The modern workplace is experiencing a shift towards remote and hybrid work setups.
There are many benefits to these arrangements. Apart from keeping people safe amidst the current pandemic, it also gives people flexibility and freedom. In addition, it helps companies cut office costs for utility and rent.
But the shift has a new set of challenges too. One of those is the changing face of workplace productivity management. Only 60% of work time or less goes to productive activities.
With work-from-home arrangements, it becomes harder to track or coach employees on how to remain productive even when they don’t have supervisors monitoring them. Some companies have turned to monitoring software as a solution. However, not all employees welcome the thought of monitoring software because it gives the idea that managers want to micromanage staff.
But micromanagement isn’t the goal of monitoring software. Security and productivity are. And it’s on leaders to implement vision-cast monitoring software in a way that doesn’t demotivate staff. Here are a few ways to do that:
Set Boundaries and Expectations
There are many hesitations with employee monitoring software, including some employees seeing it as an infringement on their privacy given that some monitoring software might take data from their gadgets. Concerns like these might meet hesitation because of a fear that the software might take personal messages, financial data, or so on.
The solution is to set these clear boundaries and act on those. For example, some software gives employees flexibility when they’re on personal time so that the monitoring software stops recording. Give your staff that control and encourage them to open personal data and accounts during their off-hours. Ensure staff that data privacy will be maintained strictly.
Communicate the Benefits of Monitoring Software
Even if a company has the best employee monitoring software, a lack of confidence could be the demise of a productive virtual workplace. Leaders can combat this by regularly talking about the benefits of monitoring software. So just what benefits does software for employee tracking have?
- Productivity — When employees produce more, there’s greater fulfillment on their part. Employees don’t just want to get paid to work now. They want to do work that gives them a sense of pride. With monitoring tools in place, they’re in a better position to achieve that.
- Personal security — Contrary to most popular beliefs, monitoring software helps block out malicious content and people that could infringe on staff’s personal data and privacy—monitoring software filters out phishing sites and scam emails.
- Guidance and evaluation — Managers can use monitoring software to evaluate and guide staff to give pointers on how to help them improve their output and performance.
Notice how these benefits are for employees first. Show your staff that they’re part of the winning side with tools that you implement.
Measure Output Not Hours
The goal of using monitoring software should be maintaining workplace discipline, not micromanaging staff. Hence, companies should measure people’s results and output and not hours.
For instance, when hiring people, we ask questions like “what are the different college degrees they have completed?” or “what work experience do they have?” That’s because we hire them based on what they can deliver, not how many hours they’ll spend at work.
We need to understand the benefits of monitoring performance over logged hours. For one, it encourages excellence over effort, teaching staff to focus on getting things done well and fast. Secondly, it lowers or eliminates the feeling that supervisors just want to know what you’re doing. Many staff don’t want to feel they’re under surveillance. Finally, it lowers morale and trust. Instead, focus on monitoring output.
One of the best practices for implementing remote employee monitoring is to give grace to staff, especially in the beginning stages of implementation. Monitoring tools will take a massive shift in their habits and routine. It will take time for them to have it as an out-of-mind task in the day-to-day.
So don’t be too harsh about rules. It’s discouraged to withhold salaries or take out privileges for failure to comply. Instead, try using positive reinforcements such as awarding team members that keep attendance tracking protocols perfectly.
Set Break Times
The greatest productivity myth arguably is the one that says that break time is unproductive. On the contrary, giving people ample time to rest and recuperate is vital to the company and team productivity. This rule doesn’t just end with giving weekends off and paid leaves. It also applies in the micro. Short breaks in the day can actually lead to more workday productivity.
Why do employers monitor workers? It’s because we want them to be at their ultimate best so they can produce more. Of course, that’s only possible when they aren’t burnt out or exhausted. So keep breaks throughout the day for them to pace themselves.
Morale Matters at Work
Studies show that the productivity of 72% of employees doesn’t get affected by monitoring software. But it can still affect morale, and that matters. So don’t only aim for compliance. Strive to gain buy-in. This way, one can achieve objectives faster and with fewer issues and push-back.