method must be utilised in a balanced way so as not to compromise the privacy of your work-from-home team.

5. Effectively use communication tools.

Deploy a single communication tool across your entire remote team. This can help you better talk to each other, monitor project statuses, and check-in with your employees’ work at regular or random intervals throughout the day.

Tactfully use your communication tools to check-in with your team once in a while. Make yourself visible without making your remote employees uncomfortable with your presence. You wouldn’t want to act like a pushy supervisor constantly breathing down your employees’ necks – even in the virtual world.

Schedule a quick meeting for the entire team at certain times of the day. You can then spot which employees are present and which ones are paying attention to your main points. You may also open a quick chat dedicated to water-cooler banters to help keep your remote team engaged with you and with each other at work.

6. Create daily or weekly report summaries.

Create daily or weekly report summaries

End-of-the-day or weekly report summaries can directly be generated from project management apps or time trackers. Apart from this, you can also ask for a subjective work summary report from each of your team members.

Your employees’ subjective summary report may contain the following:

  • A brief description of the tasks they’re working on
  • The level of business that they currently feel
  • Their self-assessment on being able to handle more responsibilities on top of their current ones in the future

This method works well for organisations with fewer team members or those with a high level of trust within the team.

Time Tracking for Remote Employees – Is It Worth It?

Several businesses have been using time tracking for remote employees. And indeed, such a method is worth it when used properly and in the right context.

Trust and transparency are important factors in using a time tracking tool. You deploy this monitoring tool because you trust in your remote team. Hence, they must return this trust by truly working at their assigned hours and being transparent with what they do.

Remote team monitoring is easier when you use an app such as HomeSquad. This platform has several features for a transparent yet non-intrusive monitoring for your work-from-home staff.

There you have it, six ways to make sure your remote employees are actually working. We’ve also covered the appropriate metrics to consider and the importance of time tracking for workers in a remote set-up.

Are you feeling overwhelmed with managing a remote work arrangement? Our tool can assist you and your team in moving up to your goals – even when you’re all working from home. Request for your free HomeSquad demo now and see how it can change the way you manage your remote employees!

HomeSquad solutions empowers companies to manage the compliance and performance of their staff while working from home, in the office or from a remote location.

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