It’s estimated that 70% of the U.S. workforce works remotely for at least one day each week.
As this trend continues to grow, there’s been a great deal of debate regarding how remote work affects productivity.
Numerous studies show that remote workers are far more productive than office workers, whereas others find the exact opposite.
Regardless of what researchers have found, if you’re managing remote workers, it’s important to keep them on track by monitoring their productivity. Here’s how:
Use Project Management Software
BaseCamp, Trello, and other project management tools are often used to help managers monitor the productivity of their remote employees.
Managers can log into these tools and quickly see what each employee on their team has been working on.
You can also assign tasks to each person on your team to ensure that every remote employee knows exactly what they should be working on.
Using these tools makes it easy for managers to see who is meeting deadlines and producing high quality work—and more importantly, who is not.
Schedule Status Update Meetings
Managers can also monitor their remote workers’ productivity by scheduling status update meetings.
You might want to schedule these meetings at the same time every day, week, or other week, depending on how much you have to discuss.
During these meetings, ask your remote workers to provide updates on what they’re working on.
These meetings can benefit everyone involved. Not only will you be able to monitor their productivity.
But they can also use these meetings as an opportunity to ask questions or discuss challenges that they’ve encountered while working on a project.
Take Advantage of Tech Tools
There are a number of employee productivity tracker tools that managers can use to monitor their remote workers.
Using these tools, managers can see what their employees are doing on their computers throughout the day.
For example, some tools allow managers to see their employees’ browsing history, chat log, social media use, downloads, and keystrokes.
These tools will even take screenshots of each employee’s computer screen so managers can verify that they’re doing their work.
If you want to improve their productivity without seeing all of this information, consider using website blocking software. This allows you to restrict your employees’ access to certain websites that could distract them, such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.
Remote workers may feel more comfortable stepping away from their work or slacking off if they think that no one will notice their absence.
For this reason, it’s important for managers to get in the habit of checking in regularly with their remote workers.
You don’t need to breathe down your remote workers’ necks in order to remind them of your presence.
Instead, make an effort to engage in conversation with them on a daily basis. Sometimes, this conversation may consist of nothing more than small talk, whereas other times it may be related to business.
It doesn’t matter what you talk about—or how long the conversation lasts—just make sure you check in regularly.
By following these tips, managers can ensure that their remote workers are productive even when they’re not in the office.