How to Track Remote Work Productivity

Since the pandemic hit, the workplace has taken on a new landscape, which can sometimes include a home office. If you have switched to any online or hybrid workspace, you have probably asked yourself how to track remote work productivity. This is vital to many companies to work better with underperforming individuals and reward those with high productivity.

Understanding how to track remote work productivity comes down to your business’s unique structure. Depending on the size and makeup of your workplace, some companies will have employees who benefit from an individual self-reporting style, while others may simply require some tracking software.

How to Track Remote Work Productivity: Require Employee Self-Reporting

For smaller businesses or those who have employees doing a variety of different online and offline tasks in a day, self-reporting may be the best way on how to track remote work productivity. You can implement this type of remote workplace tracking in a few different ways.

Prioritize Regular Check-Ins

One easy and autonomous way to track remote work productivity is for teams to have everyday, consistently scheduled check-ins. For example, having a short morning meeting where individuals discuss what they are working on that day and then a group mid-day check-in where everyone shares what they are doing can keep workers on track for the day.

Check-ins are similar to generally encouraging virtual communication but differ in that they are reporting to the team at large, giving their group a greater feeling of accountability and having a more regular schedule. In addition, both put the onus on the individual to share, which avoids making them feel watched or micro-managed. 

The pitfalls of this is that for it to be successful, it must be an everyday priority for the team manager or leader to ensure everyone is checking in at the same time every day.

End-of-the-Day Reports

Using tools such as Slack, Google Chat, and other online communication software can help track work productivity in a few different ways. If you trust your employees and have a smaller team, having them send a brief message on what they are working on at the moment and how busy they feel (and if they can take on more work) is a great way to institute productivity tracking.

Much like regular check-ins, this is useful because workers themselves have to self-reflect on themselves and their workload. However, it can also allow for misrepresentations.

How to Track Remote Work Productivity: Using Software

If virtual communications are impossible for your company, consider using software alerting managers to productivity.

Create Task Lists

Project or task management apps can help businesses manage, organize, and assign tasks. Some options for task management software include:

  • Podio
  • Harvest
  • Asana

While each software has its perks, they all operate roughly the same way. When a new project or need comes up, a manager will put it in the app and assign it out, often with a due date attached. Then, employees can mark it as finished when they complete the task. Because of this, managers can always check to see what employees are assigned to what and if anyone needs additional tasks for their days. 

Time Tracking Software

Companies can install plenty of different kinds of software to track an employee’s day. There are a few primary ways that software does this: keylogging, mouse tracking, and profile activity.

Keylogging is recording the buttons being pressed on a keyboard, while mouse tracking will do the same, but with where the mouse is being moved around a keyboard. These are more popular to use with freelancers rather than full-time employees, as the software does not consider tasks like meetings.

Another way to use time tracking software is to have the profile be “active” when working, but if there is no movement for a set amount of time, it goes to sleep – an action that will be displayed to bosses. The downside is that employees have been found to resent being watched, and the rise of mouse jiggers has made this tactic less effective.

What We Know About Remote Work Productivity

Many studies have shown that work productivity has risen since more individuals were allowed to work from home, even though many feared the opposite. 

Remote Work Statistics

One study showed that when working from home, 77% of people will increase in productivity, with 30% doing more work than usual in less time and 24% doing more work than average in the same period they would have been in an office.

Another study showed employees were less likely to avoid work they were not interested in while at home, which could account for some productivity changes.

How to Keep Remote Work Productive 

A few tips and habits have been shown to help keep at-home workers focused and productive. Some of these tricks – like developing a healthy schedule – are on the onus of the employee. But there are some things that companies can do.

It’s been shown that having a designated workspace in the home can help improve the productivity and happiness of remote and hybrid workers. Something companies can do to help with this is offer technology like a second screen, plug-in computer mice, and external webcams.

How to Track Remote Work Productivity: Learn More with Canal HR

Canal HR is a licensed Professional Employer Organization (PEO) that helps hundreds of companies across the American South. We have over thirty years of experience and can help with payroll preparation, workers’ compensation insurance, group and individual health plans, 401ks, and more.

 To learn more about how to track remote work productivity and other essential HR needs, reach out to us today!