Actively Monitoring Remote Employees to Ensure Productivity Success


Adjusting to life during the pandemic hasn’t been easy for remote employees who’ve had to carve out spaces in their homes to make room for work. Employers have been forced to make a number of changes as well, from implementing new processes and procedures to ensuring that deadlines are still met. Working from home requires a good amount of trust and discipline on the behalf of the employers, although some of that stress can be alleviated by utilizing a number of employee monitoring tools. If employers genuinely want to ensure that their workers spend their valuable time on the clock working diligently, then they should consider implementing some of these productivity monitoring programs.

Use Programs That Take Screen Shots

To keep remote employees on the straight and narrow – and ensure that they aren’t wasting away their work hours playing CandyCrush or surfing Facebook – employers can utilize a program that takes screenshots and tracks time. Many of these programs also work as time clocks, justifying their dual purpose.

One useful program is Time Doctor, which not only tracks time worked but also includes a built-in, yet optional, screenshot option. Employers can turn on this option if they suspect an employee is spending precious work hours doing other non-work-related activities. It will also help keep employees on track and deter them away from some of the pitfalls that occur when working from home. Other options include SCREENish, Hivedesk, and Monitask.

It’s important to choose programs that handle both time tracking and screenshots. Not only does this make it easier for employees, as they only need to log into one program each morning, but it also takes away any untoward feelings that may arise from the screenshot process. Using a separate program for each (time and screenshots) can make it appear as though the employer doesn’t trust their employees, which can lead to productivity issues and hostile feelings.

Track Progress with Communication Tools

In addition to using time tracking and screenshot programs, employers can keep an eye on tasks and progress through a number of useful communication tools. Some platforms, such as, allow companies to set up tasks and actively monitor which employees are tackling them. This particular program even allows for document uploads, eliminating the need for other content sharing tools.

Another option, like Basecamp, makes it easy to break down larger projects into smaller ones. All employees assigned to a particular project can communicate on the program’s message boards, and documents can be shared, linked, to and uploaded. New projects and steps are easy to add, broadening the program’s functionality. Similar programs include Asana, Trello and Workzone.

One benefit of using these types of communication tools is that they allow supervisors to see exactly what time a task is completed, a message is sent or a file is uploaded. If it seems as though a project is stalling unnecessarily, the employer can address the issue in a timely manner.

Remain Consistent

Like never before, this pandemic has brought about change and uncertainty in the workplace. Because of this, it’s important for employers to remain consistent. Even if they suspect that only one or two remote employees out of a workforce of hundreds might be slacking off during the workday, it’s crucial to enforce the use of new programs and any associated policies across the board. Singling out those one or two workers, especially if they and others are aware of it, can lead to even greater productivity issues and a number of other trust-related problems once the pandemic subsides and employees return to the office. Creating new procedures that everyone must follow alleviates employee suspicion and levels the playing field, so to speak. Consistency is key during this time of chaotic uncertainty.

Though currently working remotely may be “the new norm” for most employers, it doesn’t have to be stressful one. Actively monitoring and communicating with employees will ensure they remain happy and productive during specified work hours and keep everyone on the same page. Productivity will stem from the employer’s daily lead, so be transparent and implement monitoring tools that will drive success.

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