How to monitor remote workers

VV 21 July 2

One of the great things about remote working is the freedom it gives your workers – but you’ll need to keep track of their productivity without reverting to ‘Big Brother’ tactics. Here’s how.

People who work remotely or from home are more productive than their office-based counterparts, figures show. But it’s important for both you as an employer, and them as your staff, that you can monitor and manage your workers to get the best from them.

Here are a few tips to help you keep tabs on your staff without feeling like you’re spying on them.

Have a daily call
Keep it simple and give them a call either at the start of the day, so they can outline their plans and update you on any work completed, or towards the end, so they can give you a run down on the work they’ve actually completed.

Keep the tone friendly and ask about how they’re getting on personally as well as professionally.

Embrace video chat
If you prefer face-to-face interaction, try video chats. This can be a much more personal approach than the phone and gives you a brief window into their work space.

You can see if they’re in their pyjamas, whether their desk is a mess or if there are other people in the room distracting them.

Meet online
There are a number of tools, apps and websites that allow you to connect with workers, share information and update progress.

Work-based social media like Yammer are great for regular updates and sharing work, while Hivedesk can track the hours they work.

Social media is especially good as it encourages employees to share work and goals reached without having to be prompted.

VV 21 July

Adopt a check in/out system
Many companies employee a VPN – virtual private network – system. This not only allows workers to access the company network, but it means you can track when they’ve logged in.

While this can be a good baseline to see when they are at their desk, the data can be misleading. Just because they’re online doesn’t mean they’re working. Also, the opposite is true – they might be doing other work that doesn’t require access to the network.

Monthly face-to-face meetings
It’s good to have semi-regular in person meetings. Ask them to write up a report on what they’ve done over the month, any issues and what they’ll be doing going forward.

If you feel they’re lagging behind or are having problems working remotely, now is the time to get things out in the open.

Give them yearly targets
Workers, whether in office or at home, need regular targets. Yearly goals are a good way of giving them something to aim for.

They can be simple, like responding to all emails within the hour, or more complex such as finishing a major report or hitting sales targets.

Compare them to office workers
If you’ve got a mix of office-based employees and remote workers, compare them.

They’ll all be doing the same job so they should be getting the same results.


Posted by The Secret Businessman