While studies show that many people are happier when they work outside their office, remote work is not without its challenges. Ask anyone that works or runs a business remotely, most will tell you that it is not always fun and games. However, thanks to a lot of software designed specifically for remote work, employees can stay connected with their colleagues and do their work no matter where they are located.
Productivity and efficiency may suffer more in a remote work environment. If you manage people, you are most likely wondering if it is possible to improve the efficiency of your remote employees. And one of the ways you can do that is to take a deep dive into productivity insights to find out how your employees are truly working.
Why Aren’t Your Employees Productive?
In the last decade or so, there has been a lot of research about what causes productivity loss in the office. Most of those studies cite distractions and burnout as the main reasons for the loss of productivity. Both distractions, burnout, and lack of knowledge are prevalent in a remote working environment.
A survey from Udemy Research states that 70% of workers say that they feel distracted at work. Another research, this time from the University of California, Irvine, says that 40% of the distractions at work are inflicted by the worker, most of the time due to scrolling social media, answering private messages, and looking for new music to listen to. The Udemy Research survey also found that 68% of employees spend an hour on average on their phones.
These numbers could even be larger for remote workers, as unlike their in-office colleagues, they are alone with their work.
Burnout is characterized by feelings of exhaustion that negatively affect a person's productivity and effectiveness on the job. Studies show that the average person clocks at least 4 hours of overtime a week. When you also add that not all people can take a vacation or sick days, it is not surprising that many people burnout.
Since remote workers are usually not spending their time commuting to work, many of them feel that they should use that time to do more work. For many remote workers, separating their work time from their leisure time is hard, since both usually happen in the same physical space. This could lead to them working more hours and eventually burn out.
Without a proper look into the way your employees work, which only the best employee tracking app can offer, figuring out how to improve the productivity of your employees is not possible.
Lack of Knowledge
Sometimes, employees do not have enough knowledge to complete a certain task. If you want your employees to contribute to your success, you have to train them so that they can perform their job to the industry standards. However, knowing what your employees are struggling with is not easy. Sometimes, your employees start working on a task without speaking up and letting you know that they lack the needed knowledge.
How Workpuls, the Best Employee Tracking App, Can Help Improve Employee Productivity
Even though it may sound strange, studies and our experience (either from our customers or from the Workpuls team itself) employee monitoring could have a direct impact on the productivity of your employees. The two most notable reasons why Workpuls helps increase productivity among remote workers are the Hawthorne effect and deterrence.
The Hawthorne effect is used to describe research participants that tend to behave differently because they are aware that they are being observed. Deterrence, which is discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences, is also another reason employee monitoring works.
If your employees are aware that they are being observed, they are more likely to minimize the distractions in their surroundings and instead focus on their work which directly affects their effectiveness.
Additionally, when employees are aware that employee monitoring software is tracking what they are doing, it helps some of them stop feeling that they have to take on more work which could directly prevent them from crashing and burning out.
You have likely worked with those employees that try to take on as much work as they can. This is a potentially huge problem as exactly those employees are more likely to burnout due to overworking.
Other employees that are likely to burnout as those that simply got too much work on their plate without asking for it. This is likely a result of poor management and their lack of ability to figure out whether or not certain employees have too much work to do. If they use Workpuls instead of guessing, they can easily figure out which of their employees are free to do any work and which of them are not.
Figuring Out Employees’ Struggles
Employee monitoring can also help you figure out exactly what is bothering your employees and what are they struggling with. While you may think that just asking them is enough, that is likely to make them more anxious and scared. They could also directly refuse to give you the answer out of the fear that you are doubting their knowledge.
Instead, you should figure out what your employees may struggle with on your own. The easiest way to do this is to keep a track of how long it takes your employees to do each of their tasks.
If you find that employee A worked on a task for 7 hours, but employee B worked on a similar task for 17 hours, this might be an indicator that they need training. And Workpuls is the easiest way to figure that out.
More productive employees could directly impact your revenue, which makes employee monitoring software a necessary tool in your arsenal. With employee monitoring software you will also be able to improve your employee engagement. Since you will have an overview of how your employees are spending their time, you can then use that data to better optimize work processes for greater efficiency.
Employee monitoring can be a great tool for remote companies, giving you unique insights into the productivity of your company while at the same time helping your employees feel less distracted and lowering the risk of burnout.
Productivity monitoring can continue helping you improve the productivity of your team even when you get back to the office, assuming that remote work is just a temporary arrangement for you.