What is Productivity Tracking and Monitoring?
How much easier would your job be if you could know — really, truly understand — what people need to do their best work? This is precisely what productivity tracking is for. And it works equally well for in-office, remote and hybrid teams.
Productivity tracking is the process of capturing and analyzing day-to-day work activities to identify patterns, barriers and opportunities for improvements. It focuses on how employees get work done and equips leaders with important insights — ones you can use to adjust responsibilities, tools and workflows to achieve greater productivity and efficiency. Most importantly, it’s a strategy that keeps on giving. Continually tracking and monitoring productivity is one of THE best ways to create a culture of continuous improvement.
So, how can you get started? Having an objective measure of employee productivity is the first step. That’s where productivity monitoring software comes in.
By using productivity monitoring software to monitor teams, management can easily see which workers are doing a stellar job. This information can then be used to coach underperforming employees while rewarding superstars. You’ll not only keep top performers motivated, but help spread productivity throughout the company too.
Looking at data from productivity monitoring software can also help employers pinpoint areas where some employees may need guidance.
The bottom line is this: Making sure your company is running at peak performance is critical in today’s competitive business landscape, and productivity monitoring is how cutting-edge businesses are staying ahead of the curve.
Ready to learn more? Let’s take a look at the basics of productivity tracking:
- The Difference Between Productivity Tracking and Surveillance
- Advantages of Productivity Tracking
- Potential Productivity Tracking Issues
- What are the Benefits of Productivity Tracking Software?
- How to Get Started with Productivity Tracking
- ActivTrak’s Productivity Tracking & Monitoring Software
The Difference Between Productivity Tracking and Surveillance
Productivity tracking software often gets criticized as being an Orwellian measure taken by overbearing managers. The harsh depiction of this valuable software as a surveillance tool couldn’t be further from the truth. In reality, productivity tracking software helps managers support employees by identifying inefficient workflows and signs of burnout. Using insights from a productivity monitoring tool, managers can provide support for employees based on the unique challenges they’re facing — which also benefits the organization as a whole through happier, more productive employees.
Depending on what productivity tracking software you use, the benefits are endless — particularly for companies looking to increase revenue and boost security. Need to improve workflow efficiency? Use productivity monitoring software to analyze employee activities. Or foster a more productive working environment with a productivity leaderboard to help boost motivation.
Looking to protect your company from insider threats? Check your productivity tracking software to make sure employees aren’t doing anything thoughtless with company information. And if you’re worried about maintaining a healthy relationship with employees, being upfront with them about the software you’ll be implementing can go a long way. We’ll dig into this in a little more detail later, but using a defined internet policy can help create clear boundaries and expectations. It also serves to build trust between the employer and employee.
Advantages of Productivity Tracking
Reduce Wasted Time
According to Zippia, Americans waste an average of 2.9 hours each day at work — which costs businesses an average of $1.7 million per year for every 100 employees they have. Some of these wasted hours are from necessary breaks, though others may be from distractions or inefficient workflows that create a productivity lapse.
Productivity tracking software can help you curb these wasteful internet practices. By combining features such as live activity monitoring and website blocking, you can keep employees on track without continually looking over their shoulders. This frees up administrators to be more productive with their time as well as creating an inherent trust between employer and employee that will benefit everyone.
Prevent Security Breaches
Making sure employees don’t leak proprietary data is another essential function of productivity monitoring software. At a time when employee negligence is the main cause of data breaches, this is crucial. Administrators can keep an eye on electronic communications, such as email and internet usage, to prevent unauthorized access or sharing of sensitive information.
Using productivity monitoring software can help employers get an early warning about these dangerous activities taking place — including unintentional actions that pose a security risk. With certain features such as remote screenshots or automated alarms, productivity monitoring software can help admins keep track of any breach of sensitive information.
Help people realize their full potential
With the visibility productivity tracking software provides, setting goals and benchmarks is a breeze. You can then use day-to-day data to track progress and make changes as needed. Managers can also share this information with employees so they have an updated idea of where they stand relative to goals and KPIs that correlate with bonuses and promotions. It means a more healthy and rewarding environment for your employees, and better long-term results for the company.
Potential Productivity Tracking Issues
Some employees may be concerned about privacy when productivity tracking software is implemented. Which is understandable. After all, the idea of someone looking over their shoulders can be unsettling when it isn’t explained correctly. But monitoring employees is not the goal, and it’s important to explain this to your team. In addition, give employees advanced notice of your plan as well as how you’re going to be protecting their personal data. Let them know that their personal information is not being collected.
Things such as phone number, bank info, and passwords aren’t going to be useful for increasing productivity. Some programs intentionally blur or redact personally identifiable information (PII) such as this. Making sure your employees’ PII is safe should be a top priority when searching for the perfect productivity tracking software.
Some employees can get stressed at the thought of having their activity constantly monitored. This stress could lead to employees overworking themselves, which can eventually lead to decreased productivity and increased turnover. Thankfully, this issue can be easily avoided.
Be upfront with your employees and explain precisely what you’re looking to get out of productivity monitoring software. Elaborate on the benefits, and let them know how you’ll be using information. Put simply: Don’t be overbearing and drive employees away. Instead, explain simply and clearly that the goal is to help empower everyone to do their best work. In some cases, companies have used productivity tracking tools to let people know when it’s time to do less or take time off so they can refresh. By identifying early signs of burnout, managers can alleviate stress for employees and reduce turnover.
In addition to being candid, lay out exactly what you expect of your team. As previously mentioned, creating an internet usage policy and going over it with employees can relieve anxiety and prepare your organization for a smooth transition into using productivity monitoring software.
Though there’s a good deal of information available on the subject, there are many common misunderstandings when it comes to the legality of productivity monitoring software.
The sheer number of laws describing what’s legal when it comes to tracking activities can make it a very overwhelming topic. In the United States, as long as a company owns the computers, they’re allowed to monitor employees. The EU has different laws that require employers to be more forthright with their plans to implement productivity monitoring software.
To make sure you’re covering all bases, research the laws in your area individually. Before you decide on a productivity monitoring software, seek proper legal counsel regarding the laws in your area.
What are the Benefits of Productivity Tracking Software?
What can your company gain from using productivity tracking tools? Put simply, a lot. You can identify what tools employees need to do their best work, and save costs by cutting tools that aren’t being frequently utilized. You’ll likely discover which times of day they’re most productive and may even learn which teams work best together. This type of data can be invaluable. It not only helps streamline operations, but also allows leaders to distribute workloads more evenly and take some pressure off overworked employees.
How to Get Started with Productivity Tracking?
Before you start researching productivity tracking software, you should first step back and look at your goals. Do you want to cut costs? Increase employee productivity? Spread workloads evenly? Determining your objectives first will help ensure you’re looking for the right set of features.
Once you’ve defined your goals, the next step is to explore functionality. Here are some features you may want to think about when researching productivity monitoring software:
- Activity reporting
- Flexible settings
- Productivity reports
- Location insights
- Time tracking
- Technology usage
- Data privacy
Once you’ve found a few options that fit your checklist, you’ll want to trim the list down to your finalists. From here, you can check out additional factors to make sure you find the perfect software for your organization. These factors could include:
- Ease of installation
- Payment plans
- Learning curves
- Customer support availability
- Hardware requirements
After you’ve found the ideal program, prepare your team. When introducing them to your new productivity tracking software, you can go over a few things we’ve mentioned earlier such as:
- What the software is
- How you’re planning to implement it
- Why it’s necessary
- How it will benefit the company
- How privacy will be protected
It may sound like a lot, but in reality these steps can be achieved in a matter of days. If you follow the advice in this article, you should be well on your way to improving your organization’s productivity for good.
ActivTrak’s Productivity Tracking & Monitoring Software
Improving productivity requires an understanding of how your organization operates. ActivTrak’s simple user interface is designed to help teams get the clearest picture of how work is done.
With ActivTrak’s productivity monitoring software, you’ll have all the metrics at all the right times. It’s easy to install and the data is available within minutes.
Here are some things you can do with ActivTrak’s productivity monitoring software:
- Compare remote & in-office productivity
- Quickly spot burnout & disengagement
- Optimize processes & technology usage
- Assess capacity & balance workloads
- Understand the productivity impact of organizational change
- Know your top performer’s habits and coach those patterns to other team members.
Ready to see if ActivTrak’s productivity monitoring software is right for you? Create a free account right now.