Telecommuting or the use of remote workers is nothing new. It’s been in existence for decades. It comes with a number of benefits many companies are taking advantage of. However, until now, there is still no single solution that can be considered most efficient or the best when it comes to tracking workers. The following are some of the most commonly used options:
1. Instant Messengers
Instant messengers or messaging clients can be used to track remote employees. These instant messengers include Skype, Google Hangouts, Facebook Messenger, Line, Viber, Telegram, WhatsApp, and Windows Live Messenger. They are a basic online communication tool that can be useful in getting updates on the progress of remote workers. You might think they don’t belong in this list but you’ll be surprised at how a multitude of online companies find instant messengers to be good enough in managing a team of remote workers. Not every business operation that hires remote workers needs a full-fledged job management system. There are times when being able to communicate through text, through voice, or through video calls is already enough.
2. Time Tracking Software
Timesheet or time tracking software, as the name implies, are software that facilitate the monitoring employees working hours. Their features vary but most of the time, they include the ability to view and edit timesheets, present data in different views (daily, weekly, or monthly), set jobs, record times for jobs done, as well as the sending of invoices. Time tracking solutions, however, may not always be standalone software or applications. Sometimes, time tracking could only be just one of the functions of a bigger software.
3. Job Management Software (Client)
These are software specifically created to manage jobs or tasks. They come with a full range of features and functions to properly assign and monitor tasks and personnel. They are also known as project management software. The term may sound intimidating for small businesses but these software can actually provide palpable benefits to startup companies and even to freelancers. They provide a variety of functions including time tracking, scheduling, critical path analysis, resource assignment and leveling, and labor cost accounting. They may also come with communication and collaboration functions.
4. Web-Based Job Management Platforms
Web-based job management tools platforms are basically job management software that can be accessed through a web browser or a special app. If they can be accessed through a browser, they no longer require installation or configuration/setup. They can include all the features of a client-based job or project management software but they provide the advantage of not requiring any installation, maintenance, and updating. Web-based job management software can be accessed from virtually anywhere as long as you have a web browser and internet access.
Sometimes simple email correspondence may already suffice in managing remote workers. For simple setups like maintaining a team of remote writers, exchanging emails to send assignments and submit the completed articles can be enough. There’s no need for sophisticated platforms when all that needs to be done is to send assignments through emails and attach the article submissions in emails.
Which Is the Best?
So which way to track remote workers can be considered the best? Again, there is no single best answer for this question. It all depends on the need and the kind of setup involved. There is no single best answer to the question how to track your remote workers. If you are only running a simple operation involving a few remote workers and simple, repetitive tasks, being able to communicate through email or am instant messenger may already be enough. If you are going to manage a large team of remote employees, it may be necessary to invest in a feature-rich project management software.
What’s important here is that you are able to properly evaluate what your business needs and that you are well-acquainted with the different remote jobs management options available. It is possible that you will be using a combination of the different options discussed above. For example, if you got a job management software that does not come with a reliable communication function, you may need to supplement it with an instant messenger. It’s all about efficiently addressing needs and finding something you deem comfortable or convenient to use.
Also, it is recommended not using a method that is too intrusive. Avoid making employee tracking something that is privacy-invading. Time tracking shouldn’t become an annoying routine in the workplace. It should encourage productivity without creating an inconvenience.
There are many ways to keep track or manage remote workers. You just have to find something you think is good enough for your needs. It’s also advisable to get something that has many users (for the assurance of updates and quick solutions when problems emerge), something that is compatible or can be integrated with most other business software, and something that is easy to use.