The Top Tracking Tools for Productivity in a Distributed Workforce

One of the most commonly held misconceptions about remote workers is that they don’t pull their weight. It doesn’t matter how many studies show that working remotely increases productivity, the concerns that digital nomads are just goofing off all day in their PJs remain.

At Works, we believe that the quality of the output should be given greater weighting than the amount of time spent on it. Is it important to consider how your remote team is getting the desired results, regardless of the method of execution? Whilst there are some benefits to procrastination, it is a misconception that employees in an office environment are working diligently throughout their working hours. It is easy to give the appearance of productivity in many situations.

However, with all that said, we understand that there are still circumstances where it might be helpful to track the productivity of your remote team. Now, there are plenty of tools out there that promise to track the productivity of your remote team, but we won’t be talking about most of them here.

Certainly, there’s no reason why not. Because, quite frankly, a lot of the features they have are creepy. Do you approach your office-based staff Ninja-style to check if they’re googling for work or their own nefarious purposes? Do you glance up at intervals to check who is at their desk, and demand a reason why if they aren’t? We sincerely hope not. And yet that’s what some of these apps do; they will grab screenshots or take a picture using the webcam to make sure that your remote staffer is on task. It’s a kind of paranoid micromanagement that has no place in dealings amongst grown adults.

This is what we will offer you here are apps that allow you to, respectfully, gather useful information about how your remote staff spend their time. Rant over, here’s the list!

IDoneThis

This may seem like the declaration of a conceited individual, yet toddler standing over an unpleasant mess, I done This is actually a nice way to do what we advocate and measure by results. It encourages daily check ins, via the app or prompted through an email for the less connected.

Organising your team’s work into the three states of done, in progress and stalled offers a simple way to identify any points where developers are having difficulty and provide solutions. By utilizing IDoneThis you can compile comprehensive, visually appealing reports which demonstrate the productivity of your remote team – a great way to demonstrate success to your superiors.

ZoomShift

Inaccurate timekeeping can have a devastating impact on a company’s financial performance. Late or early punches, missed deadlines and unplanned overtime can all contribute to a hefty financial loss each month. To prevent these costly mistakes from happening, ZoomShift can provide an effective solution. By using this system, employers can be assured of accurate time tracking and avoid any unscheduled clock-ins.

Zoomshift is an innovative software solution for scheduling and tracking the hours of your employees. With its time-tracking component, it provides better management of customer expectations and improved visibility of project progress. Both employees and managers can use the free iOS and Android applications to clock in and out of shifts and make real-time changes to their timesheets. This method of tracking time offers effective ways to increase efficiency in your organisation.

In addition, team members may boost output and refine their work thanks to the app’s built-in chat tools.

Monday.com

If you need to keep an eye on output to prevent logjams in your workflow, then Monday.com can help. This tool has a clean and engaging user interface and allows you to do all the usual task management stuff you can do with Asana, Trello and similar.

Monday.com offers a highly user-friendly interface, providing users with a sense of satisfaction upon completion of tasks. It allows for a timeline display of information, allowing users to check which tasks are scheduled, which have been finished, and where issues may exist. This makes it an ideal tool for managing projects.

Tickspot

If all you want to do is ensure that your remote team are working their basic hours, say for example you have someone who splits their working day around childcare or just doesn’t keep regular office hours, then Tickspot could be the solution you are looking for.

Employees can access the app on any computer, smartphone or wristwatch, simply by entering the name of the project they are working on. They can stop the app’s tracking at any point by pressing the stop button, making it easy and straightforward to use.

Of course, Tickspot isn’t the only option if you want a simple solution like this. Other options include Toggl (which is free for up to five team members) and Harvest.

Timely

One negative consequence of productivity tracking can be that it increases the admin burden. If you’re having to log your time, that itself takes time. The Norweigian designers of Timely have come up with an idea to get around that.

They’ve created an AI that is capable of learning what activities can be considered work. How? Well, it’s all done by means of a tracker app. Once downloaded, the app creates ‘memories’ for each activity (open application or browser tab) and presents these in a daily timeline. All your digital nomads have to do is to click on the ones which were part of their daily work and ignore the memories associated with their Spotify playlist, twitter feed or web chat with their Nan.

Additionally, you shouldn’t worry, no shiftless layabout can get around this by just leaving the development window open. The app only tracks active time, and it quickly learns what tasks are associated with work. It links with an impressive number of applications, including Asana, Trello, Github and GitLab, Freshdesk, Slack and many more but it’s always the employee’s choice as to which activities get logged towards their working hours total.

TSheets

It is beneficial for employees who are managing multiple tasks simultaneously to record the time spent on each task using a timesheet. Before the introduction of software such as TSheets, this would have been a lengthy process involving manually locating the appropriate project codes and inputting them into a spreadsheet.

TSheets allows your staff to clock in and out with a single click. If they’re taking a break or moving from one task to another, they can do that quickly and easily too. TSheets does all the maths, and your team gets to spend more time actually working rather than just talking about it.

As a manager, you can take advantage of TSheets’ automation capabilities to help you create and implement overtime policies, organise and schedule shifts, and plan out projects with ease. Furthermore, TSheets is highly compatible with a wide range of payroll software, making it simpler for you to process and pay your employees.

Trust

It’s not a programme, but it’s a really effective group in promoting remote team productivity. While there are lots of different reasons that people choose to work remotely, they generally have one thing in common – flexibility. It could be your dev has IBS and needs to be near a toilet, or that as parents of young children they want to be able to stop work for the school run. Does it really matter whether they work a solid eight hours, or split that over two or three sessions as long as they meet their deadlines and deliver good work?

It is understandable that it may be comforting to observe an employee at their desk, apparently engaged in productive activity, such as looking at a computer. However, we have already established that this is not always the case. Nonetheless, it is reassuring to hope that it is. In contrast to Pablo, who takes a mental break by taking his dog for a walk, Bob chooses to do the Impossible Quiz as his break activity.

In the end, confidence in your recruiting selection is crucial. that you have taken on great people, and they want to keep their jobs and so will deliver what you ask of them. If you’re struggling to find candidates who can convince you of that, we can help! If we send you a CV you can be assure that not only will that person be a highly skilled professional who can meet your technical needs, but that we know that they are able to deliver remotely.

Let’s not stress about productivity monitoring recruit you some superstar developers and sit back and enjoy the rewards! Sound good? Get in touch today.

Join the Top 1% of Remote Developers and Designers

Works connects the top 1% of remote developers and designers with the leading brands and startups around the world. We focus on sophisticated, challenging tier-one projects which require highly skilled talent and problem solvers.
seasoned project manager reviewing remote software engineer's progress on software development project, hired from Works blog.join_marketplace.your_wayexperienced remote UI / UX designer working remotely at home while working on UI / UX & product design projects on Works blog.join_marketplace.freelance_jobs