Working from home is no longer thought of as a privilege or a strategy to avoid detection. It’s now a widespread trend that’s gathering pace, with more firms joining in who perhaps weren’t ready. And, as you undoubtedly know, working from home isn’t much like office work. Therefore, another major issue to address is remote work monitoring.
Tracking internet usage, desktops, and the times your workforce is at their desk are obsolete methods. Instead, transparency, empathy, and teamwork are essential for remote employees’ productivity and creativity.
1. Remote Work Monitoring Means Setting Task Deadlines
Definitely set deadlines. However, we suggest going one step farther. Consider your work as a process and a structure, not merely a series of tasks. Unless your team understands the complete scope of their actions, every monitoring activity will focus on one single outcome rather than directing your entire team towards a common goal. Therefore, a decent framework is the objective. Tasks with deadlines are the means.
2. Remote Work Monitoring Means Following Team Activity
You need transparency when working remotely. However, transparent workflow and goals are only the beginning. After you’ve put your end together, it’s time to include your team and show them the broader picture. That way, everyone on your team understands their role, what you expect of them, and what their deliverables are.
A team effort is a group of people working together striving to achieve a common goal. Including everyone in the evaluation process will elevate your team effort to a new level. If you actually want your team to work together, we recommend periodically checking in with everyone.
3. Do NOT Monitor Employee Internet Use
No. We won’t urge you to invade your team’s personal space when we’re seeing thousands upon thousands of teams go entirely remote, most often working from home. That’s not the way to go.
Crossing the line between transparency and Big Brother demotivates your staff and adds more strain and anxiety to an already stressful situation. Therefore, what else can you do? Achieve total transparency.
This means including your staff in every step of the planning process. Further, it means being available for questions, offering advice, and demonstrating your trust. It’s easier to avoid procrastinating or slacking off when every step of the process is out in the open.
4. Do NOT Monitor Employees at Their Desk
No way! Instead of stalking your employees, create a system of rules and processes that will help them better manage their time outside of factory hours. If all else fails, you can check to see if your remote crew is all seated. Objectively, it shouldn’t come to that.
For example, you may always plan for your team to be online at the same time to do multi-person tasks. This can include things like meetings, reviews, seminars, refinements, and brainstorming. Therefore, organise these events in the team time slot, and allow your team members to plan their own activities.
If your team isn’t meeting their daily targets, it’s time to consider a stricter work schedule. Before do that, however, chat with your team about their challenges and why they aren’t achieving their goals. There are clearly more compassionate approaches to reaching monitoring goals. We can thank transparency for that.
5. Supervising Remote Employees
Again, openness is the best form of monitoring. However, we’re not talking about the kind that requires a screenshot every thirty seconds. Or, heaven forbid, invasive tracking technology.
Again, this is a great opportunity to show your leadership skills. You do lead a team, right? Here’s how to make supervision more human: involve your whole team. Define a method that allows everyone on your team to validate and provide feedback.
A common aim is one of the cornerstones of every team. Therefore, after incorporating everyone in planning and tracking, why not involve them in the validation phase?
This is especially useful when your team is interdisciplinary and members may provide valuable input and analysis of other people’s work. If they can’t, it’s a terrific method to honor and spotlight each team member. Making concerns visible makes it much more satisfying when the results receive widespread recognition.
6. Daily Report Summary
Your team may lose sight of daily completion or goals when focusing on several assignments. However, your daily summary shouldn’t just be a list of the completion of tasks. It can be so much more.
Your daily report can also help you identify areas for improvement and prospective challenges. In addition, it can highlight the activities your team needs to take to achieve or overcome them.
Your daily summary can take any shape you like. However, a regular team meeting is a great method to ensure everyone is on track and every task is verified. That way, there are no misunderstandings.
Help Your Remote Employees: Simplify Productivity
The bottom line is that remote employees will focus on work better if they know what you expect of them, and they know you have their back. You can’t possibly supervise them personally every few minutes. The intrusiveness would be unbearable!
The greatest solution is to engage your staff transparently. In addition, hold them accountable for their work regardless of when or where it is done. So long as it’s done on time, it should be acceptable. This method saves money, time, and keeps your employees productive and happy.
Image Credit: Olia Danilevich; Pexels; Thank you!