How to measure employee productivity when they are working at home…

I was fairly provoked the other day, when I saw an ad on linked-in from a software company. They offered a product to monitor employee productivity. I did not look further into it, but I imagined they would “record” and analyze every move the employee did on their PC while at home and send a report to the manager. Number of hours in this and this program, number of emails sent, amount of time online, visit to these and these websites etc. My first thought was that this way of thinking was so “last century” and the lack of trust would certainly not do anything good for productivity!

Maybe PC monitoring was not what they were offering at all, but I am sure we can all agree, that especially here in the Middle East it is very new for many companies to have their workforce work remotely and many managers will struggle with not being able to monitor their employees closely like they are used to, however there are other ways to monitor than keeping track of the employee’s computer. But it takes trust, and trust is difficult if you are not used to it, but to monitor the results is the best way to go when people are working from home. Set goals and deadlines together with the employee and monitor the progress…. If results are great – who cares if it took 2 or 4 hours or even how and when they did the work?

If the actual work process is important along with the end-result, set targets for the process or ask for certain process documentations along with the results… but trust the employee to do their best to get the job done. Also, new methods may be needed during this time of social isolation. Why not let the employees be creative and innovative, let them share ideas of how to get the job done? Who knows, maybe new ways of doing things will arise!

I am sure some of these methods and tools will be useful after the crisis and improve the overall performance of the company. Turn working at home into an advantage and a chance to improve the way of working before the crisis. Make sure to share the knowledge within the organization and carry the new learnings into the furture. And remember to praise and award the employees for their creativity and hard work – as always.

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