This blog was originally posted on ActivTrak.com
Working remotely has its challenges, but several tools make it easier than ever for managers and employees to stay connected. Thanks to teleconferencing software, project management programs, communication tools, Wi-Fi, and even good ol’ coffee, employees have the resources to get their work done no matter where they’re located.
However, employee productivity may be lagging in your remote workforce. As a manager, you may wonder what you can do to improve operational efficiency with employees off site. Some challenges are understandable, especially during these times. But it might not be enough to encourage everyone to come to you for help with balancing their workloads. You might need to dive deeper for insights into how things are truly working on your team.
The Real Cost of Lost Productivity — In Office or Remote
A Gallup poll reported that 67% of the global workforce felt disengaged at work, costing employers $350 billion annually. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control calculated that each unproductive employee costs a company $1,685 per year.
Now, combine these financial hits with the introduction of additional security risks and data vulnerability that comes with remote work. According to a 2019 report on the Cost of Insider Threats from Ponemon Institute the average cost of just one insider incident is about $513,000, and the multiple incidents could potentially cost a North American company $11.1M per year. Those are losses your company might not be able to recover from.
Factor in the complications and distractions that come with a work-from-home or distributed workforce, and these numbers are likely to increase. Without proper remote workforce monitoring or remote workforce analytics to understand true employee engagement, productivity is bound to suffer.
Productivity Issues in Remote Workforces
The costs of lowered employee productivity can really add up. So how can you get an accurate picture of your company’s operational efficiency?
This is where employee productivity monitoring comes in. Part of a comprehensive remote workplace analytics system, monitoring can give you productivity insights such as:
- Which company applications slow down workflows
- Which teams are the most productive
- What times of day see the most (or least) productivity
- If employees are misusing computers or software
- If sensitive data is being exposed accidentally or intentionally
How Employee Productivity Monitoring Helps
Employee monitoring directly impacts productivity, which in turn impacts revenue. The Wall Street Journal reported that a golf club shipping business saw a 25% increase in productivity after they began using a workforce analytics program. Likewise, an MIT study discovered that restaurant revenue rose by 7% when employees were monitored. It’s a program that makes sense and saves cents.
One of the biggest advantages of employee monitoring is enhanced security. You can detect unapproved website and app usage, preventing data breaches in their tracks. Alarms log and alert to operational compliance gaps and violations, making it easy to identify and address these issues at the source in real-time.
Plus, monitoring can also improve employee engagement. With ActivTrak’s remote workforce analytics, you’ll be able to optimize your staff’s time, seeing where bottlenecks occur and adjusting processes for greater efficiency. Getting work done faster — what organization doesn’t want that outcome?
Setting Sights on Productivity Insights
ActivTrak offers several great ways to visualize productivity insights. You can use the data collected from user activity monitoring to:
- Create productivity charts and compare trends over time
- See your team’s top performers and celebrate them
- Coach underperforming employees using data, investing in their careers by identifying barriers, skill gaps and key areas of improvement
- Turn productivity into a game and encourage a little friendly competition between staff members and teams
- Identify websites and applications that hinder productivity and make adjustments to their usage
While some employees dislike the idea of monitoring, you can assure them that your goal is to improve productivity. Encourage them to use workforce analytics to track and redirect their behavior to maintain balance in their workday.
Overall, employee monitoring can be an invaluable tool for remote teams, delivering unique productivity insights while lowering risks and trimming costs. While you may not know when your organization will return to in-office operations, productivity monitoring can help you keep overall productivity on track both now and in the future.
See for yourself how easy it is to boost productivity, improve security, and ensure operational compliance in your organization by starting a free account today.