We know that many companies are choosing to work remotely, with such changes in environment, new challenges arise. One of which, is tracking and monitoring your staff. How can you do this in the most ethical and non invasive way, but still collect the necessary data to track efficiency and important KPI’s for your company? Let’s explore some of the different methods and tools that you and your employees can use to work in harmony.
Before you begin tracking employees, you will need to set a goal. What is it that you want to achieve when tracking or monitoring your workforce? Are there any specific issues that you are trying to solve? As the old saying goes, if its not broken, don’t fix it. If your team members are working fine, then you may not need a solution. But this is not the case for everyone. When you transition from in-office work to remote, there are some issues that you are faced with.
One issue that you can be facing when it comes to remote working is accountability. Although you may set deadlines and expectations, the final product can fall short. If this is happening to you, it can make you wonder. Are people distracted when they are working from home? Are there other issues that would have been addressed in an office? If you are asking yourself such questions, keep reading. We will explore some possible solutions that you can try.
The first, and most obvious method is using tools. With remote working becoming more mainstream, you can choose to see what tools that would benefit you and your workforce. Some suggestions for tools would include the following.
Project Tracking System
If you are not already using some form of project tracking software, this would be something that you should implement, even if you are not working remotely. It can help with more than just tracking employees. It can help with communication among team members, save important project information, show a trajectory of project progress, and so much more. Interested in using such a tool? Don’t worry, I will mention a perfect tool for the job and even give you a once in a lifetime discount later in this article.
If your project tracking system does not come with a punch clock, in other words, a timer for the tasks, then this is another essential tool that may is missing from your repertoire. If you are looking for a stand alone tool for this in specific, I would recommend using Hubstaff. Once installed on your machine, you can create a project that your staff can track their time with. It is essentially a timer that takes screenshots of the employees screen, periodically. You as the owner of the project will have access to these screenshots if you would like to monitor the screens of your employees. It will also track movement on the screen and provide a percent of activity that was performed that day.
Another essential tool for collaboration is a chat. Since you cannot walk over to a persons desk, you will need to find an effortless way to communicate. For this, I would suggest using Slack or Discord. These are among some of the most used chat tools by remote companies today. You can program and customize the experience for these chats, specifically for your workflow. For example, you can use a chat bot to greet new members as they join the chat so they are aware of your workflow. It’s little things like this that make those tools great to use. But what about meetings?
You will also need to use a tool for your meetings as well. Both Slack and Discord provide the capabilities to do video meetings and calls. This, however, may not suffice if you have a large team meeting. In this case, I would suggest trying either Zoom or Google Meet.
These will be, for the most part, all of the necessary tools needed to manage a successful distributed team. But a tool is worthless without a proper use for them.
How will you put the tools mentioned above into good use? You need to create a proper workflow. This workflow can emulate they type of way that you would normally work in-office.
A distributed team needs to have regular working hours. With many companies, you have several projects going at one time, which means that tasks need to be completed quickly and efficiently. To reduce unnecessary waiting time, office/working hours should be in effect.
Without regular working hours, your team members could be waiting for confirmations from other team members. You can think of your team’s workflow as a flowing stream of liquid within a pipe, and you can think of wait time as clog in the pipe. In order to get a faster stream, you need to reduce anything that is clogging the pipe. So, if someone on your team is waiting for confirmation in regards to a task, this will slow down the overall progress in work, and even worse, this can compound over time if this occurs often enough.
The easiest way to reduce this wait time, is to keep everyone on the same page. Allow for a set time during the day that everyone should be available for, this way, you can ensure that anyone will be around to answer questions, or make confirmations without delay.
How often are you meeting with your team members? It is important to have regular meetings with your team members, especially if you are working remotely. When you are working in-office, you have the privilege of seeing the faces of your employees every day for at least a portion of the day. When working remotely, you are not afforded the same privilege. This is why it is healthy to have a meeting a day even if it’s only 10 – 15 mins. It provides more accountability to the team members completing their work, and an excuse to be more connected with your team.
If you know when your team members will be available, it is also necessary to know when they will not be available. This will facilitate a healthy working environment. That means your team members can feel guilt free if they are not answering emails, chats, and other mediums of communication outside of the standard office hours. Although it may seem quite arbitrary, I feel it should be emphasised if you plan on prolonging your distributed workforce.
At the end of the day, we are working with people, and people need time off and breaks. Make sure that you provide a set time during the day for a break. And if you do, it should be a universal time, meaning that everyone takes a break at the same time to stay in sync.
Now what if you would like to take all of the above advice to the next level? What if you could replicate as close as possible, the in-office experience remotely? This can be done using Statikly.
Statikly is a collaboration tool for remote working. You can use it with your existing tools to provide a better working experience for your team members. If you already use any of the tools as mentioned earlier, you can combine them all into one compact user interface. This interface provides an always-on-display feature so you can receive real time notifications and come as close as possible to replicating the in-office experience, remotely.
We are offering a one time discount for this software by joining the waitlist. You will receive the first month free of charge, then you will get a 50% discount on the product for an entire year.