What is Workforce Management?:
The Complete Guide

Team learning about workforce analytics and employee monitoring
A large blue blob on a white background.
A wavy dotted blue line.

Workforce Management is a set of processes designed to measure and improve key aspects of a business’s employees including time reporting, engagement, and productivity, ultimately increasing the performance levels of the team.

In this day and age, there are so many workplace distractions, and not just inside the office. With telecommuting on the rise, mobile workforce management and remote workforce management are now essential parts of the larger workforce management strategy.

Companies are always trying to find new ways to increase productivity without sacrificing the quality of work. So, can you have your cake and eat it, too?

With a well thought out and executed workforce management plan, you can! Companies use workforce management systems for everything from scheduling employees to hiring and payroll. Essentially, tools that makeup workforce management systems are designed to help managers cultivate an ideal work environment for everyone, resulting in a more successful company.

Choose where to start:

Why use Workforce Management?

A man working remotely on his laptop, a sort of speech bubble is coming out of the laptop and in it is a woman waving.

A company’s most valuable asset is its workforce. Such an important part of a business needs to be managed efficiently and effectively. Without a robust workforce management system, a company is far less likely to reach its true potential.Using workforce management systems can help achieve an ideal workplace by implementing or improving the following:

  • Scheduling: While manually creating a schedule can be time-consuming, workforce management solutions provide data that better informs the scheduling process. It’s easier to schedule based on each employee and his or her needs, including availability, breaks, and holidays.
  • Forecasting: Predicting schedules and productivity levels for a certain day.
  • Budgeting: Workforce management systems help with budget forecasting and can point to areas where a reallocation of company resources may be needed.
  • Absence/leave: Workforce management systems can be used to manage and track leaves, so HR employees can focus on better meeting individual needs.
  • Time clocks: Clocking in and out can be a hassle, and let’s face it: a pen and paper system just doesn’t cut it anymore. Workforce management systems keep track of your employees’ attendance and time worked so you don’t have to! They also help cut down on time reporting inconsistencies.
  • Payroll: Gone are the days of the file cabinet! Employers can have a central place where employees’ work information is stored. That confidential information, like bank direct deposit details and insurance policies, stays under wraps.
  • Employee performance management: The end goal is to encourage those who perform well to keep up the hard work and motivate those who have the potential but need a little help.

How Workforce Management Systems Help Businesses

When a workforce management system is implemented correctly, that ideal work environment becomes more and more within reach. Your idea of an ideal work environment is unique, but most will agree that the following benefits are highly sought after:

  • Increase in productivity: To get better at something, you have to first measure. Activity tracking features measure the productivity levels of each person. Those can be analyzed, and the manager and employee can collaborate on a better way to get work done.
  • Improving employee morale: What many businesses lack is a way to truly measure employee performance. The right system can get an accurate picture of what each employee accomplishes every day. With features such as performance tracking, leaderboard, and gamification, employees become a part of the improvement process. As a result, transparency and communication between employees and managers become better, and employee morale improves.
  • Declining Error rates: Payroll and HR are benefited through workforce management automation as error rates are reduced and unnecessary expenses are eliminated. Workforce management automation also helps develop lines of communication to lower error rates generated by manual payroll calculation.

Key Benefits of Workforce Management Software

The benefits of workforce management softwares are many, as are the types of companies that use them. From restaurants to car services, hospitals, and large corporations, all different kinds of companies are realizing positive changes in many different areas of their businesses thanks to implementing WFM software. Here are just some of those benefits:

Business Process Analyzation

Employers can track which computer applications are being used and which aren’t. This data is used at times to determine which computer programs can be eliminated without interfering with an employee’s job. Paying for fewer computer program subscriptions can ultimately save the company money in the long run.


Data breaches can be downright embarrassing, not to mention they can cost the victim company a lot of money. SecurityIntelligence statistics suggest the cost of a data breach is on the rise, reaching nearly $4 million in average total cost. Workforce management software can track employee behaviors, and that data can be useful in determining when and where a data breach may have occurred.

Increased Employee Productivity

WFM softwares can help management better understand employee workflow and make changes to improve it. According to the Wall Street Journal, Ship Sticks, a business designed to securely and dependably ship golf clubs, realized at least a 25% increase in baseline productivity levels after implementing a workforce management software.

Using WFM Software for Remote Employees

A woman working remotely at a desk, working on a laptop and holding a steaming cup of coffee.

A remote workforce is a team of employees that work from a location other than a centralized office. Remote workers can also make up an Offshore Workforce or Distributed Workforce. You can learn more about the different types of remote teams, and understand which is right for your organization in this post. While remote and distributed workforces are essentially the same thing, an offshore workforce typically consists of contractors and freelancers living abroad.Working from anywhere makes for great opportunities, but it also presents unique challenges. As a fairly new concept, many organizations who incorporate a remote workforce will face new and unique challenges. overcome the three major challenges of remote workforce management before any changes are implemented: long-distance collaboration, remote resource management, and effective productivity tracking.

When employees are out of sight, it’s common for managers to be concerned about how time is spent. By using cloud-based workforce management software, managers can help with performance management, track productivity, and maintain accountability regardless of an employee’s location.For companies who employ remote workers, a remote work policy is critical. Shockingly, Upwork’s 2018 Future Workplace Report revealed that 57% of companies who have some form of distributed workforce lack remote work policies.

Other benefits of using remote workforce management tools are the ability to establish remote policies, measure their effectiveness, and make the changes necessary for on-going improvement of your remote workforce. Digital HR Tech shared some tips to implement a policy for a remote or offshore workforce, including the importance of adjusting and accounting for time zone differences when scheduling meetings.Remote employees tend to stay longer. At least, that’s the conclusion Hubstaff CEO came to. Employees who work remotely enjoy a lot of benefits, but a study conducted by Buffer.com found that 43% of distributed workers say the biggest benefit of working remotely is a flexible schedule. To continue supporting flexibility, managers need some assurance that work is getting done, even if it’s not between the hours of nine and five. Since remote workforce management software logs activity data and screenshots, managers can have a better picture of how remote or offshore workers get work done.As shown above, remote employee monitoring has many positives.

To avoid potential issues like privacy concerns, companies should be transparent about their use of monitoring software. Convey that an analytical activity tracking tool improves remote employee management in ways that are helpful for both employees and managers. Recognition for hard work, gamification, fair performance measurement, and the ability to measure workloads and distribute them evenly are just some of the benefits of remote employee monitoring.

How to Decide on a Workforce Management Software Solution

Ease of use is certainly something to consider in selecting a workforce management tool. You want to make sure that the tool you want to implement is easy to comprehend. If it ends up being too difficult, odds are it will not become a part of your daily routine, nor will it provide the intended benefits. It’s important to remember that no workforce management tool can reconstruct your company in a day, but the more you use it, the more you will get out of it in the end.

Ready to get started? Be up and running in minutes.

Create free account Get started
Watch 2-minute demo See a demo