As we deal with COVID-19, companies have to find safe ways for their employees to work.
Many companies are now asking their employees to work remotely, and it’s likely that even after the pandemic is under control, the culture of working from home will continue.
Although working from home has its advantages, such as cutting down on overheads, managers may have a problem determining their remote workers’ efficiency. The good news is, there are various tools available for this purpose. Here are a few;
Time tracking software
Tracking work hours is one of the best ways you can measure work efficiency. It allows managers to keep their workers engaged on tasks for a set number of hours every day, thereby ensuring no time is wasted. It also helps workers at home to stay focused on tasks and avoid distractions.
Time tracking apps are also ideal for creating invoices and tracking expenses. Managers don’t have to pay more for a project than necessary as time tracking software enables them to invoice accurately. Some of them also have reporting tools. Here are a few options.
Harvest is available on mobile, desktop, or as a browser extension. It’s an excellent option for time tracking team projects as it can work offline too.
Using Harvest, team members can record the time they spend on tasks, and all the information collected is automatically sent to the project manager’s account. Managers can also remind members to submit tasks such as forwarding their timesheets, as well as review, edit, and approve them.
Harvest integrates with other apps that many remote workers use, such as Slack and Trello.
If you need to track your workers’ progress while they are online or monitor their availability for projects, try Everhour. It has a timer button that allows workers to start and stop recording when working on tasks.
Project managers can use Everhour to track expenses, schedule tasks, and access reports. It can integrate with other apps such as Trello, Basecamp, and Asana, such that any project you set up on Everhour can appear on other synced apps.
Timely is a great for managers who want to schedule projects on the calendar. It gives managers a calendar view of projects, enabling them to decide how much time is spent on projects.
Timely supports collaboration and allows team members to track the time they spend on tasks while syncing the data to a project manager’s account. The app has a memory tracker that generates a time account of how workers spend their time, which can help managers keep a current account of work progress.
Video conferencing apps
Video conferencing is another way for employers to track projects and support remote employees through frequent chats and video calls.
Video conferencing apps use the latest webcam technology to ensure team members can communicate clearly through online face to face interactions. Managers can view their workers’ screens and access files from them to see how their work is progressing.
Teleconferencing apps are also ideal for communication with passive viewers, such as prospective clients through live webinars. Here are a few options.
In the past, Skype was often used for communicating with friends and family. These days, employers are using Skype on business platforms to monitor the progress of remote workers.
Using Skype, remote workers can send messages to their managers, share their screens, photos, and videos when presenting projects. It’s a great option because apart from making calls on mobile phones, project managers can also place audio calls to remote workers through a landline; therefore, they can contact them anywhere.
Skype is also great for group meeting calls, enabling up to 25 people to communicate on a video call.
Zoom offers free video call options on its platforms, such as Zoom Cloud Meetings. It gives managers the option of using video calls or audio to communicate with remote workers during virtual meetings.
On Zoom, managers can communicate with their team members on virtual meetings for up to 40 minutes on mobile, Mac, and Windows. Communication sessions on Zoom can be recorded, and users can also screen share or send instant messages.
Formerly known as Google Hangouts, Google Meet, offers project managers the opportunity to video conference with up to 100 participants depending on the service plan chosen and schedule meetings on the calendar to check up on progress or share important details.
On Google Meet, workers can screen share, message, present slides, and more while working on a project, allowing managers to keep abreast of their team members’ progress and communicate with them on face-to-face video calls. Any virtual meetings on Google Meet are also secure, ensuring confidentiality during sensitive projects.
Project management software
Project management applications allow managers to set tasks for their workers and monitor their workflow, while planning resources and budgeting appropriately. They are a great way to monitor team members’ efficiency and ensure they collaborate successfully on projects. Here are a few great options.
Jira is a project management software that is excellent for task management, offering options such as work logging and enabling managers to easily access progress reports. It can also be used for discreet communication as managers can determine who sees which action while overseeing the progress of projects.
Using Jira, team managers can coordinate all aspects of a project, even recording incidents from the reporting stage to the resolution stage.
If you have a team of remote workers, Trello is a great tool to manage them. It allows you to create a project with team members on boards and work together on tasks. You can log in important details of a project in these boards such as checklists and comments and assign tasks to each worker. Team members can discuss project details in real-time, and table progress on activity logs.
Using Trello, anyone involved in a project can upload relevant files from accounts such as Google Drive and share them with others. Project managers can also measure their projects’ progress in real-time and visually brainstorm with their team members, making it an excellent tool to ensure the success of any project.
Asana is another app available on Android and iOS that managers can use to measure the efficiency of remote workers. It’s an excellent project management software because it offers email integration to ensure team members don’t miss out on any tasks assigned by their managers. It also gives team members file creation and sharing options.
Using Asana, managers can monitor projects keeping abreast of who is working on what and when a task should be completed. The app helps team members communicate easily and holds them accountable for any work given to them through features such as milestones.
Are you looking for a digital tool to monitor your remote workers?
These are a few applications you can use to ensure you succeed at projects as your team members work remotely. Many of them have free options you can try to see if they are a good fit for you and your team.
Besides monitoring the progress and efficiency of your workers using digital tools, you should also conform to remote working laws. New Jersey employment experts can advise you on any regulations concerning remote working that you should adhere to.
By Eric Tress