5 Remote Work Productivity Metrics You Should Track As An Employer
Many businesses have adopted remote or hybrid working models. In this setup, managers can no longer be there physically to supervise their teams. Therefore, conventional evaluations of employee performance and productivity may no longer be relevant.
So, what are the remote work productivity metrics you should be tracking to foster a productive work environment for your business then?
Let’s look at five in this article.
1. Working Hours/Overtime
Keeping track of time can be a challenge when employees are working remotely. Employees may find it hard to work with undivided attention, especially if they have responsibilities at home. On the other hand, some employees tend to overwork simply because the separation between work and personal life becomes less clear in a remote setup.
Either way, both instances prove that you need to keep track of your employees' work time.
Just think about it. In the first case, you have low employee productivity, something you don’t want. In the second case, you have an employee probably on the verge of getting burnt out. Too much overtime is not good for your employees. If they get burnt out, they can leave your company altogether. Besides, if they spend too many hours working, you’d also have to spend more since you need to pay them.
So, how do you monitor your employee hours then? Using good productivity tracking software is the easiest way to track your remote workers' productivity. The software displays your metrics in real-time, and you can easily share the analyzed data with the rest of the team.
Alternatively, you can use an employee timesheet app to record how long remote employees spend logged in to their work computer.
Once you have the data, you can determine if you have underworked or overworked employees. Then, you engage the lagging employees to help them hit the expected targets. For the overworked employees, you can develop strategies to help them prevent and overcome burnout.
Take note, too, that long working hours don’t necessarily translate to higher productivity, so you’ll have to keep track of other metrics.
We’ll discuss that in the next section.
2. Desktop Activity (User/Remote)
Your employees may work the same number of hours daily, but you may still notice a dip in the overall remote work productivity ratio. How is that possible? Well, two things. Your employees might be whiling away the time at work and not getting things done. Or they just have poor internet speed and connectivity, preventing them from being productive.
Either way, both instances show the importance of monitoring your employees' desktop activity. If it’s the first case, then warn the underperforming employees. If it’s the second, invest in your staff and equip them with the tools they need to be productive.
Most employee monitoring tools like Hubstuff can help you track the desktop activity of your employees. This will make it easier for you to identify staff members struggling due to system issues.
3. Retention of Key Personnel
The secret behind a sustainable business is the retention of your top performers. Besides their experience and productivity, they also have a considerable influence on your organization's attrition level. High employee attrition means reduced productivity and additional costs like recruiting and other onboarding expenses.
Given the cost of training and hiring new resources, according to Payscale, a company should target at least 75% employee retention per year.
Therefore, employee retention is a vital remote work productivity metric to track. To calculate, divide the number of employees who have left your team by the total number of employees you had at the start of the period, then multiply that figure by 100. For instance, if your team had 16 members and two resigned, the attrition rate for your team is around 12%.
Knowing the rate at which people leave, however, is not enough. You also need to know the reasons for attrition in the first place. The idea is to address those issues that prompt people to leave so you can boost your retention rate.
So, if someone submits a resignation letter, conduct a friendly exit interview asking them why they’re leaving. In the unfortunate event that an employee leaves for another company without sending an official resignation, consider using an email look up tool to find their email addresses and follow up on their reason for exiting your organization.
You can also include exit interviews as a mandatory practice in your offboarding process. From the feedback you collect, craft a plan to address whatever issues they might have had about the company. For instance, if they cited a lack of professional growth opportunities in the company, you might want to craft an employee growth plan and implement it before any of your other employees decide to leave for the same reason.
4. Job Satisfaction
Managing your team and tracking their overall well-being or satisfaction level at work is challenging because you don’t see or interact with them daily.
Therefore, it's crucial to constantly check how your employees feel about their job in a remote setup. Paying attention to your team's concerns shows that you care about them, which helps you improve employee retention.
According to McKinsey, a leading consulting firm, there are essentially five critical factors that ensure employee satisfaction.
- Job security and financial stability: Employees appreciate the security of a steady job and paycheck. This assurance is, in fact, proof of organizational stability for most employees.
- Fair treatment and inclusivity: Employees are satisfied if the workplace has a culture of equality and inclusivity in terms of opportunities, remuneration, and communication. For instance, using inclusive language in internal communications makes all employees feel respected and appreciated.
- Work-life balance: Employee satisfaction is high if employees are not overburdened with work and have time for themselves.
Let’s focus on work-life balance. Research shows that work-life balance positively impacts the job satisfaction index of employees.
There are several ways to ensure work-life balance for your employees, even in a remote setup. First, you can create a remote employee wellness program for your team. The program can encourage employee engagement activities such as online quizzes and virtual coffee-chat sessions, for example, can help you reassure your employees that you’re not all about the work. You want them to have fun, too.
That’s what Mactive does to ensure their employees don’t get burnt out:
You could also create a virtual buddy program that allows remote employees to communicate concerns or challenges. Buffer is a good example of a fully remote company that has thrived on the buddy program.
New hires are assigned roles or culture buddies who mentor and help them settle into their new roles. Then after 90 days, the employees graduate to mastermind buddies with whom they share similar interests and experiences. This way, the remote employees always have a support system. Here is some of the feedback Buffer employees give on the mastermind program.
Make sure you also have constant virtual one-to-one check-ins with your employees. This will help determine your employees' job satisfaction while ensuring they feel included. You can also get constant feedback about your organization and overall work culture. So if there are any adjustments to be made, you can make them early enough before employees decide they’ve had enough.
5. Customer satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is a crucial indicator of your productivity as an organization. Why? Because it is a direct reflection of how well your teams are performing in winning your customers' trust.
A survey should help you track your customer satisfaction. Ask customers what they think about your services and employees. Alternatively, you can send a quick "rate us" pop-up after they've interacted with your employees.
Here’s a good example of a quick pop-up survey you can emulate. It is designed to only take a second or so of your customers’ time. As a result, it encourages more customer feedback.
Social media is also a great platform to get a sense of your customer’s perceptions. Most people today will get on social media to share their experiences. So, a quick sweep of your Instagram messages, comments, and tweets mentioning your organization is enough to know your customer satisfaction scores. Don’t forget to check out local reviews and ratings as well.
Don’t just sit on the feedback, though. Instead, make the necessary adjustments according to your findings. For instance, if you see some customers complain about how slowly your customer support responds, you can communicate it to your employees. You can also take it a step further and provide them with proper training or reinforcements where necessary.
To succeed as a company, you need to monitor and boost your workforce’s productivity. Although it can be a bit more difficult when handling a remote team, it’s not impossible.
You’ve learned five remote work productivity metrics you should focus on to ensure productivity even if you’re not physically present to check on your team. Check employee working hours and desktop activity. Ensure you also look at your employee retention rate and job and customer satisfaction.
Monitoring these metrics can help determine if your team is on the right track. If they’re not, make adjustments. By ensuring everyone is productive, you also guarantee your business’ success.
Owen Baker is a content marketer for Voila Norbert, an online email verification tool. He has spent most of the last decade working online for a range of marketing companies. When he’s not busy writing, you can find him in the kitchen mastering new dishes.