As remote work continues to become more prevalent, many companies are struggling to keep track of their employees' productivity and work habits.
One solution to this problem is the use of employee tracking and monitoring software.
However, it's important to understand the difference between monitoring vs tracking, and which approach is best suited for your team's needs.
In this article, we'll explore the differences between tracking vs monitoring, the benefits and drawbacks of each approach, and how you can use these strategies to keep track of your remote team.
What is Employee Monitoring?
Employee monitoring is a process that involves collecting data on an employee's activities, interactions, and behaviors while on the job. This data can be gathered through various means, such as tracking software, keystroke monitoring, or by reviewing an employee's email and chat logs.
The goal of employee monitoring is to improve the overall productivity and performance of employees. By identifying areas where employees may be struggling or not meeting expectations, employers can provide training, coaching, or other resources to help employees improve their skills and work habits.
What is Employee Tracking?
Employee tracking is the process of monitoring an employee's physical location, online activity, and time spent on specific tasks. This data is usually collected through GPS, time tracking software, or other tools that capture data about an employee's movements and activities.
The goal of employee tracking is to gain insights into an employee's productivity and work habits. By tracking an employee's activities, employers can identify areas where employees may be wasting time or not completing tasks efficiently. This information can be used to make adjustments to an employee's workload or provide additional training or coaching.
Monitor vs Track
While tracking and monitoring are often used interchangeably, there are some important differences between the two approaches.
Tracking is focused on collecting data about an employee's physical location and online activity. This information is typically used to assess an employee's productivity and work habits, and to identify areas for improvement.
Monitoring, on the other hand, involves a more comprehensive approach to gathering data about an employee's work performance. This might include monitoring an employee's interactions with coworkers, reviewing email correspondence, and analyzing the quality of an employee's work output.
The main difference between tracking and monitoring is the level of detail involved in each approach. Tracking is more focused on gathering data related to an employee's physical and online activities, while monitoring involves a more holistic approach to gathering data about an employee's work performance.
Benefits and Drawbacks of Tracking and Monitoring
One of the key benefits of employee monitoring is that it can help employers identify areas where employees may be struggling or not meeting expectations. By reviewing an employee's email and chat logs, for example, employers can gain insights into an employee's communication skills and identify areas where they may need additional training or coaching.
However, employee monitoring can be time-consuming and costly. Reviewing email and chat logs, for example, can be a time-intensive process, especially if an employer has a large remote team.
Employee tracking can be a useful tool for employers who want to gain insights into their team's productivity and work habits. By tracking an employee's activities, employers can identify areas where employees may be wasting time or not completing tasks efficiently.
Both monitoring and tracking may cause employees to feel that their privacy is being invaded or that they are being micromanaged. This can lead to a decrease in morale and job satisfaction, which can ultimately impact productivity and performance.
Choosing the Right Approach for Your Team
When deciding between tracking and monitoring, it's important to consider your team's unique needs and circumstances. Here are some factors to consider when making your decision:
- Company culture: If your company values trust, autonomy, and privacy, monitoring may not be the best fit. However, if your company culture emphasizes accountability and performance, tracking may be a better choice.
- Industry regulations: Some industries have strict regulations around employee monitoring and tracking. Be sure to consult with legal experts to ensure that you are complying with all applicable laws.
- Team size: If you have a large remote team, monitoring may not be feasible. Tracking, on the other hand, can be automated and can provide data on a large number of employees simultaneously.
- Goals and objectives: Consider your goals and objectives when deciding between tracking and monitoring. If your main goal is to increase productivity, tracking may be more effective. If you want to improve the quality of work output or identify areas for training and coaching, monitoring may be a better fit.
How to Keep Track of Remote Employees
No matter which approach you choose, there are several strategies you can use to keep track of your remote team. When it comes to how to keep track of remote employees, what’s important is to ensure that they are meeting expectations:
- Use time tracking software: Time tracking software like Insightful can help you monitor how much time your team members are spending on specific tasks. This can help you identify areas where employees may be spending too much or too little time.
- Set clear expectations: Make sure that your team members understand what is expected of them and how their performance will be evaluated. This can help to reduce confusion and ensure that everyone is on the same page.
- Provide regular feedback: Regular feedback can help employees understand how they are performing and identify areas where they can improve. This can be especially important for remote workers, who may not have as much face-to-face interaction with their managers.
- Use project management tools: Project management tools like Trello, Asana, or Monday.com can help you keep track of your team's progress on specific tasks and ensure that everyone is working towards the same goals.
- Schedule regular check-ins: Regular check-ins can help you stay connected with your remote team and ensure that everyone is on track. These check-ins can be done via phone, email, or video conferencing.
Both tracking and monitoring can be effective strategies for keeping track of remote employees. However, it's important to choose the approach that is best suited to your team's needs and culture.
If you decide to use employee monitoring or tracking software, be sure to communicate clearly with your team members about what data is being collected and how it will be used. This can help to reduce concerns about privacy and surveillance and ensure that everyone is on the same page.