Why Use Active Trak for Employee Monitoring?
Everything You Need To Know About Employee Monitoring And Boosting Remote Worker Productivity
You and your staff’s ability to improve remote work processes comes down to what you know about their activity and performance — the right monitoring solution will give you the data you need to make your staff better day by day.
How well you’re able to improve a given process depends directly on the information you have about it.
Case in point: if you’re trying to boost productivity among your remote working staff, wouldn’t it help to know how they’re spending their time?
It was much easier to support team members in their effort to become more efficient while everyone worked together in the same space. Now that your team is working remotely, it’s not as easy for managers to come up with ways to help their subordinates do what they do even more effectively.
The Challenge Of Managing A Remote Workforce
The working environment has drastically changed over the past year.
Even before the pandemic, nearly 4 million Americans spent most of their working hours away from the office; work-from-home has become the new normal. Depending on your organization, you could be working full-time from home or splitting tasks between the office and home.
This can be a good thing. The remote work model offers a number of benefits that you’ve likely taken notice of over the course of the pandemic. Remote workers have seen the benefits as well:
- 77% of remote employees say they’re more productive when working from home
- 76% of employees prefer to avoid their office completely when they need to concentrate on a project
- 98% of remote workers want to continue to work remotely (at least some of the time) for the rest of their careers
However, for all the ways remote work is beneficial to both the organization and end-users, it’s not without its challenges. Managing remote employees’ productivity has proven difficult for many business owners.
What Is Productivity Monitoring And Control?
The practice of productivity monitoring and control has gained a lot of popularity over the course of 2020, as a majority of the working world shifted to remote work. Employers that were used to directly managing and overseeing their staff had to find new ways to make sure that everyone was still getting their work done at the same rate and quality.
Productivity monitoring and control can take on many different forms:
- Tracking clock-in/clock-out times or log-in/log-out times on employee working accounts
- Software solutions that take random screenshots throughout working hours to ensure employees are focusing on the right content
- Software solutions that track and manage how much time a user spends on an approved list of websites and applications
- Key-logging software that tracks activity on a user’s work device
- Nanny software that prevents employees from visiting specific websites.
- Cameras and surveillance solutions that track when and for how long an employee leaves their workstation
How Do You Monitor Employee Productivity?
The most direct way to keep an eye on your employees’ activity and boost productivity is with a monitoring solution. Employee monitoring software offers an in-depth look at employees’ time management and daily computer tasks.
These types of tools are indispensable in maintaining a productive team and understanding how employees spend their time when working out-of-office. These solutions give employers a closer look at the way employees spend their time when working from home, down to precise percentages of screen time for various applications that are used throughout the day.
How Do You Monitor Employee Productivity When Working From Home?
As explained above, the best way to address this issue is with the right monitoring solution. Based on our experience and the success we’ve seen our clients achieve with it, we recommend ActivTrak.
Why Choose ActivTrak As Your Remote Monitoring Tool?
ActivTrak is a workforce productivity and analytics application that enables business owners to gain a clearer picture of their workplace. It is a cloud-based, user-monitoring app that collects contextual activity data and insights. ActivTrak is aimed at enhancing the productivity, security, and compliance of mid-market organizations.
Monitoring, measuring, analyzing, and improving the productivity of your workforce is by no means easy. And with factors like different locations, job roles, and operating processes adding to the complexity, it can be a headache. To make it worse, how do you define productivity?
- Is it the amount of time spent on calls with clients?
- Is it completing a project in time?
- Is it spending time on action items in meetings?
- Is it the number of emails sent back and forth?
With all these unanswered questions, the need for a tool for tracking employee productivity becomes clear. That’s where ActivTrak comes in.
With ActivTrak, employees can pull together to improve their productivity as well as that of the business. You are all dependent upon the success of the company. In the same way, the company also depends on everyone playing their part. Ensure your team understands that they also have an active role in monitoring productivity.
To learn more about how you can track team productivity using ActivTrak, CLICK HERE to watch our latest video.
What Are The Disadvantages Of Monitoring And Evaluation?
It’s important to keep in mind that trust is a key aspect of the manager-employee relationship. If you deploy a monitoring solution, it can lead to some toxic qualities in your work culture:
- Employees may not feel trusted
- Staff morale and engagement could plummet
- If using personal devices at home, staff could have concerns about data privacy
Monitoring solutions have gotten a bad rap — many assume they’re designed to make employees feel like they’re always being watched, which can increase workplace stress and lower productivity. The truth is that the right monitoring solutions are intended to help managers help their employees become even more effective at what they do.
How Do You Promote Employee Productivity When Working From Home?
The fact is that remote work doesn’t come naturally to everyone. This new era of remote working has led to the types of issues that managers would have addressed directly in the workplace. It’s not so easy now that you’re cut off from your team members.
A recent study has found that newly remote workers across the country are encountering a series of challenges in their daily work life:
- 19% experience loneliness
- 17% have difficulty communicating and collaborating
- 8% have trouble staying motivated
You can promote a more engaged and healthy remote workforce by following these tips:
- Promote Accountability: Try having your team share to-do lists with one another to promote accountability in their work. Have staff members pair up and meet on a regular basis to talk through what they’ve achieved, and how they can improve.
- Set Firm Working Hours: Your team may be working from home, but that doesn’t mean they’re on call 24/7 now. Make sure to set and follow working hours. Emails and items that come up in the evenings or early morning can and should be left until the start of the working day.
- Make Sure They’re Working In The Right Space: Make sure that wherever your staff is going to work is comfortable, distraction-free, and as in-line with their normal workplace as possible. They may need to invest in an office chair, or even, depending on their work, a second monitor.
- Promote Balance In Their Workday: Make sure that your staff is striking the right balance at home. Just as they shouldn’t be slacking off because they’re not being supervised, they also shouldn’t overwork themselves. Make sure everyone is taking breaks to decompress, stretch, stay hydrated, and relax.
- Help Them Socialize: Switching from a full office to their quiet house can be difficult for workers – don’t forget to schedule time for business and casual communication. Your employees should still communicate on a regular basis with one another and with you.
Does Employee Monitoring Increase Productivity?
By monitoring your employees, you can gain a better idea of how they spend their work hours. The most common misconception about employee monitoring is that it is entirely punitive. You’re only keeping an eye on your staff because you don’t trust them.
While this is certainly an aspect of employee monitoring, it’s not the only factor at play. Monitoring can also help you to identify areas for improvement, inform employee performance reviews, and help make your employees even better at what they do every day.
Some of the Benefits Include:
- Minimize Distraction: By preventing access to social media sites like Facebook, YouTube, you can reduce the number of instances when your employees might be distracted. At the same time, you can find out how much time is wasted on such unproductive sites and take the necessary steps.
- Determine Problem Areas: Aside from tracking unproductive time, monitoring software also allows you to learn how long employees take to accomplish tasks. This information might indicate which issues remote team members have with their jobs.
- Find Security Threats: Remote monitoring could help you bolster your cybersecurity. In the event a team member leaks sensitive company data, you can quickly pinpoint the source of the leak with the help of your remote monitoring tool.
- Stop Unauthorized Access: Employee monitoring can be useful for controlling which information particular team members are allowed to access. Whenever an unauthorized member accesses data they are not supposed to, either maliciously or accidentally, you will be notified by the monitoring software.
Monitoring Solutions Will Be Useful After The Pandemic Too
Have you given any thought to the way your business will operate in a post-pandemic world?
According to 317 CFOs recently surveyed by Gartner, the business world may not change back when the pandemic is over – 74% of CFOs say they expect to move previously on-site employees remote post-COVID-19.
Regardless, once the pandemic has concluded, you’ll be working in one of three potential scenarios:
- Your entire staff returns to work in the office, requiring you to implement practices to maintain social distance and keep high-traffic and high-contact areas disinfected
- Some of your staff returns to work in the office and some continue working remotely, requiring you to manage a hybrid IT environment
- All of your staff continue to work remotely, requiring you to assess and improve the remote IT environment you’ve been using so far
The bottom line is that however you’ve managed remote work so far, if it’s to be a part of your long-term vision for your organization, then you need to make sure it’s optimized and secure.
The rush to pivot to remote work at the start of the pandemic prioritized access to data with basic security measures. Now that the rush is over, it’s time to implement more advanced and robust cybersecurity defenses.
Want To Learn More About ActivTrak And Employee Monitoring?
If you plan to continue with remote work in one way or another, you may need to change your method of management — as you and the other c-level executives at your business have likely discovered since the start of the pandemic, your ability to maintain staff-wide productivity has been greatly affected by this new working model.
The IT experts at Network Solutions and Technology (NST) are available to help your organization leverage ActivTrak to increase your productivity. We deliver premier IT support and services to small and medium-sized businesses in the tri-state NY area.
We are here to help — over the course of the pandemic, we’ve gained extensive experience in helping our partners to launch and optimize ActivTrak. We’ll help you achieve a range of benefits:
- Understand how employees use their time.
- Pinpoint the appropriate workload balance with productivity reports.
- Identify and assess the top-performing behaviors and come up with a productivity baseline.
- Improve employee performance by leveraging data insights to coach them.
- Improve team engagement by sharing productivity data.
- Identify and eliminate inefficient processes and operational bottlenecks and take remedial actions.
- Analyze workload patterns to identify and rectify misaligned skill sets as needed.
Now that the mad rush to go remote is over, it’s time to perfect your management processes — NST will help.