Each year, businesses become more flexible and are allowing their employees to work from home, or they’re hiring remote talent. In fact, according to Upwork, by 2028, approximately 78% of all teams will have at least one remote worker. And it’s thanks to tools such as time tracking software that makes it possible for remote teams to work seamlessly with their in-house counterparts.
What is time tracking software?
Time tracking software is a cloud-based tool that allows its users to track their time spent working on projects and tasks automatically. Which ensures that the data collected is always accurate.
And when managing remote teams, time is one of the most vital components of a successful relationship. Without knowing how much time they actually spend working, you can’t process their payments confidently, help them be more productive, etc.
Essentially, without accurate time tracking data, doubt is born, and relationships suffer. Below, we’ll discuss strategies you can implement to help manage your remote teams while using a time tracking tool.
Set clear expectations early
One of the very first things you’d want to do is clearly lay out any guidelines and rules. If you want everyone to log in at 10 am because that’s when you have your daily meeting, then let them know. Otherwise, remote workers will log in at various times. And without structure, it’ll be difficult for them to meet.
So, let your employees know exactly when they need to be present, even if it’s only for an hour a day.
Or if you want your remote employees to work fixed hours, then that’s also something you need to discuss. Time tracking software with employee scheduling is what we recommend so you can create schedules for them. And since they’ll be tracking their time, you can also monitor when they were working and if they completed their shift.
One of the biggest challenges of managing remote teams is not knowing what they’re doing. It’s physically impossible to see what they’re working on, without using a tool. But with a time tracker, you can see:
- Who’s working on what projects.
- What they’re working on now.
- How long they spend on each project.
Additionally, because your employees know that you can see what they’re doing, they’ll be more accountable for the work they complete. And it’ll also help them understand how important their role on the team is.
Monitor their activity
As previously stated, you don’t know what your remote workers are doing when clocked in, though you should always have some level of trust for your employees. However, having a system in place can give you the confidence to provide relevant assistance.
For example, you’ve recently noticed that their work output has decreased. But without accurate data, you can’t determine what actions need to be taken to help them succeed.
And by having their time tracking and activity data, you can pinpoint where issues first arose and address them accordingly.
Refrain from micromanaging
There’s a fine line between monitoring your employees’ activity and tracking their time and micromanaging them. It’s healthy to use this data to keep track of your employees’ time for analysis and to improve time management. But trying to control their every second is demoralizing. And it results in your remote workers being less productive than before.
Time tracking provides you with immense insight. But it works best when used effectively and in a respective culture.
Project management solutions help you to track project progress. But they’re not the only software that does. With time tracking software that also has project management functionality, you can track project and task progress with the corresponding visual representation.
You can also track:
- Their performance
- Their productivity
- Your RIO
- Their strengths and weaknesses
Without tracking their work and knowing what they’re doing, it’s difficult to ensure they’re working on the right tasks.
Most businesses rely on spreadsheets and paper and pen to track their employees’ time. But there are numerous flaws with those methods. Here are a few:
- Human error: Everyone makes mistakes. And that saying also extends to your employees when tracking their time. It’s difficult for them to track their time accurately when they have to interrupt their workflow. And even if they did, it’ll take tremendous time and effort. So, the timesheets you’re reviewing might not be accurate.
Additionally, when calculating their timesheets, you might miscalculate or with handwritten ones, misinterpret. This can lead to you over or underpaying them.
- Time-consuming: It takes time out of your day to manually calculate each timesheet. And that’s time you could use to scale your business, instead of performing calculations.
- Dishonest employees: This flaw is an unfortunate reality. Some employees might provide false information on their spreadsheet or paper-based timesheets.
But when you’re using a proper time tracking software solution enabled with a payroll processing, you can significantly reduce human error, save time, and identify dishonest employees when processing payroll.
Once you’ve analyzed all their data, discuss your findings with them. You’ll want to give them both critical and positive feedback during your assessment. Also, while discussing this with them, you can get on a video call and go over their problem areas you noticed on their timesheets.
Additionally, don’t forget that you’re trying to create a transparent workspace for your team members. So, also invite them to give you feedback and tell them what’s not working or might be hindering their success.
If there’s an issue, then they might have a suggestion for you that can help them be more productive.
Being able to successfully manage a remote team is important – especially with so many workers entering the remote workforce each year. And with these tips, you’ll be able to manage your remote teams and value time management with time tracking software.
Are you using a time tracker for your remote teams? Do you have any additional tips to add? Let us know in the comments section below!