Is It Really Necessary to Keep an Eye on Remote Workers?

As the Coronavirus spreads rapidly, businesses are resorting to remote working setups, and while some such as Twitter have had notable success, others are struggling. In every corner of the globe, managers face the challenge of micromanagement and the dilemma of how to ensure their employees are productively engaged without the benefit of constant supervision. Software as a service companies (SaaS) like Time Doctor have experienced a sudden surge in demand for remote employee monitoring tools in response to the escalating need for effective monitoring options.

Maintaining oversight over remote employees is undoubtedly crucial. At Works, we have invested significant resources in researching this topic, and we are thrilled to share our findings with you. Based on our study, the most effective way to keep tabs on remote workers is to promote regular communication, introduce employee monitoring tools and establish clear performance expectations. Frequent check-ins will also provide an opportunity to ensure that workers remain on course and are meeting their objectives.

What Exactly is the Reason for Keeping Track of Things?

When you are used to managing a team of employees in the same physical office or in close proximity, adjusting to the task of managing a remote team can be difficult. By merely being in their proximity, you can typically evaluate their efficiency and advancement. However, now that all team members work from home, you can no longer observe them and acquire insights into the team’s advancement, which may lead to a feeling of losing control.

Regardless of the new working arrangements, it is apparent that diligent employees will continue to be productive, given that careful decisions were taken during their hiring. Thus, is there a need for additional surveillance now that team members work remotely?

Operating Hours

For a number of years, presenteeism has been an issue in the workplace. However, considering the current pandemic scenario, is it sensible to anticipate that remote staff will work from nine to five? This can be especially challenging if they must coordinate with their partner’s schedule or take on the responsibility of educating their children. One of the primary advantages of remote work is scheduling flexibility that enables employees to complete their assignments at a time that suits their work-life balance.

It is accurate that there are software tools accessible for managers to determine their remote employees’ tasks. Although this might appear enticing, it is crucial to remember that virtual team success is based on trust, and workers being conscious of being monitored could have a significantly negative effect.


It is highly advantageous to observe how your remote workforce are utilizing the latest technology available to them. As an instance, Zoom video conferencing – which is gaining popularity among businesses – may not always be met with enthusiasm by employees. This might be due to their hesitation to be recorded or perhaps a bit of obstinacy, but Zoom’s ‘inactive users’ feature can assist in identifying those requiring additional guidance or support.

Zoom includes attention-tracking functionality, allowing meeting hosts to see if participants have left the window open and are paying attention or have minimized it to complete other assignments. Instead of reprimanding those who may be multitasking, it may be beneficial to explore approaches to improve remote meeting productivity or recognize that “Zoom fatigue” is a genuine concern.

Benefit of Labour

Our determination is that the most efficient method of keeping track of remote workers is by measuring their output. Regardless of the team’s physical location, if everyone is fulfilling their responsibilities and contributing to the company’s progress, it should not be a major concern whether they are continuously seated at their computer, or whether they have their finest ideas whilst in the garden. It is important to have a clear understanding of each team member’s capabilities, and as long as the job is finished on time, there is no significant issue.

It is reasonable to ponder whether your team is qualified for the greatly awaited remote worker productivity incentive. However, please be aware that, considering the current unparalleled circumstances, we are taking into account the extra pressures and strains caused by quarantine.

It is crucial that your team has a reliable task management system in place as soon as possible, if one is not already set up. Choose a system that is user-friendly and allows your team to keep you updated on their progress, including if they have met a goal or if they are encountering difficulties.

Conducting daily stand-up meetings can be exceedingly advantageous in maintaining your team’s motivation, focus, and awareness. Agile development techniques frequently employ such meetings; however, if your team is not presently utilising this approach, stand-ups can still be performed remotely via video chats or asynchronous messaging services. As long as everyone is mindful of their individual progress, their subsequent actions, and where they may need assistance, the project should continue to advance smoothly.

Unintended Negative Consequences of Tracking Devices

Employees frequently express their apprehension that remote work monitoring software adds extra stress and effort to their already busy lives. If you discover yourself spending more time explaining your actions to others than actually executing them, it is definitely a matter of concern. Timely and Tsheets are two tracking technologies that could potentially mitigate these problems. Timely employs AI technology to comprehend the tasks that your team are accomplishing when utilizing particular documents or software, while Tsheets simplifies transitioning between tasks with a single click.

When developing productivity monitoring tools, it is crucial to consider the mental health of engineers and other technical staff. It has already been established that trust among team members is essential for a profitable remote team. It is vital to be aware of not sacrificing anything more valuable than time to monitor employee activity.

It is not advantageous to introduce unnecessary administrative tasks during a time when we need to be particularly aware of our personnel’s emotional wellbeing. When comparing a physical workplace with remote work, Sharon Koifman, CEO of our company, has observed that “the most significant difference is managing your employee’s mental health.” Therefore, it is crucial to get to know your team, their needs and skills, and collaborate with them to establish achievable goals.

Is It Essential To Monitor Remote Workers?

At Works, we are dedicated to promoting transparent communication, building trust, and evaluating outcomes in spite of the ever-evolving technological landscape. Hiring the right individuals is vital in achieving high performance levels, and if you feel that you have not selected the appropriate candidates for the job, please do not hesitate to contact us. If you are searching for a remote specialist, we would be delighted to connect you with a suitable candidate.

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