Remote work is becoming more common throughout the United States. Many workplaces have found that employees prefer working from home, and improved technology offers the opportunity for many jobs to work remotely as a job perk. As a result, one of the top questions on the minds of both employees and employers is how to improve workplace efficiency for remote workers.
Employers are now tasked with managing the work efficiency of employees who they may never physically see in the office. This presents a unique set of challenges for both the employers and the employees who may be juggling multiple projects while they work from home.
Top challenges of remote working for employees
Remote work has many benefits for employees but also comes with challenges.
One challenge employees face is adjusting their ways of working to fit into their home environment. This could include changing to a smaller physical work area, such as working at the kitchen table instead of a spacious desk at their office. It could also mean working around a spouse or family working from home.
Another challenge employees face is difficulty keeping their employer and other team members informed about projects they’re working on. Working in an office gave employees the chance to talk face to face about their status on projects. However, remote work can add complexity to keeping in touch.
Staying on task is another area where some remote employees may have difficulty maintaining workplace efficiency. The distractions of others working from home, children schooling at home, and even pets and chores can disrupt employees’ workdays. This can make tracking work time more complicated.
Top challenges of remote working for employers
Remote work also poses several challenges for employers attempting to manage work efficiency while ensuring customer satisfaction.
As employers manage costs for their customers and clients, staying on top of how much time employees spend on projects is a high priority. It can become even more challenging when workers aren’t in the office. Separate work locations and the possibility of employees working odd hours make tracking the progress of a project more difficult. Even more, complexity is layered onto tracking when employees in different locations are responsible for separate parts of the project.
Employers are responsible for staying on track with customer budgets and the corporate office. This includes managing payroll costs and ensuring workplace efficiency, even remote workers.
Managing employee workflow and keeping projects on time is another area where remote work can cause disruptions. Successful project completion relies on efficient workplace time management, and remote work can add difficulties in tracking and managing this time.
How to reinvent the ways your business works
Even with challenges posed by remote work, employers can manage employee efficiency and productivity by using new resources.
Workflow management systems ensure that work moves efficiently through the pipeline between employees and departments. Whether they’re working at home or in the office, everyone can see exactly where the project is and who is working on it now. This reduces disruption, keeps projects on track, and ensures everyone is on the same page.
Opening new lines of communications is another way businesses can ensure everyone stays working on time. Employers may not be able to stop by an employee’s desk anymore, but there are many alternatives. Perhaps they can open a chat window, schedule a video meeting, or check in using screen-sharing software to see for themselves what employees are working on. All of these can help improve employee performance by ensuring accountability.
Adding online invoices and accepting payments online can increase employee efficiency, removing the need for employees to handle physical payments. Accepting payments online means payments and invoices are already matched in the system, saving employees even more time.
Top technologies to improve work efficiency for remote workers
Technology has changed how we do almost everything, and the way we work is no exception.
Employees used to punch a clock when they arrived at the office and punch it again on their way out the door. But the complexity of remote work, flexible work hours, and how technology has changed workplace efficiency have made the time clock obsolete. Improved technology means employees can use time tracking software instead. This lets employers stay informed of time spent on projects and completed tasks.
With time tracking software, employees can record time spent working for each specific project or client. Employers can manage billable and non-billable hours, giving them a big-picture overview of costs for future budgeting considerations.
Integrating time tracking software into existing workflow management software like Asana can inform employers of project status in real-time. Instead of reaching out to individual employees to learn the status of a project, employers can get instant updates and ensure continued workplace efficiency.
Using technology, employers can measure workplace efficiency in ways they never could before. Budgeting concerns, deadlines, and even billing can all be managed with time tracking software. Even remote workers can track their time spent on projects.
Every type and size of business can utilize time tracking software. Large companies can manage remote employees across multiple projects and clients, ensuring work efficiency and keeping projects on time and budget.
But time tracking can be even more critical for smaller operations. Small companies or individuals such as freelancers can increase work efficiency by using time tracking software. Besides the ability to bill clients for actual hours worked, freelancers and small businesses can use this software to record their work progress. They can manage all their projects in one place and keep billing, payments, and invoices organized.
Even for companies that don’t use billable hours, time tracking provides valuable insight into how employees spend their time. Employers can leverage this knowledge to improve workplace efficiency and encourage working methods to maximize employees’ effectiveness at work.
Ready to increase your workplace efficiency? Start tracking your employees’ time with Elorus Time Tracking. The free version gives you access to time tracking tools for up to five active clients and includes all the features of the paid version. Invoice, manage expenses, accept payments, and monitor project status all with one tool and become more efficient today.