In the aftermath of the pandemic, many Charlotte area businesses are now in an environment that they didn’t envision a little over a year ago. This includes needing to take extra precautions to reduce the risk of viral transmission and deploying remote teams.
It’s estimated that the number of permanent remote workers is going to double in 2021, as many of those initially temporary telecommuting situations become set in stone.
Organizations are deciding to continue allowing employees to work from home for a number of reasons:
- Productivity is shown to increase due to fewer distractions
- Cost savings for both employer and employees
- Uncertainty about the future and the need to keep operations resilient
- They’ve already added the cloud solutions needed for remote teams due to the pandemic
However, with the adoption of remote teams comes a new challenge: How do you track productivity?
Not all employees have the same work ethic and not all managers have the same level of communication. This can leave remote employee productivity a big question mark for many business owners. It may even cause some to revert back to an all in-office staff simply because they’re not sure how to keep tabs on their remote team.
With the right tools and technology, you can easily track remote employee productivity in a way that’s helpful to everyone.
Use Team Communication Hubs
It’s easy to have productivity misunderstandings when you’re lacking good communication. For example, a remote employee could be on a Zoom call with a client and unreachable by a manager with a question. If the manager has no idea the employee is with a client, they may become upset and think the employee is goofing off.
You can keep track of employee availability and productivity using a team communications hub like Microsoft Teams.
Using custom status messages in Teams, the above scenario could’ve been avoided, with the remote employee setting their status to “On Zoom with Customer” before going into their meeting. Not only would their manager know they were unavailable, they would know why.
Teams offers the ability to easily share a task list and connect in real-time with status updates, share files, and connect via phone and video chat without leaving the app.
Track Tasks Rather Than Time
Not all productivity is best tracked by time worked. For many positions, tracking productivity by task completion makes more sense and is easier for a business owner.
Once you and the employee establish a reasonable number of tasks that can be completed in a day/week/month, you can use productivity tools to help track those.
Many of these include a Kanban board that allows communication on tasks, task updates, task due dates, file attachments to tasks, and more. The shared space makes it easy for employees to know what’s expected of them and when they’re expected to have certain projects finished.
A few of the task tracking apps like this are:
Use Short Morning Status Meetings
One of the tactics that large manufacturing facilities use to keep track of productivity and ensure everyone is on the same page is to have short status meetings every morning.
A factory has many moving parts and departments are often separated by a lot of factory space. You can use this same approach to keep up with your remote teams that are spread out over employee homes.
Ways to make this tactic a successful tool for tracking productivity:
- Keep meetings to 10-15 minutes, and no longer
- Meet with teams via video call
- Go through the expectations for the day
- Have employees to update on what they’re doing that day
- Tie up any loose ends (e.g., I wanted to confirm everyone has completed the security awareness video).
Time Tracking Tools
For some positions, tracking time is needed. For example, if an employee mans a customer help desk or is working on client projects that need to have labor dollars tracked.
There are many helpful time tracking tools out there you can use that allow users to click to start and click to stop a timer. These can also take screenshots intermittently if needed to confirm a person is actually working and didn’t just turn on the timer.
Time tracking apps are also very helpful to determine how much time a person is spending on a specific task or project.
Some of the popular time tracking apps are:
Track Application Access
How do you know employees are logging into their work applications as they should each day? Using a cloud access security broker (CASB) can help.
CASBs, like Microsoft Cloud App Security not only secure cloud applications, they also track and monitor employee access. This allows you to easily spot a red flag, such as a salesperson not logging into your Salesforce app for several days.
Get Help With the Tools That Keep Your Business Productive
Rocky Knoll Technologies can help your Charlotte area business put the right cloud tools in place to keep your team productive no matter where they are working.
Contact us today to schedule a free consultation. Call 704.594.7292 or reach us online.