The introduction of quarantine measures related to the rapid spread of the COVID-19 virus has imposed restrictions on the activities of many companies. The business quickly transfers employees to remote work, which helps to maintain a balance between self-isolation and fulfillment of duties. Before now, time tracking of remote employees was mainly interested in the IT sector, today it is relevant for all business areas. Jobsora.com has prepared an overview of the best services and applications for monitoring, a package of anti-crisis recommendations, and will also tell you about the impact of time tracking on the microclimate in the team.
Time tracking: tightening control or business benefits?
Employees accustomed to work from call to call, after switching to remote work, may experience problems with the correct distribution of time. There is no boss, which means you can sleep, watch movies and do other things that are not connected with work processes. Supervising the work of a remote office without using special programs is very difficult, so time tracking comes to the rescue – programs created for recording and controlling working hours, which is especially important for companies that practice hourly pay. The software is installed on computers and smartphones of employees, after which you can track the effectiveness of their work.
The accounting and control algorithm depends on the selected program, they can:
- determine the geolocation, open sites, actions in applications and programs;
- track mouse and keyboard activity;
- take screenshots;
- launch a webcam to create a photo – the choice of functions is wide enough.
Undoubtedly, the use of such programs and services is beneficial for the business. The employer watches an activity, he may not be afraid of missing deadlines or the fact that the employee will imitate activity, neglecting his duties.
Pros of time tracking
The main plus is the possibility of preventing a decrease in efficiency and losses caused by staff negligence. Consider other benefits.
The correct distribution of financial flows
People working remotely will receive wages according to the hours of work, as well as the volume of tasks performed. The company will not pay for the time that the employee spent on solving personal issues. Some trackers generate reports of working hours, on the basis of which the accountant will be able to calculate payroll. Such measures are anti-crisis for business, especially against the background of a sharp decline in client activity in various fields – from construction services to web audit.
Team Verification and Optimization
HR managers and employers will have a unique opportunity to evaluate the honesty and value of each individual specialist. You will be able to see how responsibly each member of the team approaches their duties. After 1.5-2 weeks, it will be possible to make decisions related to personnel changes. Perhaps one manager can cope with large volumes of tasks better than 3-4 people. Isn’t it easier to fire extras, and raise salaries the most productive person? Answers to these and other questions can be obtained after the introduction of time tracking.
Employees who know that their work is controlled by a special program will work harder, instead of lounging. The software has the highest simulation efficiency when compared with calls, messages in instant messengers or email newsletters.
The ability to constantly monitor and plan is one of the most important advantages of time trackers. Employees or project managers formulate tasks, plan the deadline for their implementation, so the business functions as a clock. This approach avoids burning deadlines, customer churn and disruption of the mechanism of other business processes.
Communication with customers
The company’s client can always see real reports on the stage of implementation of his project. This approach enhances customer trust.
What programs can be used for time tracking?
The choice of software is huge, most of the programs are implemented on a paid basis, some of them have free demos and access for a limited number of people (on average 1-5). Many of them are cross-platform, which means that they can be used without problems on computers, smartphones and tablets running on different operating systems. Choosing such software, the employer can pay attention to WorkSmart, Tick, OfficeTime, Harvest, ProofHub. When choosing, you need to consider the number of people or projects, as well as the principle of pricing. For example, the Tick tracker charges for the number of projects, Harvest – for the number of users, OfficeTime offers a perpetual license, a subscription to ProofHub can be bought for a month or a year.
Features of the impact of time tracking on the microclimate in the team
Specialists who have been working in the office for years may ambiguously perceive the implementation of the software in question. Someone may consider such actions too harsh, another person will see total control and even surveillance in them, however, in the current conditions, the business should be ready to make unpopular decisions. It should be borne in mind that employees, having overcome the period of adaptation, will take a fresh look at the elements of control. The latter will stimulate their development, help to correctly allocate time and evaluate the volume of tasks. The advisability of implementing time tracking is evaluated by the head and HR manager, taking into account the following factors:
- the volume of personnel transferred to remote work. You can control 2-3 people without special software, if 10-20 or more people work on a remote site, then you can’t do without outside help;
- the need to reduce wages. If the owner of the company plans to pay for the actual volume of tasks performed or hours, it is better to opt for tracking;
- business features. In some areas, specialists can do work from home without the need for communication. In other niches of the business, many processes are associated with communication, the interaction of specialists – it simply does not work to delay the time. For example, one employee makes sketches, another – 3D-visualization, the third communicates with the customer, so they will take care that the project was completed on time. It is not so easy to disappear from an interacting team, so mutual control takes place without third-party software.
The main factor is the level of corporate ethics and the specialists who work in the company. In some cases, stringent controls can be refused. We are talking about teams formed from responsible people who are focused on the result. They do not consider remote working as a vacation; work from home is for them a small change in the usual regimen, but no more. This result is achieved through coaching, training, corporate games and other development tools.
In this case, you can use the standard task managers (often they are already integrated into time trackers), which will help to distribute responsibilities, set deadlines and gently monitor their implementation. They automate all processes, minimize the need for online conferences and constant calls, and keep your finger on the pulse of events 24 hours a day. Using task managers allows you to implement planning, communicate with the team online.
Remote employees are most often monitored using special software. You can use control systems within the team, creating task chains for different specialists. Do not forget about the importance of scheduling, implementing motivation systems, regular planning meetings and meetings that are held using video conferencing applications. If the owner of the company decides not to resort to strict measures, he can advise remote employees to install applications that will help them control working hours, which is useful for self-discipline.