Numerous companies shifted toward remote working environments due to COVID-19, and it’s impossible to deny that working from home is simply different from working in the office. After all, these environments are complete opposites. It may seem like remote workers are just lounging around in comparison to their in-office colleagues, right? Well, despite this belief, your remote employees are—or should be—working, and their output is crucial to your business’s success. Thus, you need to track their activity accordingly. But what are some indicators that will assure you that they’re putting in the work? Below, we break down how to know if your remote employees are working.
You Can See When They Clock In
This is an obvious one—you should easily be able to see who’s in and who’s out of the office each day, especially if your company utilizes time tracking software. If you’re not aware of when your team members are out, then you make it more difficult for yourself and others to plan around their absence. Don’t already have software to aid in timekeeping? TimeTrakGO offers web-based remote employee time tracking, which will give you a better idea of the hours your team works every day. Your remote team members can record their own workdays, and you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that the software is accounting for accurate attendance and pay.
If you have team members who consistently don’t work full workdays, and they don’t provide a reason for it, it’s worth having a conversation with them about their attendance. Perhaps they’re experiencing burnout from too many tasks, or they may have personal obstacles that the two of you need to address. Regardless, if you’re aware of the issue, you can come together to determine an appropriate solution.
They Frequently Communicate With You
Of course, as a remote employee, communication is paramount. Since you’re not seeing everyone face-to-face, you may be uncertain whether everybody is conveying every bit of information. So if remote workers are in contact with you about current projects, then they’re probably working. If your team members don’t respond in a timely manner, investigate as to why that’s the case. Are they distracted, or are they on lunch and didn’t tell you? What if their Internet connection prevented them from calling you or replying to you? Knowing the answers to these questions can make a world of difference in how you approach your team members about their responsiveness.
However, even if your remote employees are working, they may feel less inclined to connect with you if it seems that you don’t care about their success or output. Thus, consider leading by example; for instance, give them a call when you have constructive feedback or need a favor. Or, perhaps, send a message to pay them a compliment. You can even start up a video chat just to catch up. Regardless of how you communicate with your remote team members, by reaching out first, you encourage them to feel more comfortable with speaking up. They should feel confident that they can go to you for help and when they have updates.
You Notice Your Employees Achieve Out of Appreciation
Your remote team members should feel inspired to perform at their best, even though they aren’t in the office. When a business owner doesn’t treat their employees with kindness and respect, they negatively affect company morale. In other words, team members may feel less motivated to complete their work because they don’t see value in doing so.
If you want to be an encouraging leader, let them know that their efforts contribute to the company’s success. Your team members will light up when they realize their work has made a larger impact than they initially thought. Additionally, assure your team of your confidence in them, and hold them accountable to their daily tasks and larger goals. Absentee management and micromanagement will likely lead to your remote staff resenting you.
They Are Eager To Set Goals With You
When your remote employees are working and actively engaged in their work, you’ll notice that they take initiative. They’re proactive and recognize that they want to take their career one step further. Create goals with them, and ensure that you have milestones they should reach months down the road. Also, embrace your remote workers’ drive, and celebrate them when they initiate setting goals—and when they achieve them.
Without goals, your employees may not know what they need to accomplish each day, so as a manager, you should regularly relay expectations to all your team members—even your remote workers. Further, solidify clear deadlines. When you do this, your employees, especially your remote team members, can plan their days accordingly. If an employee isn’t meeting the goals outlined for them, the two of you should get together and talk about their results. They need to understand the repercussions, and moving forward, monitoring their progress will be crucial.
Other Employees Might Loop You In
If you’re still unsure about how to know if your remote employees are working, your other team members will likely let you know. In many cases, people instantly know when their co-workers procrastinate on completing their projects, and they may mention an employee’s unproductivity or unwillingness to cooperate. While you don’t want to add fuel to the fire, so to speak, listen to their concerns, thank them for letting you know, and follow up with the team members who aren’t showing progress. You and your struggling employees can find ways to get back into a better headspace with their co-workers and their projects. If you aren’t already having meetings with each person on your remote team to discuss collaboration, schedule them. The feedback you’ll receive is so valuable, especially when it comes to learning more about how your remote employees work as a unit.
We know—remote work may not be your normal, and it certainly isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. But while virtual management and in-person management are dissimilar, we know you’re capable of navigating these waters. We hope that our insight can help you effectively gauge your remote employees’ time and productivity each day. Through effective leadership and innovative technology, your team members are sure to succeed.