5 Dos and Don’ts of Time Tracking for Remote and Hybrid Teams

Categories: Remote Hiring and Virtual Staffing
employee time tracking

Remote work saw increased prevalence in the last few years. Recent hybrid work trends show that 76% of businesses have adopted a hybrid setup, allowing employees to work from the comfort of their homes. Shifting to hybrid work can get complicated, though. To make it work, organizations must know how to monitor their employee’s activities during work hours through time tracking.

While tracking employees’ time and activities is completely necessary, you must not go overboard as it may put off several employees and make it look like you have strict and authoritarian policies. Read on to learn how to properly use your time tracking software to improve employee productivity.

The Dos of Employee Time Tracking 

  1. Make your expectations clear in the remote work policy

Before your employees can work in a hybrid setup, it’s crucial to have a remote work policy that clearly states what is expected of them. This document must outline everything related to their workday—the daily work hours they have to render, the shift they should take on a given day, the roles and responsibilities they will take on, and many others.

Schedule an onboarding session with your employees to familiarize them with your time tracking software. You can also include these details in your policy or playbook, so they have something to refer to when they forget what to do. 

  1. Be transparent about using monitoring software

In line with the clear remote work policy is informing employees that your company will use a time tracking software. Being transparent with employees that they are being monitored can increase their productivity. Knowing that their time is being tracked can help reduce their chances of giving into distractions. 

Besides this, you can foster a healthier team relationship where there is trust and confidence. It’s also important to be transparent about the employee data you’re collecting, how they are tracked, and how they are used.

  1. Establish task deadlines 

Setting deadlines ensures everyone is on the same page and work is done efficiently. This means that your team knows what phase of the project you’re in. Doing so enables the project to progress smoothly and keeps your team up to date with their deliverables. 

It also makes them accountable. Making your employees feel they have a part in the project’s overall success can encourage them to be more engaged with their work. 

However, be careful not to set too many deadlines, especially when working remotely, as they can also be overwhelming and counterproductive. Instead, give breathing room in between deadlines to ensure accurate outputs.

  1. Use the tracked data to gather insights from your operations 

Part of using remote worker time tracking software is to see your organization’s productivity. This means looking into how many hours are used to finish a particular task. As such, it’s important to use the gathered data to make the best decisions for your business. For example, you can see which tasks take too much time to complete. 

Your tracked data can also help you understand how to make completing a task more efficient and show if your team is understaffed or a particular employee has too much in their hands.

  1. Share constructive feedback

Make sure you are clear with your suggestions, leaving no room for ambiguity. In a remote setup, messaging apps are vital, but your team members may misunderstand things, especially since it’s difficult to spot verbal cues and body language in a text. For example, instead of just saying they are behind schedule, be more specific about what they can do to catch up.

The Don’ts of Employee Time Tracking

  1. Micromanage your team

When managing a remote or hybrid team, it can be tempting to keep tabs on everyone all the time. However, doing so can demotivate employees. They may feel too constrained or think their manager isn’t confident in their work. This may result in a drop in productivity.

Instead of using time tracking software to monitor their every move, use it to give them accountability and encourage a deeper work engagement. This doesn’t just increase their productivity; it also frees up some head space and time for you to work on other things.

  1. Violate your employee’s privacy 

Your remote work time tracking software must only be used to gather insights for business improvement,  not spy on your employees. Hiding the fact that you’re monitoring your employees isn’t just unethical. You may also lose your employees’ trust and unknowingly foster a toxic work environment.

  1. Make it the sole basis of employees’ productivity

Different employees have different roles, depending on the business function they work on. Expect that each one’s work performance will differ from another. Time worked shouldn’t be the only measure of productivity. You can also look into their quality of work, errors committed, number of sales, products produced, and many others to get a full picture of their performance. 

If there are any concerning data, consider having a 1-on-1 with the employee to understand how you can work with them to improve their performance.

  1. Disregard alerts

Your monitoring software is designed to alert you of suspicious behavior that may be insider threats through screenshots of an employee’s device. If that’s the case, take the time to look at the warning instead of leaving it. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to solve the problem.

  1. Ignore employee concerns

Another best practice when time tracking remote workers is listening to their worries, such as those relating to the software. Encourage them to air out their concerns. This way, you can explain the purpose of the software and reassure them that their privacy is not compromised. Doing so can make them feel respected and heard, increasing their morale. In turn, you can see an increase in productivity.

Boost Team Productivity with Employee Time Tracking

As remote work setups are becoming the norm, companies must learn how to monitor their employees efficiently from a far distance, and time tracking software can help. However, you must draw a boundary between what’s appropriate and not when using monitoring software for remote workers. This way, you can help your team become more productive without compromising their privacy.

Your shift to a remote setup can be difficult. Partnering with an expert like Manila Recruitment can make your journey easier. We are a recruitment company that can help with your remote staffing needs and offshoring to the Philippines.

Contact us today to know more.

Arvin Ramos