Tracking where and how your employees spend their time is critical, especially for service-oriented companies that bill per hour. It’s also important to understand what the overall productivity level is of your employees, especially those who work from home. It’s not that you don’t trust your employees, but when you measure something, people tend to be a lot more serious about it. Here are some ways to make the process of employee time tracking easier…
Keep an eye on employees even when you can’t see them.
There’s nothing like seeing employees hard at work only to realize they’re really just updating Facebook or Twitter. Keeping track of what employees are really doing while in the office or working remotely can be done with certain software tools.
Time tracking software is one of the easiest ways to guarantee that employees are actually working. The programs are often times fairly inexpensive, highly accurate, and worth every cent. Plus, employers get the added benefit of having all of the busy work of adding up hours and wages already completed for them thanks to the software. The biggest things to look for when thinking about purchasing a time clock software program is to make sure that it allows for unlimited employees, is easy to use, and has quality customer support.
I always feel like somebody’s watching me.
As with online time tracking software, monitoring software tracks everything employees do while using company computers. These programs can track every keystroke, block certain websites, prevent the downloading of certain files, and do just about anything employers need it to do. Reports are then generated so that employers can look at what employees have been doing.
This software improves productivity, prevents employees from either intentionally or unintentionally exposing confidential information, and keeps everyone in line. However, make sure employees know they are being monitored. Nobody wants to deal with an employee accusing the company of spying.
Keep tabs on telecommuters.
Many companies hire contract workers that either telecommute or report to the office rarely. This makes it difficult to know for sure if the hours they record were truly spent working. One way to circumvent the problem of hourly-billing is to make contract work a flat fee.
But service-oriented companies tend to have employees that work away from the office and bill by the hour. Trust is essential with these employees, but it’s not the only way to make sure they’re working.
Scheduling face-time using software programs such as Google Hangout, Google Chat or Skype, arranging for call-ins, or checking in with instant messaging helps provide the link between the home office and the traditional office.
If telecommuting employees use company-provided computers, then monitoring software should be installed to track their work as it would be if they were in the office.
What about employees who don’t use a computer for work?
Short of installing a microchip into the arm of employees that work remotely without a computer, it is almost impossible to tell how their time is spent. However, accountability goes a long way for these employees. Setting up goals and timelines for employees to reach ensures that they are working toward something.
Let them know you’ll be watching.
Using tracking software to monitor the work done by employees is the easiest way to keep track of their time spent working. Knowing that their activities are being monitored means employees are far less likely to devote time to non-work related activities… and Facebook will still be there once the work day is over.
About the author: Dana Rasmussen is a freelance author who writes about a variety of topics, including time tracking, vacation destinations, corporate jet travel, social media and trends in the work place.
Photo attribution: www.flickr.com/photos/evilerin/3093851614
Photo attribution: www.flickr.com/photos/pangpang/3505022325