Although remote work saves money for businesses, it also gives workers a better work-life balance while and productivity. With the current COVID-19 pandemic, thousands of businesses have made the switch to remote work the default option.
Many businesses have always been hesitant to allow their workers to work remotely as they see the physical workplace as the ultimate makerspace. One of the reasons for this hesitation is the significant difficulty in measuring efficiency while working from home.
Most employers find it difficult to calculate their employees’ productivity when their employees are no longer in the same office space.
Measuring your employees’ productivity as they work away from the office should not be difficult as long as you manage your employees well and have structures in place.
1.Create a policy to measure their Productivity (Business oriented measures)
Basically, productivity is a measure of production per unit of time. To the productivity indicator, you can add more business-oriented metrics like increase in sales, website traffic, customer satisfaction, etc.
Some job functions are easier to measure than others. For example, a sales person’s productivity or performance can be measured by the number of sales or follow-ups he makes.
Thus, it will be necessary to create metrics for each worker because they have different responsibilities.
Therefore, the first step in calculating efficiency is to develop a strategy that explains how you’ll do it.
Having these strategies in place also puts your employees in a place where they know how their productivity will be measured. This way, they will know what they need to do, how they need to do it and when it needs to be done.
2.Work with a task management software
It’s important to keep everyone on the same page as your team works from home. Using a task or project management software will help you do that.
Draw out a board that shows all the projects your teams are working on and all the tasks to be accomplished. Assign tasks to people, monitor their progress, and get notifications when they finish them.
Their efficiency can be measured by how many tasks they perform within a specific period of time ( a day, a week or a month).
Also, different teams working on different tasks need different softwares.
Members of the team will see who’s doing what and how things are progressing. This exposure also boosts team morale by encouraging everyone to give it their all.
3.Track how much time employees are spending on work
Time and the number of tasks completed or output produced go hand in hand. One of the best ways to measure their productivity is tracking how much time they spend on work.
The best way to track the time they spend on work is using an online time monitoring software. The online time monitoring software will automatically track your employees’ work time. You can see detailed details on how many hours each employee worked at the end of each week or month.
Combine this information with the number of tasks performed by the employee to measure their productivity.
Consider giving each member of your team a specific task to accomplish in a single day. Check how the tasks were done and how much time was spent on each task at the end of the day.
4.Estimate completion time for each task
You establish a productivity baseline by estimating the time required to complete each tack. It’s possible that your calculation is excessively high or excessively low but you can refine your estimate over time.
When an employee takes longer than expected, you will determine if your prediction was incorrect or the employee was simply slow.
Estimates also serve as a measure to which you can compare workers who do the same job or are part of the same team.
5.Have a reporting structure
Timely reports help you remain on top of your work, identify potential problems, and take action as quickly as possible.
As an employer, you need to come up with a reporting structure that works for you and your employees. How often should your employees submit reports?
You could choose between receiving a daily report that summarizes your employee’s work of the day or a weekly report.
These reports or updates don’t have to be too detailed. Let them be short and straight to the point. However, consider having monthly reports that focus more on progress toward your business goals. Your employees can send these reports through email.
6.Measure progress against set goals
Worker productivity, like any other goal, cannot be accomplished if no one knows what it is.
Working well with remote employees requires being very honest and precise on all goals. Let your employees know what is expected of them and the goals they are meant to accomplish.
Other elements to consider
- Set and communicate clear goals and deadlines.
- Form plans to increase accountability.
- Analyze important tasks and track progress on a time bound basis.
Keep your employees engaged
To keep your remote team engaged, use collaboration resources like Google Drive/Dropbox, and Zoom, or MS Teams. A team that is linked and collaborates is more efficient than one that is disjointed.
Employees will work together as a team by collaborating on projects together, sharing success, and assisting one another in real time.