Keeping tabs on your employees used to be as simple as walking over to their desk and asking for an update. It’s not that easy these days, but that doesn’t mean tracking time for remote employees can’t be made easier.
Working remotely is a trend that is taking the corporate office world by storm, and for good reason. According to Gallup’s State of the American Workplace report, 43% of Americans said they spent at least some time working remotely in 2016, up from 39% in 2012. A Polycom report from 2017 states that nearly 2 in 3 survey respondents who work remotely say they are more productive when working outside of the company worksite.
Creating a remote workforce opens new doors for business owners and operators by expanding on your pool of potential employees by a considerable amount. However, employee time tracking is a process that needs to be perfect for you to optimize your operations.
5 Ways to Simplify Time Tracking for Remote Employees
As a remote employee, flexibility and freedom are easy to come by, almost a little too easy. It can also be extremely distracting. At Time Clock Wizard, we understand that there are challenges to overcome with employee time tracking. But you don’t need to worry, we are here to help you figure it out. Here are 5 ways for you to improve how you track your employees time.
1. Structure Your Programs
If you are managing a team of remote employees, maintaining visibility into each one of their projects will give you headaches. That is, if you are running a system that has no structure.
Leaving things to sort themselves out, without creating a strong workflow, is just going to delay basic processes and ultimately it will hamper your employee time tracking ability. If you feel like your organization is too large, or is growing to be too much to manage on your own, an online tool could be your best option. Find one that will help schedule your employees time and provide them with benchmarks to target. It will be a massive help in the long run.
2. Estimate How Much Time Projects Will Require
Scheduling and structuring your programs will make this step a breeze. The importance of being able to estimate the amount of time certain projects should take will help better utilize every member of your teams time and keep them happy while your program grows.
This is all about maintaining an open dialogue with your employees. While they aren’t under your supervision during “office” hours, establishing a schedule with your employee will help maintain transparency. A schedule also provides you with the foundation for how you manage time tracking for employees. On a larger scale it helps you build your projects from the ground up, maximizing every dollar you spend while simultaneously structuring your remote employees day.
3. Communicate Expectations With Remote Employees
So you built your schedule and you have shared estimates for how long each task, or project, is expected to take. All of that is well and good, but you need to get on the same page as your employees in order for anything to work as it should.
One of the struggles of accurate employee time tracking is a lack of transparency. The saddest part is that a little bit of discussion can go a long way. At Time Clock Wizard, we want to make it easier for you to track hours, even as your business grows so that mundane aspects of your business like payroll and time tracking don’t drag everything down and stress you and your employees out. Managing more employees means less time to oversee your existing staff. By automating some of those time-consuming processes, you can take a step back and focus on improving at a high level.
4. Collect Employees Time After Projects are Completed
As we mentioned earlier, establishing expectations with your employees will drive your strategy, and the results of what you do now will help you improve down the line. If you are looking to take that to the next level, check the data.
If you aren’t already collecting data as you are tracking employee time, you should start now. Tracking employee timesheets with an online service makes this so easy, and the benefits are palpable. By taking this step you will limit inefficiency and simplify the scheduling process on the business side, while optimizing your employees time by gaining better visibility into how they are managing their workload.
5. Leverage an Online Time Clock System
If you want to improve an existing process, there is one thing that almost always increases the chances of employees paying attention to it. You make it easier. That is especially true with something like employee time tracking, which is not natural in the flow of a typical workday.
By nature, tracking hours is a routine task that needs to be accessible and easy if you want it done right. If you are renewing your employee time tracking strategy, data collection should be at the top of your to-do list. What makes collecting data easier than a web service that will do a lot of the legwork for you. Nothing. The answer is nothing. Well, that’s not entirely true. The only thing that can make tracking time through a web service easier is also allowing employees to access their schedules and time cards via a mobile device through an app. But you get the point.
Time Tracking: Learn From The Past and Grow
Employee time tracking shouldn’t be a burden, and you are going to need to decide what needs to be tracked, and what doesn’t. Each completed project gives you a chance to grow as a business owner or manager. All things considered, keeping everybody on the same page is a postmark for success.
Tracking your employees time is just a piece of the puzzle, but it’s perhaps the most natural piece to fit into the bigger picture because of the tools that are readily available for your business. With all of our talk about scheduling and structuring, there is also a fine line to walk between effective managing and ineffective micro-managing.
Interested in learning more? Contact us today for more information on our service options and how we can help simplify the business side of your operations.