How to Keep Track of Remote Worker Time

August 15, 2018 at 10:43 AM

FS-RemoteEmployee-300x200.jpgAccording to Software Advice, 43% of employees commit time theft, affecting 75% of employers. Through a combination of benign inaccuracies and outright lying, this adds up to an estimated $400 billion annual loss for employers. This problem is especially difficult to tackle with remote employees. If you are managing off-site workers, then you should evaluate the pros and cons of the following time-tracking strategies.

The Honor System

Pros: If you have a small team of motivated self-starters, this is easily manageable. Tasks are delegated, and it is immediately apparent whether or not assigned work has been completed to the manager’s satisfaction. The honor system relies on trust. Your institution may find that the simple act of putting faith in your employees can lead to an increase in company morale.

Cons: The same trust that can lead to potential boosts in morale could quickly turn into a vulnerability that is exploited. Even if only one or two employees fail to execute their jobs as expected, the losses in productivity and profit can pile up fast. This negative effect is exaggerated when a workforce grows – the honor system is not a scaleable strategy. 

Google Spreadsheets

Pros: Google announced in 2017 that Gmail had passed 1.2 billion active users, so the likelihood is very strong that your remote employees have access to Google Sheets, a spreadsheet application that allows users to share and edit data in real time. No additional software is required, and the interface is accessible on both desktop and mobile devices. By making your spreadsheets visible to multiple employees there is also the added benefit of mutual accountability.

Cons: Unfortunately, there is a very real danger of data integrity loss when you allow remote workers shared access to a vital document like a time-tracking spreadsheet. Changes can be difficult to track, and data entry mistakes may lead to costly errors.

Time-tracking Software 

Pros: A unified system that integrates with your scheduling software can provide diverse and customizable functionality. Permissions and security can be managed by the administrators, and many time-tracking applications include location marking. A time-tracking app, accessible from both mobile and desktop devices, can improve accuracy and efficiency for a reasonable investment.

Cons: In addition to the up-front cost, any new program you introduce into your company’s workflow will have a learning curve. But this hard cost can be countered rapidly by the rise in productivity.

You have many options for how you track the efforts of your remote workers, but the best solution for accuracy, security, and productivity is a remote tracking application. Now is a great opportunity to learn more about TimeWorks Plus from Future Systems. Request a quote today!