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Understanding Remote Worker Monitoring Metrics

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Productivity monitoring can be overwhelming, especially for those who recently went remote due to the coronavirus pandemic. Here are the metrics you need to get started.

Visibility and transparency are key aspects of successful remote worker monitoring — that’s why we emphasize them so much in ActivTrak’s approach! Without visibility, it’s challenging to improve employee productivity and workplace engagement.

Although many employees are now working from home, team leaders in charge of productivity tracking may be unsure about how to remotely monitor employee activity and unlock the insights they need from afar. Starting your journey with remote worker monitoring tools may seem like a daunting task, but we’re here to help! Let’s explore how to track, understand, and act on remote worker monitoring metrics.


3 Essential Remote Productivity Monitoring Metrics

The future of work has changed. Now that a significant number of employees work from home exclusively or at least three days a week due to the coronavirus pandemic, remote worker monitoring is critical to ensuring everyone is empowered to do their best work. Unfortunately, some employees are still wary. According to the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development’s 2020 workplace technology report, 57% of employees believe monitoring does not have more pros than cons. Also, 43% are concerned that activity tracking or time tracking compromises their privacy.

At ActivTrak, we know that the best way to work around these concerns is to take a transparent approach, and that includes knowing exactly which team productivity metrics are being measured and why. For managers and team leads, productivity metrics make it easier to cut through the clutter and zero in on the data that really matters. For employees, productivity metrics make it easier to parse your own productivity data, highlight areas of improvement, and understand how employee monitoring can help you improve.

For remote work, in particular, productivity metrics provide insight into factors that managers can’t easily notice during the remote workday. When you’re not working in the same place as your teams, it’s hard to pick up on things like turnover, drops in productivity, and decreases in employee engagement. If you’re new to productivity monitoring and don’t know where to start, we recommend beginning with these three essential remote worker monitoring metrics.

  • Average Daily Productivity

When you measure the average of hours per day spent on productive work, you can start every discussion with a data-driven foundation. Compare your team’s Average Daily Productivity with previous weeks to understand what is above or below typical productivity. Remember that fluctuations in Average Daily Productivity can have both positive or negative causes. For example, a dip in productivity caused by frequent Zoom meetings might look the same as a fluctuation caused by too much social media usage. To fully understand employee productivity with the help of this metric, you must dig deeper.

  • Past 30 Days: Utilization Level

This essential time tracking metric compares the number of working hours to a healthy range of non-working hours. Measuring an employee’s utilization levels helps you keep an eye out for team members who are working excessive hours and pinpoint those who have the extra room to take on more responsibility. Look at the start and end of the day, number of breaks per day, and average break length over a month for rapid insights into employee strain, fatigue, and burnout.

  • Productive Time Composition: Focus, Collaboration, Multi-tasking

By measuring an employee’s time spent focusing vs. collaborating vs. multitasking, you can understand how often disruptions happen and how they affect employee productivity. Of course, every role is different — an engineer will have more “focus” time, whereas a sales position will have more “collaboration” time — and you can take this into account by comparing new employees to tenured ones in similar roles. Measuring productive time also helps you determine if additional training or development is necessary for new employees.


Ensuring Visibility As You Monitor Remote Workers

No matter where your employees are located, monitoring these remote worker monitoring metrics will get you started on the right path. However, there are additional remote worker monitoring concerns to be mindful of, particularly visibility and operational compliance. Many organizations struggle to achieve clear visibility into productivity across the enterprise, especially when remote teams are widely dispersed. Without the right remote workforce management software, you might miss out on opportunities to understand your team’s behavior more deeply.

The right employee monitoring tool helps you measure major productivity indicators in many ways. For example, remote monitoring apps can display snapshot summaries for quick insights plus in-depth analysis for detailed discoveries. This thorough data collection paints an entire picture of employee productivity all on a single platform. You can also gain personal insights into individual employees for more personalized, constructive conversations about remote worker productivity.

Remote worker tracking software also lets you view similar teams side by side to understand employee productivity levels in relation to one another, so you can identify over-utilized and under-utilized employees. You can also assess how much time your employees spend working and compare those findings with what you define as healthy working ranges by using an employee tracking tool.

Along with supporting individual remote worker monitoring, remote productivity monitoring software enables you to view an aggregation of productive employee time across your team and compare them against your productivity goals. You can also track and identify the usage patterns of apps and websites that your employees use most often, plus dive into specific application usage and time allocation. This helps you understand your team’s ways of working so you can improve productivity and promote a healthy work-life balance.


How To Navigate Remote Work Cybersecurity Risks

Remote workers need offline access to business systems and tools in order to work effectively, but this can introduce compliance risks. It’s not uncommon for an employee to download an unauthorized productivity app to help them stay organized, but these apps can introduce cybersecurity vulnerabilities into your business-critical systems if the app goes unpatched or unmonitored. As such, effective remote worker monitoring must include strategies to enforce compliance, ensure employee privacy, and guarantee employees are using tools the right way.

Remote workforce management software can help! By acting as an all-encompassing remote worker productivity manager complete with all kinds of intuitive dashboards, you and your team members can get rid of redundant applications with overlapping functionalities. Not only does this reduce licensing costs, but it also streamlines productivity tracking for everyone. Investing in the right technologies helps everyone make the most of their work hours, no matter where they are.

ActivTrak is also designed to enforce data privacy and compliance safeguards and protect sensitive data. With the ability to configure alarms and actions in response to risky activities, you and your team can become aware of compliance risks or policy exceptions far in advance. The ActivTrak platform will also notify you of unexplained data transfers, new application usage, and other unapproved activities that could put your enterprise at risk.


Getting on the Right Track with Remote Employee Monitoring

Full-time and hybrid remote employees are more common than ever, but not all managers and team leaders are experts at remote worker monitoring just yet. ActivTrak is here to help! Set yourself up for success by using remote workforce management software to track daily productivity, utilization levels, and productive time. Then, go even further and use that software to gain more visibility into your teams’ remote work habits and proactively address any compliance risks.

With these metrics at your fingertips, you’ll have everything you need to fully understand productivity and help your remote employees work wiser.

Pro Tips:

  • Keep ActivTrak’s three essential productivity metrics in mind.
  • Visibility is critical when it comes to remote worker monitoring. Intuitive dashboards give you multiple ways to view user activity data and help place things in context.
  • Take advantage of app and website usage tracking. Since remote workers must access business systems offsite, there might be compliance risks lurking beneath the surface.

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