10 Ways to Effectively Track the Productivity of Remote Workers

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Our idea of the workplace has been changing rapidly. In fact, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics’ American Time Use Survey, 22% of employees worked from home at least some of the time in 2016. With production levels a top concern for many business owners with remote employees, what’s one effective tech tip for tracking your team members’ productivity?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. YEC has also launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses.

1. Productivity Roll-up

We use a simple, scrum-inspired email that rolls up through every level of the organization. This email should be the last thing done by team members at the end of their day and have three distinct parts: 1) what they accomplished, 2) any roadblocks they hit and 3) any questions they have. This should be sent to managers from all direct reports and then trickle up through the team. – Nick Eubanks, From The Future

2. Weekly Scorecards 

There’s a fine line between micromanagement and productivity. If you’re using a customizable project management and task-tracking system, request that your team members submit weekly scorecards with what they plan on accomplishing each week, and at the end of the week, hold a scorecard review. The daily agenda keeps them focused, while the weekly scorecard helps them move toward an objective. – Marcela De Vivo, Mulligan Funding

3. Right Person, Right Work

Be wary of the type of work that is being completed remotely and also the type of person completing it. Do they work well alone? Do they do better by themselves or in a group? These are important factors in the initial decision to allow a person to work from home. Make sure you have set expectations with the employees who are working remotely or from home. It is best for work that needs to be completed with focus, without collaboration and discussion. Then, they need to be able to and willing to check in with staff in the office on a regular basis. This regularity will help keep things on track and ensure that priority tasks are being completed in a timely manner. – Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

4. Peak Hours

With the rise in remote workers in my business, I’ve found it convenient to keep track of my remote team members’ peak hours. These are the times during the day when they are the most productive, although I also find it useful to track what times during the day they’re most likely to immediately respond to messages. Working around these time slots has helped me boost productivity. – Bryce Welker, Crush The LSAT

5. Management Expertise 

A good manager should have experience in the field and know whether or not an employee is productive based on their output. The manager should give the employee tasks to work on, then evaluate whether these tasks get done properly or not. A manager with experience will know it takes X time to complete Y task. – Andy Karuza, FenSens

6. Deadlines

The fear of someone working remotely is that they will not be as productive. If you set deadlines they have to meet, that will force their hand. Simple as that. – Colbey Pfund, LFNT Distribution


7. Goal Measurement

When you’re managing remote people, it can be really tempting to force yourself to track their time. It’s not good to do this; it’s better to focus on the goal and the tangibles you want than the time or way they get there. – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now


8. TIme Analytics

Working from home is a tricky thing. Even the most dedicated employees get distracted when working remotely. Considering general available/working times, a minimum work hours policy and using a time-tracking app helps. Using collaboration tools also results in better team performance. Continuous communication, performance checks, appraisals and rewards help to keep them motivated and productive. – Liam Martin,

9. Results

Assess the productivity of remote employees in the same way you assess office-based employees. Are they doing the work? Is it to the expected standard? If the answer is yes, that’s all that matters. Video conferencing, chat and occasional in-person meetings keep everyone pulling in the same direction, but if the employee is doing their job, there is no need to micromanage. – Vik Patel, Future Hosting

10. Quality Output

I let my employees work from home on Fridays (and I work from home two to three days per week). So the best way that I track employee productivity is by monitoring how much quality work they complete on time. I track team output by using project management software and by holding weekly calls. If I see a team member’s work quality diminishing, then I’ll chat with them to determine the problem. – Kristin Marquet, Creative Development Agency, LLC

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Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) is an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs.