The pandemic has forever changed what businesses in Treasure Valley and the rest of the world consider the “office.” Telecommuting has gone from an anomaly to a business norm, and in many cases, a necessity.
During the pandemic, entire workforces across the country were sent home to work and both employees and employers realized that this could be a good thing.
High productivity, fewer sick days, and lower costs all around can be realized when implementing a remote workforce, not to mention less risk of contracting a deadly virus.
In 2021, the number of global employees working from home permanently is expected to double.
That all sounds great, but the one thing business owners often come back to is, “How do I know my employees are still working as hard when they’re at home?”
If you know how to do it right, tracking productivity for remote teams doesn’t have to be onerous or time-consuming. Using a combination of policies, approaches, and digital tools can help you feel secure about your team, while ensuring everyone is on the same page.
Here are several tips to help you keep tabs on the productivity of remote employees.
Create a Clear Work-From-Home Policy
Many companies send employees home to work with no more instruction than to just do what they do at the office.
But this can leave employees confused about things like work hours, when or if they should take breaks, and how to “sign off” at the end of the day.
It’s important to begin with a clear policy for remote employees so that everyone is on the same page with expectations. This should include things like:
- Expected work hours and whether they are flexible or not
- Designated times or amount of time for breaks and lunch
- How to “clock in/out” and let the team know when going to lunch, etc.
- Communication tool(s) that should be used for internal office communications
- Reporting expectations for tasks completed
Use Short Morning Status/Mission Meetings
One of the tactics that large factories use to keep all moving parts of their facility running smoothly is short morning mission meetings. You can use this same idea to keep your remote team members coordinated and ensure no one is confused about that day’s mission.
80% of surveyed U.S. workers feel stressed due to ineffective company communication, and 63% said it negatively impacted their ability to do their job.
Short morning meetings can be used for important status updates on tasks that are vital to your operations. They allow employees that are confused about what they are doing to ask questions and any miscommunications to be cleared up.
Using a video conference tool like Teams or Zoom, touch base with employees each morning for just 10 to 15 minutes for a status/mission touch base. It’s important to keep these meetings short with a “hard stop,” as they’re supposed to help productivity, not drag it down.
Track Task Completion Rather Than Minutes
A modern way of thinking about productivity isn’t just according to how many minutes tick by that an employee has their nose to the grindstone, but rather by the actual work product being produced and the quality of that product.
For positions where it makes sense, transition the way you think about productivity by looking at the desired accomplishment rather than just counting minutes. This can often be a more revealing way to look at productivity because the employee putting in the most hours isn’t necessarily the one getting the most work done.
Use Time Tracking Apps
For those activities that do need time tracking, such as how much time an employee spends manning the website chat or working on a client project, there are many different time tracking applications available.
These can be helpful not just to track employee productivity, but also to track hours put in on a specific project to give you more insight into a project’s true costs and ROI.
There are many different online tools that making time tracking per activity easy, here are a few of them:
Use Team Communication Tools
Miscommunications can often happen with remote employees. For example, a supervisor may be trying to get in touch with an at-home employee and get frustrated when they don’t answer their phone or text right away. The supervisor may even think, “They must be goofing off! I knew this remote thing wouldn’t work!”
But in fact, that employee may be on an important conference call closing a deal with a big client, the exact opposite of “this remote thing not working.”
You can clear up these types of miscommunications by using a team communication platform like Teams in Microsoft 365. It allows users to set status messages so others will know when they’re “on a call with a client” or “away for lunch, back at 1PM.”
It’s also a powerful collaboration tool all around with messaging, secure team channels, file sharing, video meetings, and more much.
Put Effective Remote Team Strategies in Place Today!
Connect2Geek can help your Treasure Valley business with smart remote team strategies that keep everyone productive and on the same page.
Schedule your free consultation to learn more today! Call 208-468-4323 or reach out online.