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The Ultimate Guide to Monitoring Remote Staff for Productivity and Success

Remote work has been growing in popularity long before the Covid-19 pandemic hit. According to a report by Buffer, 98% of respondents said they would like to work remotely at least some of the time for the rest of their careers. However, with the pandemic and social distancing measures in place, remote work has become much more of a necessity than a luxury, with many businesses forced to adapt to this new way of working. Although there are several benefits to remote work, one area that deserves special consideration is how to monitor remote staff’s productivity and success. In this guide, we’ll explore some of the best and most effective ways of monitoring your remote staff’s productivity and success.

Set up clear expectations and guidelines

To ensure that your remote staff is productive and successful, it’s essential to set clear expectations and guidelines right from the start. This may include establishing communication channels and preferred methods of communication, outlining what’s expected of them in terms of work quality and quantity, and setting deadlines for tasks and projects. Make sure the guidelines are in clear and simple language so that your staff knows what is expected of them.

Clear and consistent communication is especially critical in remote work settings, where communication occurs mostly through email, instant messaging, and video conferencing. Therefore, establishing appropriate guidelines can help promote efficient communication and ensure that remote employees are delivering the expected outputs required by their job roles.

For instance, the guidelines could specify specific areas where an employee’s focus should be highly prioritized and how fast responses should be issued to clients. Moreover, specifying the quality and quantity of work output will help measure productivity objectively.

Emphasize the importance of communication

One of the biggest challenges of managing remote staff is maintaining regular communication. Communication is the backbone of remote work, and one of the keys to overcoming this challenge is to emphasize the importance of communication right from the start. Provide your remote staff with clear channels of communication such as email, instant messaging, or video conferencing, and encourage them to use these channels regularly. Encourage your remote staff to communicate as often as possible, and make sure that they prioritize their communication with their colleagues, managers, and clients.

Communication glitches can be costly, resulting in misunderstandings, missed deadlines, and unclear instructions. Therefore, to facilitate effective communication, remote employers should initiate various ongoing communication channels like video conference meetings and phone call check-ins and recommended appropriate communication channels like instant messaging and email.

Track time and attendance

One of the most effective ways of monitoring remote staff productivity is to track their time and attendance. There are several tools available that allow you to track your remote staffs’ time and attendance, such as TimeDoctor and Trello. These tools can help you to monitor your staff’s productivity, track the time they spend on a particular task or project, and ensure they are working within their scheduled hours.

Benchmarks are essential in every work environment, and this is especially true in remote work settings. Tracking time and attendance benchmarks creates a transparent understanding of when and how your remote employees work.

Time tracking software can be a game-changer in remote team productivity, with detailed data analytics of when and how much each employee is working, with a task breakdown included. By providing automated rostering, shift management, and time-off requests, you can ensure that remote workers aren’t working outside their designated hours, under-whiling around during shift hours, or neglecting deadlines.

Additionally, attendance tracking measures can allow managers to ensure all remote workers are participating in all company meetings and are easily accessible during office hours. This feature promotes teamwork, communication, and makes managers feel more secure.

Use project management tools

Project management tools such as Asana, Trello, and Basecamp allow you to keep track of your remote staff’s progress on a particular project, and they can be used to assign tasks and deadlines to individual team members. They are especially useful for remote work because they allow everyone to access the same information, collaborate seamlessly, and monitor progress. These tools can also be used to track task completion and ensure that your remote staff is working according to the set timelines.

Remote teams require different project management solutions than in-person teams, and these tools can genuinely help ensure that your remote team is productive, efficient and constantly progressing.

Project management software can also help maintain collaboration and encouragement between team members when working on a big project. By keeping all key project details such as deadlines, milestones, and deliverables in one central location, remote employees can keep track of what they need to accomplish and work together towards those objectives.

Some project management software applications, like, come with a built-in communicative capacity to allow teams to communicate even better through the software interface. By allowing remote employees to track each other’s progress, they can communicate, collaborate, and keep the project moving forward without wasting time or effort.

Provide regular feedback

Providing regular feedback to your remote staff is crucial for their productivity and success. It helps them to understand what they are doing well and what they need to improve on. Make sure you provide both formal and informal feedback, such as regular check-ins, performance evaluations, and regular feedback meetings. Providing continuous feedback to your remote staff helps them to stay motivated, focused, and invested in their work.

Remote employees require specific feedback as well as positive reinforcement from their managers. Establishing a regular feedback culture is critical in improving employee productivity in both in-person and remote settings. Studies have shown that regular feedback practices improve employee work rates and encourage a more employee-centric culture.

Providing routine feedback is crucial, especially for remote employees who are entirely reliant on digital communication. While remote workers are usually independent, this can also mean that employees can become isolated and disconnected from the overall work culture.

That’s why it’s essential to dedicate communication time to check-in on employee progress and ensure they are trained and supported to succeed in their role. A one-on-one meeting between managers and remote employees can help identify strengths, weaknesses, and any potential issues they might be facing. By providing feedback, you can identify what areas need improvement and adjust training and support accordingly.

Use employee monitoring software

Although it might seem intrusive, employee monitoring software can be an effective way of monitoring your remote staff’s productivity. While it can be used to measure time and attendance, it can also track keystrokes, screen activity, and websites accessed. Monitoring software, such as ActivTrack and Hubstaff, can give you valuable insights into your remote staff’s productivity, identifying areas where they might need additional support and training.

Employee monitoring software solutions can track employee productivity, revealing any potential areas for optimization. By monitoring their effectiveness, employees can adjust their pace, time management, and communication capacity, ensuring that workflows become more efficient in the long term.

Employee monitoring software can also help ensure that remote employees remain focused during working hours and limit misuse of company resources, such as bandwidth and time. This software can also help reduce the temptation to undertake non-work-related activities during work hours.

When implementing employee monitoring solutions, it often helps to keep all employees informed. Ensure clear communication of software use and data management protocols to prevent any potential issues or pushback.

Celebrate successes

Recognizing your remote staff’s successes can be a powerful motivator. Make sure you celebrate their successes, no matter how small, and create a culture that rewards success. Celebrating success can encourage your remote staff to work harder, stay motivated, and remain productive.

Creating an environment that acknowledges accomplishments can be essential for remote employees, as they are often working alone or with a few other remote employees. Recognizing their achievements can communicate to them that their contributions are valuable and worth celebrating.

Acknowledging achievements, positive reinforcement, and incentive-based motivations can lead to long-term success. Remote workers are an essential part of any organization’s success, and by making them feel valued, organizations will see increases in productivity, worker satisfaction, and growth.


Monitoring remote staff productivity and success is crucial to the success of your business. While remote work has many benefits, it’s essential to monitor your remote staff’s productivity to ensure they are meeting your expectations and goals. This guide has provided some practical and effective ways to monitor your remote staff’s productivity and success. The key is to establish clear expectations, set up good communication channels, use project management tools, provide regular feedback, and celebrate successes. With these strategies in place, you can ensure that your remote staff is productive, successful, and contributing to the growth of your business.

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