If people work in the office, it is easy to control them: come up and see what they are doing at the workplace, or call them to the office at any time and ask for a report. With those who work remotely, everything is more difficult.
We figure out how to control employees remotely, why it is necessary.
Why Monitor Employees Working Remotely
It would seem that control is not needed. People understand that it is in their interest to work well in order to receive a salary with bonuses. But there are a lot of distractions in the distance: children run around, you need to walk the dog, the wife asks for help with cleaning. The remote worker is often distracted and spends less time at work: 40% of companies have noticed a decrease in efficiency in 2021 when transferring workers to remote work.
Control allows you to partially solve the problem with labor efficiency. If employees understand that they are being watched, they are less distracted: they do not hang out on social networks, but work with the customer base.
Employees can not only be distracted but also harm the company: purposefully or accidentally. To perform tasks, employees are often forced to use the personal data of customers and information that is classified as a trade secret. If they get into the public domain, it can undermine the reputation of the company or destroy it in case of leakage of important data about internal business processes.
Someone installed a program from a suspicious site – and the virus stole all the data stored on the disk. And someone deliberately sold a database of customer phone numbers to spammers. Both situations are quite real: 58% of companies experienced information leaks in 2021.
Monitoring employees remotely allows you to prevent leaks or at least notice them in time. If you use, along with control, other methods of protecting information – for example, restricting employees’ access to data – this will significantly reduce the risk of negative consequences for the business.
How to track the work of an employee remotely
There are two main methods: constant observation and control at certain points.
Constant monitoring: when a special program is installed on the smartphone, tablet, or computer of the employee from whom he works. It captures all actions: records screencasts, capture keystrokes, takes screenshots of open tabs, and so on. You can view a short report on a working day, and if necessary, the full history.
Control at certain points: when an employee provides stage-by-stage reports on the progress of work. He can fill out the checklist you prepared, send screenshots or tables to the messenger, or communicate with you every day at the planning meeting via video link and tell you at what stage the task is.
The choice of control method depends on what duties the remote employee has and whether the company has CRM. For example, remote sales managers do not need separate control: information about their effectiveness will be in reports within the CRM system.
The rest of the choice is up to you. Most often, constant monitoring is organized for those who perform some routine actions: calling the database, setting up advertising campaigns, programming. Control at certain points is used where the result is important. A conventional designer can sit at a computer for a day looking for ideas, visiting different sites, and then draw a logo in a couple of hours. In the control program, the search for ideas will look simple, but in fact, work was going on at that time.
Programs for monitoring employees remotely
For control at certain points, a CRM system or project management service is enough: Trello, Notion, and others. And if there are few remote employees, even a chat in Telegram will be enough.
Special programs have been created for constant monitoring. They can not only record the actions of employees, but also prevent data leaks. Popular programs:
Calculates the time worked and shows how it is distributed: how many hours the employee was distracted and how much he worked productively. Keeps track of the sites and applications used – you can see how much time the employee spent on conditional Excel and tables.
The program is available in the cloud and local versions. For the cloud you need an Internet connection, it is installed in a few minutes. Its cost is $10 per month per employee. Local can work without the Internet, and you can buy it under a perpetual license. The cost depends on the location. In both cases, there is a test access for a period of 14 days.
Takes into account the working time of employees, takes screenshots of the screens. It generates reports on which sites and programs the employee interacted with, automatically separates them into productive and unproductive. Can fill out a time sheet, noting how many hours a person worked each day.
The program can send alerts every time employees break something, and every time they leave the workplace at the wrong time. It also allows you to monitor the employee’s desktop online: connect – and see everything that is on his screen.
The cost of the program depends on the desired functionality and the number of employees. You can apply for free access, evaluate the convenience, and then decide on the connection.
Builds reports on the actions and inaction of employees: takes into account all the time they spent at the computer. Enters the data automatically in the timesheet. Shows which applications and websites the employee used. You can set individual settings for each employee.
One of the possible options for reporting on the expenditure of working time
In Kickidler, you can not only view employees’ desktops online, but also manage their devices remotely: configure programs, restore or delete data. The software also records everything that happens on the screen: in the report, you can quickly find the necessary segments of the video and watch them.
The program has cloud and local versions. The cost of the cloud is $9.99 per employee per month, the cost of the local is discussed individually.
There are many other solutions with similar functionality: video recording, screenshots, reports on employees, days, projects. Test several programs during the free period to understand how comfortable it will be for you to control the work of employees remotely.
Online versions of programs can be installed with technical support specialists on their own. You may need help from a programmer to deploy local versions. You can find it on Workspace: create a tender and describe the essence of the task in it, and then select the right contractor.
It really doesn’t matter how you control remote employees. The main thing is that they work effectively, and this can be achieved not only by control. Set tasks correctly and build a competent motivation system: then the employees themselves will be interested in performing work tasks as best as possible.