As more and more businesses are turning towards remote work since the pandemic a question that has been plaguing them is how to effectively measure the productivity of their remote employees.
Unlike in-house employees it is very hard to ascertain if your remote worker, is actually doing his job or is busy watching Netflix on his computer. A band aid fix for this adapted by many companies is to use tracking software to measure their remote employee’s productivity.
But is this really the best way to evaluate the performance of remote workers? In this article, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using remote tracking software, and help you determine whether it’s a suitable option for your business.
The Benefits of Using Remote Tracking Software
Remote tracking software allows employers to monitor employee activity and track progress on projects. Let us discuss some of the benefits of using remote tracking software, and how it can help businesses stay on top of their remote teams.
- Improved Accountability
One of the most significant benefits of remote tracking software is that it promotes accountability among employees. When workers know that their activity is being monitored, they are more likely to stay focused and avoid distractions. This, in turn, leads to higher productivity levels and a more efficient use of time.
- More Accurate Time Tracking
When working remotely, it can be difficult for employers to accurately track the amount of time that employees are spending on specific tasks. Remote tracking software can help with this, by providing detailed reports on how much time employees are spending on different projects. This allows employers to get a better sense of how much work is being done, and where there may be opportunities for improvement.
- Increased Transparency
Using remote tracking software can also increase transparency between employers and employees. When everyone knows what is being tracked and how it is being used, there is less room for misunderstandings or mistrust. This can help build stronger relationships between employers and employees and promote a culture of trust and honesty.
- More Effective Performance Reviews
Another advantage of using remote tracking software is that it can make performance reviews more effective. By having detailed data on how employees are spending their time, employers can more accurately assess performance and provide constructive feedback. This can help employees to improve their skills and become more effective in their roles.
The Drawbacks of Using Remote Tracking Software
If you’re considering using this type of software, be sure to do your research and choose a solution that is well-suited to your specific needs and goals.
While there are certainly benefits to using remote tracking software, there are also some potential drawbacks to consider. Let us now explore some of the potential downsides of using remote tracking software, and how they could impact your business.
- Privacy Concerns
Perhaps the biggest concern with remote tracking software is that it can raise privacy concerns among employees. Workers may feel uncomfortable knowing that their activity is being monitored, and this could lead to feelings of mistrust or resentment. If employees feel that their privacy is being invaded, they may be less likely to be open and honest with their employers, which can impact communication and collaboration.
- Negative Impact on Morale
Using remote tracking software can also have a negative impact on employee morale. When workers feel that their every move is being monitored, it can create a feeling of distrust or a lack of autonomy. This, in turn, can lead to feelings of dissatisfaction or disengagement, which can impact productivity levels and overall job satisfaction.
- Inaccurate Metrics
Another potential downside of using remote tracking software is that it can lead to inaccurate metrics. While the software may provide detailed reports on how much time employees are spending on specific tasks, it may not take into account other factors that could impact productivity, such as interruptions or technical issues. This could lead to a skewed perspective on employee performance and potentially misguided decisions.
- High Costs
Implementing remote tracking software can also come with a significant cost, both in terms of financial resources and time. Some software solutions require a significant upfront investment, as well as ongoing costs for maintenance and support. Additionally, implementing this type of software can require a significant amount of time and effort to ensure that it is being used effectively and ethically.
- Legal Implications
Finally, using remote tracking software can also have legal implications. In some cases, employers may be required to obtain consent from employees before using this type of software. Additionally, there may be legal considerations around how the data collected is used and stored, as well as potential liability issues if the software is used inappropriately.
In conclusion, while remote tracking software can be a useful tool for measuring productivity in remote teams, it is important to consider the potential downsides as well. From privacy concerns and negative impacts on morale, to potential inaccuracies in metrics, high costs, and legal implications, there are several factors to weigh when deciding whether to implement this type of software in your business. Ultimately, it’s important to weigh the potential benefits against the potential drawbacks, and to choose a solution that is well-suited to your specific needs and goals.
Alternatives to Remote Tracking Software
While remote tracking software can be a useful tool for managing and monitoring remote employees, it’s not the only option. In fact, some businesses may find that remote tracking software doesn’t align with their values or that it creates an environment of micromanagement. So, what other options do you have?
- Goal-Setting Frameworks
One of the best alternatives to remote tracking software is using a goal-setting framework. By setting clear goals and expectations for remote employees, you can help them stay focused and motivated, while also giving them the freedom to work in a way that suits them. This approach requires regular check-ins and communication to ensure that employees are on track and to provide support and feedback as needed.
- Output-Based Metrics
Another alternative is to focus on output-based metrics, such as the number of projects completed, the amount of revenue generated, or the number of customer service tickets resolved. These metrics can be used to evaluate employee productivity and to provide feedback on performance. By focusing on outcomes rather than input, you can give your remote employees more autonomy and flexibility while still ensuring that they’re delivering results.
- Daily Check-Ins
Implementing daily check-ins is a great way of measuring your remote teams’ productivity. These check-ins can be done via video call or instant messaging, and they provide an opportunity for employees to update their manager on their progress and to ask any questions or raise concerns. Daily check-ins can help to build a sense of accountability and can also be a useful tool for providing support and feedback.
- Performance Reviews
Performance reviews are another alternative to remote tracking software. These reviews can be done on a quarterly or annual basis and provide an opportunity for managers to evaluate employee performance based on a range of criteria, including output, teamwork, and communication. Performance reviews can be used to identify areas for improvement and to provide guidance and support for employee development.
- Outsourcing Agencies
Outsourcing agencies can help businesses alleviate their problems with tracking altogether. By outsourcing certain functions or projects, businesses can entrust these tasks to experts who are better equipped to handle them. This can not only relieve the pressure on managers to monitor and track employee productivity but also allow them to focus on other areas of the business that require their attention and allow them to generate more revenue.