One of the many benefits introducing employee remote monitoring software can lead to is increased productivity. Although it seems unusual, numerous studies have shown its effects. Additionally, we were able to see some great results by speaking to our clients and performing our own experiments in-house.
However, you should keep in mind that company monitoring software can only get you so far when it comes to productivity boosters. Many other factors are in play, such as employee engagement, work motivation, team’s energy, the tech you’re using, etc.
Productivity in Numbers
All this talk isn’t going to convince anyone that employee remote monitoring software has anything to do with improved productivity. However, numbers will, and we’ve got plenty of them to share.
First of all, let’s take a look at some of the numbers related to employee productivity in general, then we can tell you how Insightful can influence those stats.
When employees are interrupted, they take about 23 minutes to get back to the task they were working on beforehand. So, each email they open takes away 23 minutes of their time, they can barely stay focused on one thing.
There’s even some research that suggests that on an average 8-hour day employees are productive for less than 3 hours.
What is more, these levels of unproductivity are costing companies $550 billion a year! On the other hand $400 billion is lost due to buddy punching. And prepare to be shocked to find out that an average employee “steals” more than 4 hours per week, which means you’re paying someone not to do anything for 4 hours per week.
How can you put an end to all this?
With a simple computer monitor program. But, you're probably wondering, does employee monitoring increase productivity? Well, let's see the data.
Upon performing a few tests, and talking to our clients, we were able to find the following:
- Companies which use staff monitoring system have about 10% more active daily work time
- Clock-in accuracy was larger by 15% in companies who monitor employees
- Teams took 25% less time completing their tasks, so our clients were able to save up to $10 million per year
- Depending on the working environment (remote vs. in-office), productivity grew by 26 to 32%
- Time reporting became 60% more accurate - allowing for fair billings on employees’ and clients’ side.
The Psychology Behind Monitoring and Productivity
There are several reasons why employee monitoring affects productivity, and certainly the two most notable are deterrence and the Hawthorne effect.
According to the Oxford dictionary, deterrence is the action of discouraging an action or event through instilling doubt or fear of the consequences. It’s quite simple, people are afraid of punishment, so they act according to the rules, laws, etc. It works the same with the workplace computer monitoring software, like Insightful.
Another reason is called the Hawthorne effect, named after an experiment that took place in Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works electric company in Illinois. Originally, the term is used to describe that research participants tend to behave definitely during the research, as they are aware they’re being observed. So, you can see how this term is linked to improved productivity while the PC monitoring software for business is running.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at 4 tangible ways employee tracking can impact productivity levels:
1. Boost Focus
There’s no denying that time tracking can have a positive impact on employees’ ability to focus and dedicate themselves to ‘deep work’.
Making meaningful progress is the name of the game in business - you want the activities your employees do on a daily basis to move the needle and inspire momentum towards strategic goals.
With employee monitoring software, you can instantly identify any trivial activities that aren’t contributing to the bigger picture as well as highlighting potential distractions.
For example, you might find that employees spend too much time wading through their email inbox looking for relevant project information. Or, maybe they are distracted throughout the day checking social media when they shouldn’t.
Screenshot tracking is an excellent way to mitigate this problem and make sure you support optimal productivity and discourage time-wasting.
2. Mitigate Errors
Another way you can use employee monitoring software to positively influence productivity is to identify common errors and optimize your task management process.
First, carry out a workflow analysis whereby you monitor your team’s day-to-day activities and see where along the pipeline the bottlenecks appear to emerge. Look for workflow inefficient, and that’s where the opportunity lies to boost productivity.
You can also highlight opportunities for training and skill development if you find that some team members are struggling with a certain type of task or tool.
3. Create Accountability
If you want to improve performance levels across the board in your team, you need to create personal and collective accountability.
Introducing employee monitoring software is an easy way to do this.
By collecting objective performance data on teams and individuals, you can help them grow towards their professional goals and make them aware of their highest career ambitions.
You can also set performance benchmarks based on the data you’ve collected, which gives employees something to aim for each week. Knowing what they need to contribute to be recognized for a promotion or praise can increase motivation levels in the workplace.
4. Encourage Collaborative Work
If you want a workplace that shares the same values and can achieve effective cross-functional collaboration across teams and departments, you need a clear process for teamwork.
With employee monitoring software, you can more accurately monitor each employee’s workload and availability. That way, you can distribute tasks and projects based on expertise and experience, meaning everyone can work to their strengths and complement one another.
You can also use time tracking to see if everyone in a team is pulling their weight, so that you don’t have a situation in which just a few team members are contributing meaningfully.
Reasons for Low Productivity Levels
In most work environments, there are two main reasons behind low productivity levels.
If you can address these with employee monitoring software, you’ll be in a much better position to reach your goals quickly.
Those two reasons are:
- Wasted time
- Consistent errors
Let’s review each and see how employee monitoring software helps mitigate these issues:
Wasted time, time theft, and idling all refer to the same thing: inaction at work.
If you have employees on the clock that aren’t using their time wisely, or choose to spend it doing non-work-related activities, then you’ve got a big problem on your hands.
At the end of the day, when an employee submits that report you’ve been asking for, it’s easy to conclude that they’ve been productive. But what if they were sitting on that report since 9.30am and spent the rest of the time doing nothing?
The only way to really know is to use employee tracking software. That way, you can get real-time insights into how exactly team members spend their time, and which websites and apps they use throughout the work day.
If your employees are unsure of how to perform certain tasks, they will keep making errors.
Consistent errors threaten productivity, since while work might get done, there’s a good chance you’ll have to spend time afterwards reviewing and amending it.
With employee monitoring software you can help your employees improve. Once you’ve gained insight into everyone’s usual work behavior, you can see which workers are falling behind on some tasks. Additionally, you can invest in additional training, online courses, conferences and so on, to help them catch up to everyone else.
If, on the other hand, your employees have a bigger problem with wasting time than making errors, it might be time to schedule a couple of meetings to discuss the reason behind the slacking.
Word from Insightful
Your employees are aware you’re watching them, so they’ll try as hard as they can in order to avoid any penalties. Now, it’s your job to make sure they’re not shivering with fear each time they start their computers.
As we already explained, company culture doesn’t have to suffer because of employee monitoring, and you can see how many benefits it can actually bring.