Remote workforce management is a must today. The coronavirus pandemic has changed a number of things about how our society functions and the organization of work life has certainly not escaped this tendency. A recent Gallup poll released in August of 2020 found that remote work days for U.S. workers has more than doubled during the pandemic.
Due to lockdown orders and social distancing protocols, almost half of U.S. workers (49 percent) have telecommuted at some period during the year. The poll also showed that workers are averaging 11.9 remote workdays per month, up from 5.8 remote work days in the pre-pandemic world. Even more surprising is the fact that one out of every four workers said that they are continuing to work entirely from home.
With the recent FDA approval of COVID-19 vaccines, there is hope on the horizon that life (including work life) might soon be back to some type of normalcy. However, the shift to remote work that the COVID-19 pandemic imposed might be here to stay. A recent Gartner CFO survey found that almost three out of every four businesses (74 percent) are considering shifting their employees to permanent, full-time remote work after the COVID-19 crisis eventually ends.
While there were certainly were some challenges and trials that came with forcefully and suddenly transitioning to a remote workforce, HR departments, small business owners, employees, and others are beginning to find that long-term remote working is not only functional but can also offer a number of benefits and advantages.[Tweet “Almost three out of every four businesses (74 percent) are considering shifting their employees to permanent, full-time remote work after the COVID-19 crisis eventually ends. Read more here: https://smarthustle.com/remote-workforce-management/“]
In purely financial terms, a fully remote workforce allows business owners to drastically reduce their overhead expenses related to rent, utilities, and other expenses that come with managing a brick and mortar office. Furthermore, the abundance of helpful telecommuting and workforce management software and tools have accommodated the administration and organization of remote employees.
A fully remote workforce allows business owners to drastically reduce their overhead expenses.
Unfortunately, the shift to remote working has also caused harm to some businesses. One recent survey of newly remote workers during the pandemic found that this change led to a drastic decrease in productivity, thus affecting the profit margins of the companies they worked for.
Getting used to Zoom meetings and finding a place at home that can be reliably converted into home office are just a few of the challenges that new remote workers face. For business owners and HR departments, creating policies to successfully manage a mobile or remote workforce is key to unlocking the potential advantages of a remote workforce.
Below, we offer a few of the leading remote workforce management tips and solutions to help your company ensure that productivity levels remain high.
The Importance of Time Tracking
Employee time fraud has always been a serious issue leading to major losses for businesses. According to one recent study, time fraud might cost U.S. employers more than $400 billion per year in lost productivity, the majority of this coming from workers who physically clock in and out at a brick and mortar workplace.
The growing trend towards more remote workers creates and additional challenge for HR departments and small business owners. Simply put: What is the best way to ensure that your employees are staying engaged with their workplace tasks when they are not physically present in an office or physical business setting?
Fortunately, there are a number of technologies, software, and digital tools available to help employers ensure that their remote workforce is staying involved and absorbed in their work.
- Mobile Or Web-Based Time Tracking For Remote Workers: Instead of having your workers physically clock in or out, mobile or web-based time tracking tools allow your employees to clock-in and clock-out with their cell phones, laptops, or desktop computers. The best digital time tracking tools such as those offered by Mitrefinch allow employers to sync across multiple devices and can easily integrate with other time-saving tools such as payment processing, project management software and others.
Furthermore, the top digital time tracking apps or software will allow small business owners or HR managers to monitor what employees are working on at any given time. Some of these technologies rely on randomized screenshots, digitally supervised activity levels, and other features to help you keep track of what your employees are (or are not) doing throughout the workday.
- Geo-Fencing Technologies: Another great tool to help manage your remote workforce is geo-fencing technologies. According to CIO, geo-fencing is a “location-based service in which an app or other software uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device or RFID tag enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location, known as a geofence.”
This technology allows HR managers and or small business owners to have reliable information about their employee whereabouts and staff availability. For example, if a remote worker is supposed to visiting clients, a geo-fencing feature allows you to supervise an employee´s locations as they arrive and leave a specific job site.
The Benefits that Come with Efficient Remote Time Tracking
The use of mobile or web-based digital time tracking tools along with geo-fencing apps can result in better productivity for a remote workforce. Employees new to the world of remote working need to understand that even if they are working from home, there is still managerial oversight into how they are spending their time. In the best case scenario, these efficient time tracking tools will allow workers to increase their productivity levels due to the comfort and advantages that come from working at home.
For workers who spend part of their time working from home and part of the time in-office, these same digital time tracking tools allow businesses to efficiently and resourcefully track employee worked hours in different locations. This subsequently can result in more meticulous and thorough overtime management and accurate payroll.
Even if the majority of your workers continue to work in a physical, brick and mortar setting, the transition to digital time tracking apps and technologies can eliminate the need for manual calculations or paper time cards. This not only reduces the risk of time fraud or human error, but it also can free up time so that HR workers can dedicate their efforts towards other, important business tasks.
As our world slowly begins to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic, remote working might continue remain an essential and growing aspect of the world of work. The remote workforce management tips and solutions outlined above can help any business ensure maximum productivity levels for their remote employees.
Peter Bellotti has a background in Cloud technologies and Business Database Administration and is currently working as a Sales Manager at Mitrefinch, a Massachusetts based software company that delivers Workforce Management and Time and Attendance Solutions for business and organizations across multiple verticals including retail, construction, transportation, healthcare and government agencies.