Many Tucson businesses are working in an environment that they didn’t envision a little over a year ago. Having employees working from home as become a new normal, and over the last year, businesses have had to adapt.

Companies have had to transition business technology services to the cloud and add new tools that keep everyone connected, like video conferencing and team messaging.

Even after the pandemic has passed, it looks like remote teams are going to remain in place for many. It’s estimated that in 2021, the number of permanent remote workers will double.

But one problem remains for many business owners. How do they track productivity when their team isn’t working at the office?

Statistics show that people working from home are more productive than those working in an office. Some of the contributing factors include fewer distractions (no one is stopping by your desk for a chat), and fewer issues due to having to commute (stuck in traffic, etc.).

But how do you actually track that productivity and ensure everyone is staying on task?

We have several tips below that can help.

Tools & Strategies to Ensure Remote Team Productivity

Use Virtual Team Hubs

Misunderstandings are more apt to happen when people aren’t working in the same physical space. If you need to reach an employee and they don’t respond to your call, you can walk by their office and see they’re on a conference call with a client if they’re not remote.

But if they’re working from home, how do you know they’re actually working and just not available, or goofing off and away from their computer?

Using a virtual team hub, such as Teams in Microsoft 365 can help you avoid some of those misunderstandings. For example, Teams allows you to create custom status messages, so when someone goes into a video call, they can change their status accordingly, so all know why they’re currently unavailable.

Time Tracking Applications

Some employees work by the hour and some may work on multiple projects for which costs need to be tracked. You can save all involved a lot of headaches trying to keep up with productivity by using an online time tracking app.

Apps like Clockify, Harvest, and Toggle have an easy-to-use, click to start/stop interface. At the end of the week, the hours are shown on a graph by day and by project.

This makes it easy for both remote employees and employers to track time and productivity. These apps also have screenshot interval capabilities that ensure someone really is working when they have the timer on.

10-Minute Morning Mission Meetings

80% of U.S. workers say they get stressed because of ineffective company communication. When someone isn’t sure what their priorities are for the day, the distance present when working from home can make them feel they’re on an island.

One tactic that many large factories use to ensure all the different areas of the plant are on the same page is a short morning mission meeting. The key is to keep it short so it’s not counterproductive and to confirm everyone is on the same page.

You can do the same thing for your remote team by having a 10-minute mission meeting via video conference each morning. The key things you want to handle in this meeting are:

  • Make sure everyone knows their main priorities for the day
  • Get any follow ups out of the way (e.g., Did everyone take that cybersecurity quiz this week?)
  • Give employees a chance to ask any task-related questions

Track Productivity Through Task Management

Not all employees work at the same speed. You may have one team member that can get 5 tasks done in a day, while others can only handle 3. In this case, tracking productivity by how many hours someone works, isn’t really as effective. It’s better to track it by completed tasks.

There are multiple task management tools out there you can use to assign your remote team tasks, communicate back and forth about a task, and ensure a task progresses at the right pace.

The most popular use the Kanban board, which allows you to create task steps and assign tasks to projects, and then move task cards through each step of your process.

These can reduce the confusion with comments and instructions getting lost in a sea of emails because comments can be kept on each task card. They also help tasks from getting lost in texts or phone conversations and keep everything organized and easily tracked.

Automatic reminders for due dates and notifications that a task is moving from one step to another help keep everyone on the team connected and productive.

Need Help Putting Productive Tools in Place for Your Team?

ECN IT Solutions can help your Tucson business put the right tools in place to keep on top of team productivity and reduce miscommunication.

We’re here and ready to talk technology optimization with you! Reach out at 520-355-7553 or through our website.