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How to Track Remote Work Productivity

With the right tracking process managers can drive productivity standards while maintaining strong culture, trust and work-life balance. A focus on support rather than just performance monitoring creates a mutually beneficial system for the entire team. The company should  implement employee monitoring software to enhance productivity and ensure compliance with company policies. Here are some tips on how to effectively track productivity for remote teams:

Set Clear Goals and Metrics

The foundation for tracking productivity is setting well-defined goals and metrics for each employee. Be as specific as possible about what you expect to be accomplished each week or month. Common productivity metrics include:

  • Number of projects completed
  • Tickets closed
  • Sales closed
  • Lines of code written

Require Regular Status Updates

In an office, managers can simply peek at what someone is working on or have impromptu conversations at a desk. With a remote team you need to be more purposeful about communications. Require each employee to provide regular status updates on their work. Popular formats include:

Stand-up meeting – Short daily meeting for team members to report what they did yesterday, plan for today

Weekly status reports – Written or verbal recap of major activities

Ticket status – For technical roles, status of assigned development tickets

Status updates allow you to spot potential workflow issues early. It also contributes to the feeling of accountability when employees know they must report out on progress.

Monitor Available Metrics in Tools

A wealth of productivity data is available across the various platforms and tools your team utilizes. Take advantage of built-in analytics to view real-time productivity data rather than simply rely on manual status updates. There are different kinds of software to track an employee’s day and productivity. Examples include:

Project management tools – Review metrics like task completion rates, number of tickets in progress/completed. Some provide time tracking as well.

Email and communication tools – Check for responsiveness metrics across email, chat and calls.

Source code tools – Lines of code written, code commits and pull requests.

Sales tools – Deals won, demos scheduled, calls completed.

The exact tools will depend on your tech stack and where bottlenecks tend to occur in workflows. Set up team dashboards to monitor essential productivity metrics across tools.

Conduct Team Surveys

Anonymous team surveys are another valuable way to gather insight into remote productivity. You can design standardized surveys or pulse checks to be conducted monthly or quarterly. They typically include quantitative ratings around team members’ own perceived productivity and workflows. Surveys also provide the opportunity for qualitative written feedback.

Sample survey questions could include:

  • What is the biggest workflow impediment impacting your productivity currently?
  • Do you feel you have adequate tools, resources and information to maximize productivity?

The results should provide greater clarity around productivity blockers that you may not be aware of otherwise.

Address Productivity Barriers

Tracking productivity itself does little good if you don’t act on the findings. If certain employees consistently under-perform according to your metrics and goals, meet with them one-on-one. Discuss why they may be struggling and what gets in their way. Not everyone will openly admit if they have too much on their plates or feel overwhelmed. Have an empathetic conversation to get to the root causes rather than just reprimand them.

Likewise, take action on team-wide productivity inhibitors called out in status updates and surveys. Examples may include inefficient approval processes, outdated tools leading to delays or poor prioritization from leadership. If many team members cite the same blockers, it’s an organizational issue rather than an individual employee problem. Address it accordingly through new workflows, updated policies or additional resources.

Tracking remote productivity does not need to be a scary or punitive process. Employees actually appreciate transparency into how their work is evaluated. By taking a structured yet empathetic approach, managers can monitor productivity without negatively impacting culture and trust.

Conclusion

Effectively measuring and optimizing productivity is crucial to the success of remote teams. Managers should leverage tools providing metrics whenever possible rather than relying solely on manual updates. Team surveys also offer broader insight into productivity perceptions and barriers. Addressing both individual and organizational productivity inhibitors is equally important. 

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