The benefits of switching to a remote workforce convince many employers to consider the transition. A remote work model allows employers to hire the best talent, regardless of location. It helps cut the costs of having to rent additional office space. And last but not least, it helps create a workforce that’s more satisfied, more productive and more engaged.


But, employers often hesitate about this decision mainly because of some concerns that such work brings with it. We’re talking about lack of physical contact and face to face communication with you as a manager and other employees. How will you know your employees are working if they aren’t near you? And so on. 


To even consider letting your employees work remotely, you need to ease your mind about these concerns and reassure yourself that such way of working is better for you, as well as for them.


How to Determine Your Remote Employees Are Working


When people are working in the office, it’s seems pretty easy to establish who’s working and who’s not. Since they’re sharing once space, it’s pretty easy to notice if someone uses their phone too often. 


On the other hand, remote workers are usually hard to supervise. They might watch TV when they’re supposed to work or spend their time scrolling down Instagram or Facebook. Studies have shown that employees are only productive for 5 hours of every 8-hour work day. They spend 3 hours on unproductive activities mentioned before. Now, this isn’t only the case with remote workers. In office employees aren’t immune to this issue as well. And it certainly isn’t effective and cost friendly to hire just one person to constantly look over every single employee and what they work on throughout the day. What’s more convenient though is adopting some tools that will help you as a manager to monitor computer activity remotely.


Tools for monitoring employees on networks lets managers keep a close eye on what are their employees working on. From tracking their time with the help of easy time tracking app to monitoring their activities and the sites they visit, such a tool will do all the work for you. Yours is just to relax, let your workers do their jobs and act accordingly if the software suggests that something is wrong with the way the work is being conducted.


If you have cloud based employee monitoring software as your helping hand, you can always have a proof of work from your remote workers. 

Communication and Collaboration Suffer


Another common concern you may have is that your remote workers will struggle with communication and collaboration with you, as well as with other employees. When you’re in an office you can just tap someone's shoulder and ask them a question but that’s not how things work when you’re working remotely. 


Thankfully, with the help of modern communication tools, you can easily overcome this issue. The market is flooded with such - just think of Slack, Skype or HipChat to name a few. And as for the collaboration aspect, you’re covered there as well. Google Drive, Docs and other file sharing tools go hand in hand with project management ones such as Trello or Asana.


You really don’t have to worry about not being able to communicate and collaborate with your remote team as with the help of all programs mentioned above will make it feel like they are near you.


Also, what should be mentioned is that remote access monitoring software goes really well with all these tools and often has some of them integrated on its own.


Company Culture Suffers


Company culture plays a big role in satisfaction of your employees and their work. Whether they feel friendly and pleasant in their work environment has a direct impact on their productivity. Your task, as a manager, is to  build a company culture which reflects your company’s values, interests and goals.


Building a culture when everyone works remotely is difficult but not impossible. Some companies organize yearly gatherings, or fly their remote workforce to the HQ office from time to time. It’s a great way to strengthen the bonds between everyone on the team, in personal and professional way. 


Some managers also like to conduct online team buildings as it’s a great way to divert thoughts from work for a second and have a little fun.


Building a company culture that fosters engagement and positive atmosphere among remote employees is achievable with just a little bit of creativity. You don't even need a huge budget to make it happen. But it won’t happen on its own. You, as a company owner, need to make an effort to find creative and feasible ways to build a positive culture that promotes cooperation, collaboration and understanding.


Conclusion

So, if you thought that letting your employees work remotely is hard, now you know it won’t be if you just follow some simple rules from this article. Find a good online computer monitoring software and since we can’t really pinpoint the best employee monitoring software out there you need to pick the one which works best for you. Add on that a quality communication platform and nourish your company’s culture. And you’ll have a whole package for successfully managing a remote workforce. 


Workpuls Teramind ActivTrak Hubstaff DeskTime Time Doctor RescueTime Kickidler Veriato Work Examiner
OVERVIEW
Price $6/user/month $6/user/month $7.20/user/month $7/user/month $7/user/month $9.99/user/month $6/user/month $9.99/user/month $150/licence/year $60/licence (lifetime)
Free trial 7 days 7 days No 14 days 14 days 14 days 30 days 7 days Yes 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Very easy Easy Easy Very easy Very easy Very easy Very difficult Easy
TRACKING METHODS
Unlimited (tracker working 24/7)
Fixed (defined working hours)
Automatic (when computer is connected to a specified network)
Manual (start/stop)
Project based (track time only on projects)
GENERAL MONITORING FEATURES
Stealth mode
App and website usage
Real-time monitoring
Offline time tracking
Attendance
Activity levels
Keylogger
Geolocation
Remote desktop control
Website/activity blocking
SCREENSHOTS AND RECORDING
Screenshots
Screenshots on demand
Screen recording
PRODUCTIVITY FEATURES
Productivity trends
Websites and apps labeling
Category labeling
Productivity alerts
ADVANCED SECURITY FEATURES
User behavior analytics
Data loss prevention
Advanced file and web monitoring
REPORTING
Productivity reports
Team reports
Timelines
Email reports
Access management
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
Mobile app iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android iOS, Android Android
Browser extension Chrome Chrome Chrome
Other Citrix, VMware Chrome OS
OTHER
Support Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Phone, email, online Email, online Phone, email, online, in-person Online Phone, email, online Email, online, Viber, Whatsapp Phone, email, online, support ticket Phone, email, online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations comming soon
API
Deployment cloud, on-premise cloud, on-premise, AWS, Azure cloud cloud cloud cloud cloud on-premise cloud, on-premise on-premise
Kronos Humanity Timeclockplus Tsheets Wheniwork Deputy Replicon Jibble EbilityTimeTracker OnTheClock
OVERVIEW
Price (per month)Available upon requestFrom $2 per userAvailable upon requestFrom $6.40 per user + $16Free for up to 75 usersFrom $2.50 per userBasic plan: $30 for 5 users + $5 per additional userFrom $1.50 per employeeFrom $4 per user + $8From $2.20 per user
Free trial30 days14 daysYes14 days14 days14 days30 days
Ease of useDifficultEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasyDifficultVery easyEasyEasy
FEATURES
Timecard management
Scheduling
Shift Trading
Timesheets
Break time management
Real-time tracking
PTO Management
Payroll
Invoicing
Client billing
GPS tracking
Clock out reminders
Alerts
Manual time
PUNCH-IN METHODS
Web app
Mobile app
Time clock device
Time clock kiosk
Facial recognition
Fingerprint scanning
Geofencing
Group punch-in
REPORTING
Visual reports
Email reports
Time rounding
MANAGEMENT
Permissions
Manager approvals
Add time for others
Integrations
PLATFORMS
Web
Android app
iOS app
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app
OTHER
SupportPhone and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, chat and onlinePhone and chatEmail and onlineChat and phonePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and onlinePhone, email, chat and onlinePhone and online
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Community forum
API
Workpuls Hubstaff Toggl TimeDoctor Harvest TimeCamp Timely Everhour Tick TMetric
OVERVIEW
Price (per month) $6 per user $5.83 per user $9 per user $9.99 per user $10.80 per user $5.25 per user $99 for 5 users $7 per user $19 for 10 projects $5 per user
Free trial 7 days 14 days 30 days 14 days 30 days Yes 14 days 14 days 30 days 30 days
Ease of use Very easy Difficult Difficult Very easy Easy Very easy Easy Difficult Very easy Difficult
TIME TRACKING METHODS
Manual
Start/stop buttons
Automatic time mapping
IN-DEPTH TASK AND PROJECT ANALYSIS
Screenshots
App and website usage
Activity levels coming soon
Real-time tracking
TASK AND PROJECT MANAGEMENT
Project adding
Project templates
Project status
Task assignment
Task priorities
Budgeting coming soon
Mark billable/non-billable hours
Payroll calculation
Invoicing
ALERTS
Idle time reminders
Deadline alerts coming soon
Budget alerts coming soon
REPORTING
Client login
Productivity analysis
Email reports coming soon
PLATFORMS
Web
Mac desktop app
Windows desktop app
Linux desktop app coming soon
iOS app Beta
Android app
Browser extension Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome Chrome, Firefox Chrome Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Edge
OTHER
Support Phone and online Email and online Email and online Online Online, email and phone Email, online and support ticket Email and chat Email and chat Email Chat
Knowledge base
Video tutorials
Integrations coming soon
API
On-premise hosting

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