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Working from Home

How to make sure your staff are staying productive

We’re talking a lot about businesses that are starting to reopen to the public and returning employees.  But the advice is still to work from home if possible and many businesses are having to carry on with operating remotely.

This means that many employers are faced with the challenge of managing and monitoring their employees who are working from home, while many may have cracked this, it can be extremely challenging to keep track of remote workers, never mind their productivity. So here are our top tips (including software and tools) that you can use to do this effectively.

5 essential tips for monitoring employees working from home

  1. Use communication apps like Zoom and Slack – video conferencing software and instant messaging apps can ensure quick and effective communication for everyone.  Set up regular meets and impromptu chats.  Encourage chatter channels as well.  We all share pleasantries with our co-workers during the day, it’s part of what makes work enjoyable, so don’t just use these resources for Big Brother style monitoring!
  2. Assign deadlines to tasks – placing a time frame on a task increases motivation. Just make sure that these deadlines are realistic and check in regularly to see what other factors might be impacting them.
  3. Check team activity regularly to manage projects – use project management software such as Monday.com, Mavenlink or Trello. These enable you to check progress and manage multiple projects efficiently. We use Trello quite a bit and find it extremely useful.
  4. Timesheets Encouraging timesheets is a great way to keep track of productivity.  There are many reasons why productivity might be low, it could be that certain jobs or projects are particularly draining on time and resources.  Timesheets help you identify this and offer support that staff might need.  Perhaps they have a heavier burden of complex jobs, need specific training or are just not the right match to that project.
  5. Getting More Serious – If you need to get more formal about it (perhaps you are encountering a persistent productivity issue with an employee) there are other apps you can use to monitor when employees are actually working (Time Doctor, Hubstaff etc) allow you to gain insights into productivity as they take screenshots at fixed time intervals (e.g. every 5 minutes).  This approach is not for everyone, so consider other options of engagement first.

Find the working from home systems that are best for you and your team

Using these tips and software recommendations will allow you to effectively manage your employees while they work from home for the next few weeks and months. To do so doesn’t involve micro-management, but rather engagement and accountability. That’s what communication tools, project management apps, and time-tracking software are for. If you can find the best ones that work for you and your team, then remote working will soon become as productive as working in the office.

If you’re interested in how to improve HR within your business you might be interested in this article.

Related Reading from Artisan Accounts

5 Simple Rules for Working from Home

Recovering VAT on Working from Home Expenses

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