How to Monitor Employees Working from Home ? (11 Steps Explained)

In the era of COVID-19, where the people's daily lives seemed to be stagnant, the work lives of the people found a new way to proceed. Working from home is now a new normal. While it's debatable whether working from home deteriorates the employees' productivity by providing them with unprecedented flexibility, you can't wait for the pandemic to be over anytime soon.

Guide Topics

Why should you monitor the WFH employees?

As you have decided to employ people willing to work for you from home or choose to send back your workforce to the house and work from there, it's time to learn how to monitor employees working from home. But before that, we've to focus on the reasons why.

👉 WFH employees are prone to distractions

It’s obvious yet mentionable that while working from home, employees will be distracted by different triggers and disturbances- a well-cooked recipe, children, calling bell, ongoing programs on the TV channels and many more! Without monitoring, it's tough to have them focused.

👉 A little thrust can help you get the best out of them

Monitoring work from home could be a blessing for both you and your employees. As the employees are working with full-fledged flexibility, a little nudge and heads-up can help them leverage the latitude they enjoy and push their productivity upward.

👉 Too much flexibility damages the productivity

Yet again, flexibility can act like a killer in disguise. Working in the drawing-room in a casual dress without any hustling of office premises would be too comforting, and don’t be surprised if you catch the employees off-guard.

How do you know if WFH employees are genuinely working?

Following are the seven strategies that would be helpful in keeping the WFH (Work from home) employees focused on the work.

👉 Daily standup meeting or monthly town hall

Every successful company believes in the power of a small standup meeting at the beginning of the work, which can act as a plan making session. A monthly discussion or a retrospective meeting at the end of any definite time duration can help the company learn from its mistakes and reframe the workflow.

👉 Set quantifiable goals on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis

Setting goals on different time and financial bases can help you stay on track till the goal is successfully pursued. Delegate managers to set goals that are quantifiable and achievable.

👉 Screenshot monitoring

Screenshot monitoring software is now everywhere, and it can do magic for you. While monitoring employees working from home, a screenshot monitoring software can keep the employees accountable for their work by taking screenshots randomly.

👉 Checking the app usage

Remote worker monitoring apps can help you check what software the employees are using during their course of action. That's how you can acknowledge whether they are using the right tools or intentionally wasting their time on different media players!

👉 Tracking the URLs

It's another strategy of holding the employees on the right track. Checking the websites your employees are visiting is also a metric you can set to see how productive they really are.

👉 End of the day report

You can generate a habit of sending end of the day reports (EOD reports) among your employees to report their on-day activities and other details.

11 Steps to monitor the WFH employees

WFH monitoring is a systematic approach that shouldn’t be embraced with shortcuts; instead, it requires procedural and decisive steps to conquer. Here, we have discussed

11 steps of monitoring WFH employees in the most streamlined way.

  • Examine the affordability of an employee monitoring tool: The first step in managing employees working from home is to check the affordability of your business to bring a remote employee monitoring tool. You can get a lot of tools in the market that can serve your purpose just as good as you need, but maybe quality maintenance could be a big issue later on. Again, bringing highly priced software can instigate a greater cash outflow which might deter you from paying the other bills.
    So, finding a ‘Tradeoff point’ is necessary.
  • Implementing employee monitoring tools: If you are okay with the first step, then it’s time to bring and implement an employee monitoring tool. Again, you can get many in the market but choosing the perfect fit can be time consuming and requires a pre-study session that may take hours.
    So, try to compare and contrast among your choices and pick the right tool.
  • Tracking employees’ work hours: Employee monitoring tools will be helpful in tracking the work hours of the employees. To supervise the works of the remote employees or WFH employees the first metric is to check their logged time. It will show if they are maintaining respectable figures compared to the standard you set for them.
  • Automated timesheet for employee's work: Management can calculate the number of working hours and overall remuneration for his or her personnel using a timesheet. Managers will save time by using an automated timesheet system. Most crucially, this is applicable to freelancers, contractors, and hourly employees employed by your company, among others.
  • Keep in touch with the work from home workers: Using some communication apps such as Slack, Zoom, and Google meet can help you stay engaged with your WFH employees. These tools might help you with instant communication or detailed discussion. Keeping in touch with the WFH employees significantly reduces the chance of time theft, distractions, and many other issues.
  • Make payroll management agreements: Paying salary and remuneration to your organization's employees must be transparent. Dissatisfaction with your company's pay and wage structure always seems to hurt its performance. Manually review, verify, enter, and analyze employee timesheets every pay period. Furthermore, calculating labour costs using aggregates and spreadsheets to manage paid and unpaid time takes time. Apploye allows you to calculate compensation and wages based on working hours precisely.
  • Employee self-reporting options: Reporting has proven to be an effective method of keeping track of employees from an early stage. It is now common practice for remote employees to clock in and out using an employee monitoring app, which they can access from any device.
  • Check the employee attendance: Checking the attendance and making sure that employees are on their desk is a simple yet important task for any HR manager. Clock in clock out apps are there which helps you maintain this.
  • Create video recordings to answer employee issues: Your employees will be able to solve their difficulties much more quickly in the office setting. They can come to you during office hours, but it's far more difficult for remote employees who work in various time zones to receive the assistance they require. It will be more beneficial to create solution videos and distribute them to the employees in order to resolve a situation like this.
  • Keep track of employee productivity: An overview of productivity can be obtained by evaluating employees' performance and dedication during working hours. If you have concerns about someone's performance, you can use any of the employee monitoring software to examine screen recordings, files, folders, programs, and websites opened during working hours.
  • Evaluate the employee performance based on the reports : This is the last step of your systematic monitoring and surveillance activity. The report generated by the employee monitoring software would be helpful to evaluate the employees based on the performance they showed, boxes they ticked, and tasks they have successfully executed.

That’s how a comprehensive process of monitoring WFH employees can be completed.

Things to remember while monitoring WFH employees

Three things you must remember while monitoring your WFH employees. They are as follows:

  • Respect employee privacy: Every individual deserves respect for their secrecy. If, as an employer, you walk through that private part and neglect the fine line between monitoring and scrutinizing, then you’ll lose your respect too.
  • Don’t run into micromanagement: Monitoring doesn’t mean you have to be there 24/7. Supervising doesn’t tell you to make employees uncomfortable on their job. So, micromanaging is an urge that must be suppressed no matter what.
  • You can’t monitor everything, so you don’t need to: You don't need to be concerned about everything an employee does. You are expected to monitor only those activities that matter. So, don't overburden yourself.

Apploye- the ultimate tool to monitor WFH employees

Apploye could be the desired tool for you if you wonder how to track employee work from home. The pricing of Apploye is reasonable but it gives away comparatively more features than its competitors. Some of them are:

  • Time tracking: Time tracking feature of Apploye offers Clock-In, Clock-out, Time entry notes, Pomodoro Timer, Billable and non-billable hours, Idle timer etc.
  • Remote tracking: For monitoring WFH employees, the remote track option of Apploye is bliss! It offers random screenshots, URL tracking and Apps usage, which you need!
  • Reporting & dashboard: The dashboard of Apploye is an extensive one that offers everything from the total hours worked by the team to top-performing employees based on time logged and productivity. You can get activity analytics reports in different time duration, which is exportable.
  • Task Management: Via Apploye, you can create & assign tasks and also see the task-wise time log.
  • Attendance & Leave: It's another important feature as it offers date & member wise view, daily summary, color-coded attendance status etc.
  • Projects & budgeting: Project management with time tracking is straightforward with Apploye. Through Apploye, you will be able to open numerous projects, assign people, set the budget, see the progress in terms of time spent and cost, set budget alerts and many other things.

As it is said that working from home is now the new normal, adapting to this new practice must be done methodically with proper measures. If you fail to monitor employees working from home and forget to set a new tone for your business, you will be far behind those that embraced and mastered it. So, the sooner you sharpen your monitoring weapons, the better it is for your business.