Advances in technology over the past decade have made working remotely a bigger part of the fabric of our society. More and more, businesses are seeing the benefits of having a remote workforce whether to attract non-local talent to the company or to save on leasing office space.
However, with change there also can come new challenges.
One of the bedrocks of managing employees is tracking time and thus compensation. When a team works remotely, tracking time can’t be as easy as clocking in at the door or signing a timesheet. Instead, administrators need to think outside the box when it comes to holding employees accountable for company time and productivity.
Below we have gathered some best practices for how to minimize the cost of labor while still maximizing the productivity of a remote team.
Establish Basic Clocking In/Clocking Out Procedures
With the internet, the need for a physical time clock to punch in on has been eliminated, making remote workers able to clock in without being physically present in a specific place.
Establish procedures for your remote workers to clock in using a web or mobile device, and do the same for taking breaks and clocking out. No matter where your remote employee is reporting that day, you will be able to accurately and conveniently track their time.
Digitize Your Time-Off Request Process
Before, submitting written requests for time off wasn’t only a hassle, but it left room for a lot of human error—from the request getting lost somewhere to accidentally being thrown away.
Remote workers had further challenges with following procedure since they might not have been in the same time zone as the administrator who needed to give approval.
Creating a digital process for requesting time off takes away the chance of error and gives remote workers a place to submit requests and for administrators to document approvals or denials.
Provide Space for Documentation
Unlike working in person, it can be difficult for those managing the workforce to know how time is being spent on certain projects. Giving employees a specific procedure and space to document the time they are putting in makes it easier for management on your end and easier tracking on the employee side.
Make It Quick and Easy
Don’t put your remote workers in a situation where they are spending more time tracking what they do than on their actual work. Make sure that the online program you decide to use is both user friendly and quick to clock in.
Don’t Lose Your Employees’ Trust
While documenting is an important component of management for a variety of purposes, it’s also important to show your employees that you trust that they are using their time wisely.
Feeling monitored makes an employee feel undervalued as a professional and can lead to higher dissatisfaction with their work. Feeling entrusted to do what they should and track their time accurately actually makes employees more productive in the long run.
Be Clear and Flexible on Time Expectations
With remote work, it’s important to keep in mind that employees may be dealing with more and different interruptions than they typically would face in a traditional work setting. Some may be working from home with family present or may be pulled away from work for other home events taking place.
Be clear in your expectation of how many hours are expected from them, but also be flexible enough to know that these hours may not always look like a traditional 9-5 window.
Timekeeping for a remote team can be challenging, but there never has been a time more perfect to make it happen efficiently.
Powerful tools like Complete Payroll’s Essential HR can make timekeeping, documentation and time-off requests easier to submit and easier to manage than ever before.
Contact us today for a free consultation and software demonstration so we can show you how Essential HR will be your one-stop shop for organizing all of your employees and their valuable time.