3 Effective Ways For Monitoring Remote Employees    

It is estimated that some remote employees spend more than two-thirds of their workweek on non-work-related tasks. People can have all kinds of problems – personal, not enough sleep, difficulty concentrating and looking for ways to pass the time, etc.

Those are not the employer’s problems; they want to ensure company time is being spent productively. Here are three simple and effective ways to monitor employees working from home.

photo credit: Gomiche / Pixabay

1. Use time-tracking software

You should use a time tracking tool to keep tabs on how your remote staff is spending their time throughout the day. These tools typically enable employees to start and stop a built-in timer when working on a task.

Depending on how you manage the implementation, you can require your staff to track all of their work or use it for some projects only.

Either way, you can log in to the app, monitor your remote employees, and determine who has the most work or free time. Look for a time clock that can also factor in ad hoc meetings and phone calls.

Time-tracking software has some limitations. There’s always the risk employees are adding time without actually working.

2. Track employee emails

Employees waste a notorious amount of time on emails. Some spend up to half of their workday in their email inbox. However, a manager needs to know more than that his employees are spending time in their email inboxes. They need to know what they are doing.

Who are they writing to? How many emails do they get and send every day? Do they respond to existing or potential customers quickly? Someone who is spending a lot of time on email is probably relatively busy, right?

There are tools to find out. You can sync a tool with your employees’ email accounts to check who emails them the most and to whom they send the most mail, how many emails they’re getting and sending, and their average email response time. You can also check their busiest times of the day and days of the week.

3. Use a task or project management tool

Task and project management tools come in many different varieties, but the goal is always the same:

  • Assisting the company in management
  • Organizing
  • Assigning various project-related tasks

When there is a new task or project, a supervisor or manager creates it in an app. Then, they assign it to a team member to work on. The manager or supervisor can then login and see if any employees are free to work on more tasks.

These apps are not perfect. They don’t always address tasks that are irrelevant to a particular project but still significant. Projects are hard to evaluate as different ones come with different levels of time commitment or responsibility.

Distracted employee

Most common reasons for wasting time

Some remote employees do not have designated workspaces. They work at the kitchen table or an improvised desk in the bedroom. They can’t afford to set up a proper home office. This is a problem as a dedicated workspace helps one concentrate.

Technological issues

When you work remotely, you might have technical difficulties. If there is a power outage in the area or your internet provider has an issue, the problem is passed on to you. You can’t attend a scheduled virtual meeting, or the lack of internet access stops you from working.

Technical issues get in the way of remote employees’ workflow. Confirm that employees have reliable internet access and set it as a prerequisite for working remotely.

Personal engagements

Household chores can become a big problem for people who work from home. It’s definitely an advantage that you can go grocery shopping during the day or pick up your kids from school, but it can take your focus away from work. Employees can use time trackers or set alarms to avoid distractions.


The prevalence of remote employees dedicating a significant portion of their workweek to non-work-related tasks underscores the need for employers to implement effective monitoring strategies. While individuals may face various personal challenges and distractions, it remains essential for companies to ensure that company time is utilized productively.

To address this concern, three straightforward and efficient methods for monitoring remote employees working from home have been proposed. By embracing these strategies, employers can foster accountability, maintain productivity levels, and ultimately optimize the remote work environment for both employees and the organization as a whole.