Remote work has revolutionized how we think about work. Work is no longer where we go, but what we do, and workplaces have become completely virtual. The COVID-19 pandemic has undoubtedly fast forwarded these transformations. More and more businesses are realizing the benefits of remote work: better productivity, lower overhead costs, and happier employees. While we’ve always sung the praises of remote work, we know that it comes with its own challenges as companies adapt their management styles and support functions to work-from-home arrangements. One of these challenges is ensuring your employees are being productive. While many businesses have changed the way they measure productivity, others have resorted to time-tracking their employees.
What is virtual time-tracking?
Virtual time-tracking allows employers to track their employees’ work hours. This gives you a clearer picture of how your employees are spending their workdays. While it might not work for every business, time-tracking can increase productivity, provide transparency, and even boost employee morale.
What are the pros and cons of virtual employee time-tracking?
An increase in productivity is one of the major benefits of time-tracking the your remote team.
Time-tracking allows employers to fully appreciate how long certain tasks take, shedding light on activities that are lengthy but maybe not truly necessary to the company. In turn, they can evaluate where time may be better spent.
When your team is working remotely, it can be hard to know exactly who did what and how much time they spent on tasks. Time tracking allows for increased accountability, which can lead to a feeling of greater responsibility, helping employees feel more engaged. Time-tracking also allows managers to better acknowledge their team’s accomplishments.
With time tracking, every employee has the opportunity to see what their co-workers are working on. This can improve teamwork by allowing team members to easily support each other and work together on certain projects. This can help to provide a sense of belongingness, which can be difficult to achieve when your team is remote.
Saving on timesheets
Time-tracking can benefit those who bill their clients by the hour, such as legal and accountancy firms. In-fact, companies that work with contractors, freelancers, or short-term temporaries can benefit from using time-tracking software.
Feeling of being watched
One of the major downsides to time-tracking is the feeling of being watched by superiors. Putting a system of time-tracking in place can be taken as a sign that you distrust your team. This can have a negative impact on your employee’s well-being which can lead to added stress, in turn making them less productive.
Therefore, you need to make sure your team comfortable with the idea of time tracking and understand the intentions behind it, listening to their feedback before rolling it out gradually while enabling a successful implementation.
Make sure your team is comfortable with the idea of time-tracking and explain your intentions behind it. Listening to their feedback before rolling it out will help you understand your team’s apprehensions.
Potential to micromanage
One common misconception is that employees will be constantly micromanaged once they start tracking their time. Although this may be a temptation for some employers, one benefit of time-tracking is that managers can spend less time managing their employees. Time-tracking can provide an overview of how your team is working and can offer insights into how their efforts are distributed throughout the day.
The Bottom Line on Time-Tracking
When used correctly as a tool for supporting team members’ productivity, a time-tracking system can make sense for some businesses. Time-tracking allows your business to streamline its processes, offers team-based transparency, and indicates where an employee might need additional support or training.
About the author
Auria Heanley is a co-founder of Oriel Partners, a boutique PA and administrative recruitment consultancy based in Central London. She is extremely passionate about providing the highest quality of service to both their clients and candidates. Their clients range from global multinationals to small boutique firms, and all require the same personal service and high calibre support.