4th November 2022

Managing Your Remote Workforce’s Time Worked

Keeping Track of Office and Remote Workers’ Time

With a rise in remote workers, and the increasing likelihood of it becoming a permanent fixture in the scope of business, comes the logistical problem of managing a remote workforce. Companies initially feared offering hybrid options long-term to employees due to a potential decrease in productivity. But studies show that 77% of those who work remotely at least a few times per month show increased productivity, with 30% doing more work in less time and 24% doing more work in the same period of time according to a survey by ConnectSolutions. With these encouraging statistics, employers can happily offer a hybrid or fully remote office solution. In terms of managing remote workers, many businesses and managers have turned to time-tracking software.

Should Employers Use Time Tracking?

When managing a remote workforce, managers must pay attention to task management for each team member to ensure assigned tasks are being completed commensurate with the number of work hours they are assigned. While remote work offers greater freedom and flexibility, it comes with the potential for delays in work due to local distractions or lack of supervision. We know that the average office worker is productive for less than 3 hours a day, and in all career fields, the average worker is productive for 60% or less each day, even in traditional work environments. There are arguments to be made that as long as employees are hitting productivity goals and completing assigned tasks, their hours shouldn’t be monitored. However, employers looking to cut costs need to know if they’re wasting money on hours for employees that are not being consistently productive during their assigned work hours. This is where leaders need to utilize remote employee time-tracking techniques and tools.

How Employee Time-Tracking Can Help

Using a time tracker for employees can be a benefit for managers and employees alike.

As a manager, time tracking allows you to:

  • More closely monitor the activities of each remote worker on a daily or hourly basis.
  • Allows you to draw a clear line between the time that an employee has actually spent working and the time during which they took breaks.

There are also ways in which time tracking can be beneficial to employees:

  • Remote workers can use timesheets to know the specific hours of the day when they are being more productive.
  • Remote workers can also identify the tasks that they complete in less time compared to other tasks, and so more easily identify skills that need to be brought up to speed.

The Best Ways to Use Time Trackers

There are a few different ways to implement productivity and time tracking with a remote workforce.

  • Get regular updates. This might sound simplistic, and that’s because it is! Staying in close communication throughout the day with remote employees is a crucial step in managing a remote workforce.
  • Set start and end dates for each task. Giving remote workers clear deadlines for beginning and completing a project gives them clear boundaries within which they can manage their own time.
  • Use timers and time sheets to keep a record of hours worked. If your hybrid office requires you to keep track of hourly work, or you only have part-time employees, chances are you need to use a time tracking software to keep accurate records. These records give you a wealth of data to analyze when it comes to assigning hours and projects to particular remote workers.
  • Automate attendance and track employee activities. This is the most stringent option when it comes to task management. There are several time-tracking software packages that allow you to take screenshots of your employees’ screens at regular intervals, track websites that they are visiting, and automatically detect idle time or when they take breaks. As the most drastic version of time tracking, remote workers could feel this is an oppressive method of time management, so proceed at your own risk.

What This Means for You

Remote work is here to stay and finding ways to monitor and track remote workers’ productivity and working hours is a key component of a successful hybrid or fully remote office environment. Ensuring that some method of time tracking is being implemented is necessary, but managers and employers need to also ensure that they are not jeopardizing their trust and working relationship with their remote workers.

Are you interested in learning more about team management? For additional tools and strategies on how to partner with your employees to co-create an engaged and passionate workforce, click here to download the Employee Engagement guide.

If you are ready to enhance employee engagement and build a more connected, deeply invested workforce, start now! Click here to schedule a time to talk.

Can we help your team with our Employee Engagement services? Learn more at https://www.workingsimply.com/employee-engagement/