If you feel like your only option for managing remote workers is to take a hands-off approach, this blog will teach you about some highly useful tools that almost make it easier to manage workers remotely than it was to manage them in the office. At DVC we recommend Hubstaff for this purpose, but TimeDoctor also has some excellent features. Let’s take a quick look at both.
Both TimeDoctor and Hubstaff are time trackers. Your employees download and install them, then log in to start working. The software tracks their activity and rates their efficiency levels.
Hubstaff tracks two things: keystrokes and mouse movements. A remote worker typing a document up or sending an email will be rated as active, while an employee staring blankly at the screen will not. You can’t expect 100% efficiency, of course, because some work doesn’t involve making keystrokes or moving the mouse often – researching a topic would be a common example here at DVC.
Hubstaff also tracks what websites your remote workers visit and how much time they spend there. It also takes screenshots of their activity every few to several minutes. If you have an employee with productivity issues, you’ll be able to look at how efficient they are, what percentage of the time they’re on work-related websites, and what’s on their screen at random intervals. Hubstaff generates detailed reports on all this information, allowing you to discreetly monitor your employee’s work habits. To DVC, this ability to see detailed reports is one of the best features of Hubstaff.
TimeDoctor also tracks keyboard strokes and mouse movements, but it has another feature some managers may appreciate. If too much time passes without a keystroke or a mouse movement, a pop-up message appears and asks the employee whether they’re still working or not. It does the same thing if it detects too much time spent on non-work sites like Facebook. You can think of it as a simple reminder for your remote worker to refocus on work. TimeDoctor generates reports as well, although they work differently.
Ultimately, both apps are highly useful tools for managing remote workers. You can use them to pinpoint the cause of productivity problems and get them fixed, and employees aren’t conscious of you standing over their shoulders and watching them work. At DVC, we find time-tracking apps to be the best way to manage remote workers effectively.