A year ago, when the pandemic struck, companies all over the world were forced to relocate millions of employees to work from home. As a result, the already strong trend toward remote work has become one of the dominant ones. Let’s discuss how these new realities have changed the job of the executive and how employers are executing monitoring of the employees who work from home.
Sales are the key part of the business processes. It’s when a company ultimately makes real profit from all its other activities. No matter how well everyone else in your team is performing, if your sales managers aren’t doing a good job, the results won’t come. So, every executive should maintain control over their sales department – and here’s how to do it.
Ways of monitoring
In the vast majority of cases, remote employees use computers for their work, which means you can track almost any activity of theirs and find out what exactly they are busy with. Most of the time supervisors use the following features:
- Automatic monitoring of employees’ activity at the computer. Programs track when employees log into their work accounts, what apps they use, which browser tabs they open, when they take breaks, how long these breaks are, and so on. The specifics depend on the tracking software employers choose – advanced employee monitoring software logs pretty much every click of the mouse and generates highly detailed reports;
- Screenshots and video recording of employees’ desktops. Most monitoring programs can be configured to record at random intervals, without notifying employees in advance;
- Remote screen viewing or executing control over computers. These tools are usually used by the tech team, but they can also be beneficial to the supervisors who prefer to monitor their subordinates in real time;
- Self-monitoring modules. Some programs offer self-monitoring interfaces that allow employees to monitor their own productivity and organize themselves without the supervisors’ involvement.
Note: All the above-mentioned tracking functions should be activated strictly during the working hours – and only work accounts should be monitored. Avoid the very possibility of gaining access to employees’ personal data in order to protect yourself from legal problems (that’s why we didn’t mention monitoring tools like camera or microphone control).
Organizing remote work processes
It’s important to keep in mind that whatever tools you choose to use to monitor your remote employees, that’s all they are – tools. We’ve already touched on that in our article that describes the pros and cons of employees monitoring. In addition to establishing monitoring, you need to be mindful of the following aspects:
- Technical equipment. Each employee should have everything they need to carry out their duties. This usually includes a computer with required software, a smartphone, and consistent access to the Internet;
- Clear understanding among employees of their tasks and deadlines. While in the office employees are constantly involved in the work processes (they engage in conversations with their superiors and colleagues, participate in meetings, etc.), when working from home, employees feel separated from the rest of the team. To bridge this distance, you need to:
- Organize work environment for the teams, departments or even the whole company with the help of services like Asana and Trello;
- Take care of communications, be it Telegram chats, Zoom conferences, etc.;
- Maintain constant monitoring of the situation. You should keep a close eye on each employee, the level of their involvement and motivation (which’s why emotional intelligence nowadays is considered one of the main competencies of a manager). In order to maintain the contact that’s required for such control, you need to communicate with your subordinates during meetings and team briefings, which become even more important when it comes to monitoring remote employees.
Another essential thing to remember is that managers need to be tactful and considerate. Constant micromanagement, like calling an employee who took five minutes off work to check news and reprimanding them, demotivates employees and exhausts their energy. They become stressed and feel like they’re being constantly watched. That’s why supervisors should be in touch with everything that’s happening in the company, yet only reveal that awareness to their subordinates in extreme cases.
Most often, automatic notifications on violations offered by pretty much all employee monitoring software will suffice. These notifications depersonalize the warnings, don’t provoke unnecessary negative reaction from employees and don’t make them feel like the big brother is watching. What’s more, such notifications can help you build a new KPI that’s simple and easy to understand.
For example, Kickidler employee monitoring software provides reports on the number of notifications the system issues to an employee over a certain period of time. Explain to your employees that you provide them with the option of self-monitoring because you believe in their commitment and motivation. However, if someone gets more than 5 warnings in a day, you'll be forced to monitor them more closely.
The main conclusion to be drawn from experience is this – the less apparent monitoring of remote employees, the better. Ideally, you receive comprehensive information on every move your subordinates make, and, while they’re aware of it, they don’t actually notice such monitoring. Collecting data, automating notifications on violations and avoiding putting constant pressure on your subordinates – that's the most effective approach right there.
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Kickidler Employee Monitoring Software