The Culture to Work Remotely
Remote work culture is not simply a passing trend. It is here to stay. With a positive implementation of remote work culture, a company can achieve cut down on wasted meetings. You can also work through to improve employee satisfaction as well as reduce unscheduled absences.
The culture itself was based on the fact that the workforce, regardless of time zones, geographical locations, and various other reservations, could work as a team, even from remote areas. In the wake of the COVID-19, who would have known that such a culture would become so impactful, especially in the current times we all are experiencing and going through across the planet.
According to a survey conducted in partnership with Buffer, Doist, Hubstaff, etc., some surprising findings of remote work culture came forward. With over 2,500 respondents that ranged from workers to managers, 99% of them stated that remote working was considered as an attractive offer.
When asked if they would encourage others to work remotely, 95% of them showed a response in favor of working remotely. With such convincing answers, one does question whether remote work culture is workable? Let’s take a look at some of the ways a company can manage their employees and monitor their productivity in work from home setting to find the answer.
Tips to Monitor Employees in a Remote Setting
1. Create Remote Work Policies
Perhaps the first and foremost important thing to do is understand what remote work is truly about. These should not only be understood by the management but also incorporated into the policies that are openly shared with every member of your team. Creating a remote work policy is important as it will draw out the lines and parameters for every member of the team and various different departments that it stands for. It should also clearly mention the dos and don’ts which your workforce should abide by at all times.
Going against such policies should be treated as an action that can and could be reprimanded. Remember that policies lay down the foundation for the measures that your management could act upon. They are made so that people understand them and conform to what they clearly mention.
2. Use Software for Performance Reports
There is a list of software out there that can help you monitor employee performance in a remote setting. For instance, Time Doctor, Toggl, Rescue Time, and Harvest are easy to implement and user friendly that your companies could invest in without much hassle.
They can not only allow you to hold your employees accountable for their output each day but also ensure that they produce desired results. Many of them offer you the ability to record each individual’s performance and time spent on completing a designated task. Lastly, a lot of them also help you in reducing your own time spent on task management and time-tracking as the tool itself does that for you.
3. End of the Day Summary
Nothing can beat the old fashioned summary about what an employee did throughout the day and accomplished by the end of the shift. This may involve manual input; however, with shared and live documents that can be accessed by both the management and the workforce, we all can see how much a team accomplished in their whole-day shift.
This daily report thus becomes a point of focus that can be discussed and viewed by both parties. It clearly states the obvious where the employee must report what they achieved and where they spent the majority of their time on throughout the working day hours.
4. Align Tasks with Deadlines
Another method of monitoring whether your remotely situated workforce is following through protocol is by assigning them tasks that have stringent deadlines. If for some matter, the deadlines are viewed to be unfair by your workers, they can use the official channel of communication to address such issues, which naturally comes to a mutual understanding between your managers and workers.
The rest goes on, and total work to be delivered is hardly ever on the losing side. In fact, in some cases, you might even push the lazy ones to actually do something useful throughout their days, instead of wasting precious time.
5. Check Activity on Shared Platforms
A lot of the time, companies have their own platforms such as Asana or even proprietor and custom made platforms, where everyone can post their updates regarding their tasks and activities. The management usually has much more access than workers where they can monitor each member of their team and see what they are doing in real-time.
Notifications and updates are instantly shared with the management whenever a worker commits an action. Whether it is a file upload, a comment, or simply a like, many of these platforms come with additional settings where they can offer you email reminders, pop-ups, and whatnot.
6. Track Internet Usage
Software like Work Time and Work Space offers you an easy way out to address the misuse of the internet during work hours. While many companies nowadays actively encourage employees to share and like posts by the official organization page and profile on various social media platforms, the chances are that some might digress and misuse this opportunity.
We have seen countless cases where employees would simply spend many of their working hours loitering around the internet, and this is indeed a major concern for the management. However, the software mentioned above can easily tackle this situation for you and give you all the answers you need to get things back in order with every member of your team.
7. Weekly Status Reports
These are less stringent than daily reports as they cover the performance of employees over a period of 7 days (working and non-working included). As such, they can also offer you less attention to detail as a weekly status report focuses more on the number of tasks an employee undertook rather than mentioning the nitty-gritty details of each task they performed during the week.
Though weekly status reports can be more like a general overview of employee productivity over the period of one week, they are also favored by employees as well as it gives them more room to breathe. The same goes for an essay writing service UK where students can check in for a weekly report on the progress made for their pending papers.
8. Monitor Time Employees Spent on Desk
Kickidler and DeskTime are both great examples where you can use software and specialized tools to monitor employees and see how they spent their time on workstations. They come with advanced features that can offer you auto screenshots and even custom reports regarding each employee’s working habits.
With the ability to keep track of the productive and unproductive time of your workforce, it can help you from guessing what your remote team was up to throughout the month. Not only is there an automatic time tracking feature, but you can even track the use of all the apps and URLs visited by your employees.
9. Record User Activity
There are several ways where you can use software and tools to record user activity on company-owned devices. Hence by allowing workers to become a part of your internal system, you can then record their activities through your own devices that you can ask each worker to use when working remotely.
Through this, you are not only able to secure your company’s sensitive data from being distributed to unauthorized devices, but you are also complying with laws and regulations such as PCI, HIPAA, and ISO 27001, to name a few. As for employee privacy issues, your company policy and effective communication need to play a strong hand in reaching a mutual ground where neither party suffers.
10. Develop Alerts for Suspicious Events
Lastly, we all know that cybercriminal activities and other nuisances have created quite a turmoil for those companies that were found to have vulnerabilities within their operations and working systems. You should make amends and take severe precautions against such unruly actions. Social engineering attacks should be your biggest concern, along with various other loopholes that people with malign intent could exploit.
The safer your working network is, the better performance your employees can deliver. It also gives your management the leverage required to take corrective actions when needed. Many wrongdoers can also blame the incompetency within the system for their poor performances. By developing a strong front for all such actions, you can monitor your employees’ productivity in a much better manner and in the absence of lame excuses.
Over the years, with the internet successfully integrating itself with everything we do, businesses and enterprises have sought out ways to make use of its full capacity. Hence it wasn’t long before a remote work culture became introduced.
Employers, on the other hand, definitely save a lot of money and work towards building collaborations and expanding the talent pool as well. However, it all comes down to how effectively you manage your teams and remove loopholes from within your working system.
There are several tools available that a company can use to monitor the activities of remotely working employees. However, if one tool isn’t enough, then you can always use a combination of software to work out the best possible solution for your particular situation.
Amanda Jerelyn currently works as a Business Manager at Dissertation Assistance, where higher education students in the UK can request professional writers to “do my essay”. During her free time, she likes to take long walks on the beach with her pet terrier.