4 Tips to Track Your Remote Employees’ Progress Without Demoralizing Them

4 Tips to Track Your Remote Employees' Progress Without Demoralizing Them

This is a guest post by Michelle Dutcher, a social media manager with four years of related experience.

Through the past decade, the work from home option proved to be a popular bargaining power delegated to employees.

Contrary to the old-style corporate practice requiring employees to grind it out 9-5 exclusively at the business’ premises, employees are given more flexibility and breathing space as this millennium progresses.

On a collection of telecommuting statistics compiled by Global Workplace Analytics, below are the most revealing ones:

  • As opposed to part-time workers, work-at-home options are 4x more likely to be granted to full-time employees.
  • Telecommuting options are most likely to be made available by hirers from the Mid-Atlantic and New England zones.
  • Fortune 1000 companies, whose employees work remotely 40-50% of the time, rejigged their spaces for optimal savings.
  • The percentage of the workforce who teleworks at some degree is 20-25%

The rationale is this: it’s a seemingly win-win situation for both parties, especially office employees. They’ll enjoy some form of cost savings (e.g., transportation, clothing, food) on selected days, while shying away from the hassles of the busy city living.

Businesses, meanwhile, are said to be capable of enjoying $11,000 savings per worker each year simply by letting them work remotely half of the time, as per Global Workplace Analytics.

But what’s the absolute guarantee for employers that their trusted employees are performing up to expectations while at home? They just can’t rely on Inc. Magazine’s report that workers tend to be 20% more productive when working on a project remotely, as a stand-alone evidence.

You want to be strict with work quotas, but you don’t want to overdo it. If they sense that you’re doubting too much about their trustworthiness, it can backfire instead of help.

Below are four tips to track remote employees’ performance, without being perceived as a harsh manager or business owner.

#1: Instruct them when to alert you of their progress and queries.

By requiring employees to submit work or inform you of their progress at certain times of the day, you can expect to receive something that’s actually tangible and measurable by your company’s standards.

For instance, if you told an employee to ping you every 3 hours for reports, you can save time, effort, and energy in messaging them every minute or hour.

Employees will be more goal-driven, knowing that if they fail to submit consistently on those times of the day, his work from home eligibility will be under scrutiny.

#2: Put a premium on deliverables more than time spent.

laptop freelancer

What matters most is if the employee got the job done, in the same way he would’ve in an office setting.

  • Did he meet his working quota?
  • Was his contribution from home able to help team goals?
  • Did he perform up to par?

If it’s a “YES” to all these three questions, even if the employee only worked 4-5 hours, then that’s still okay. He’s exuding effectivity and efficiency at the same time.

At the end of the day, he’s done what he’s expected to do. So don’t focus too much on time actually spent working. It’s deceiving.

#3: Video conference when you feel like something’s wrong or lacking.

There’s just some work instructions that need to be discussed verbally. If you sense that tasks are complex by nature, then don’t hesitate to video conference for team-wide reminders and collaboration.

By having those conversations, your remote employees (be it essay writers online or any other type of telecommuting) will feel that they’re supported, boosting the overall morale of your team. Seeing your face will also remind them that you still got your electronic eyes on them.

#4: Have them install productivity and tracking tools.

I know an application that automates screenshots on employees’ home desktops. It’s somehow to deter them from doing things not related to work. But I think that’s a bit extreme, especially when it captures every minute.

When choosing the right tool to monitor remote employees, think of its collaborating properties first.

  • Will it allow you to work with employees on a real-time basis?
  • Will it foster creativity and imagination too?

Business.com relayed 11 productivity tools for your remote staff, with all of them backed by recommendations from acclaimed personalities in the Web.

As a wrap-up, employees deserve little concessions too, such that of work from home options. It helps rejuvenate their minds and bodies drained by everyday office work.

As a manager or figurehead in your organization, you want them to feel trusted while doing so. It’s through trust and mutual respect that employees are able to reach their potentials. But when that trust is breached, that’s the time to take action.

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How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money

How This Family Guy Makes $10,000/Month Online Teaching Others How to Make, Save and Invest Money - Interview with R.J. Weiss from TheWaystoWealth.com

This is an interview-style post with R.J. Weiss from The Ways to Wealth.

Hey R.J. What’s your background and what do you do?

I blog about all things personal finance at The Ways to Wealth.

Before I went full-time into blogging, I spent ten years in the financial services industry. Specifically, helping families buy the right type of life insurance.

During my time with a full-time job, I’ve always had different side hustles going on. From freelance writing, Amazon FBA, conversion rate optimization, to website design — there were many projects I pursued outside of work.

How did you start your career in finance?

I got started in finance straight out of college working for my the family insurance business. As I love the financial planning side of things, I choose to specialize in life insurance planning. This led me down the path to obtaining the CFP® Certification.

What made you start blogging?

The Ways to Wealth, which I started in 2016, has been my 5th blog.

The others mostly fizzled out most due to a lack of interest. But, in 2009 I started a personal finance blog called GenYWealth.com (no longer around) that had some success.

The idea GenYwealth.com was to write about what I was learning about studying to take the CFP®. The blog was, by all means, a success. I was able to gain valuable knowledge, pass the CFP® exam, earn some extra money and build up a good community.

I then took this knowledge and started a business blog, which allowed the insurance agency I was working for to generate leads.

I started The Ways to Wealth because my passion is personal finance–from investing to travel hacking, I love the challenge of optimizing my finances.

How was The Ways to Wealth born?

I didn’t have much of a plan for starting The Ways to Wealth when I purchased the domain name.

I was actually thinking it would be a niche site, which was inspired by Pat Flynn’s niche site duel. Then, I came across the income reports of Michelle Schroeder-Gardner and wisely changed direction to a more traditional blog.

This change came about 6-months after starting to blog.  I did a timeline of the site in one of my income reports.

What worked best when trying to grow the site?

I had a decent knowledge of SEO. So at first, I started growing the site with email outreach. One of the first posts I had about best investing books of all time, had about 15 links to it.

This was nice to start with but was quite slow to build up, as it can take a while to earn Google’s trust.

The big turning point came when I started to understand Pinterest. I spent a few frustrating weeks on the platform, then it finally started paying dividends.

I went from about 100 sessions a day to 1,000, which was huge for me at the time.

How did you get to 3 million monthly viewers on Pinterest?

the ways to wealth pinterest 3 million monthly views

I lay out my Pinterest strategy here. But at the core the idea is to:

1) Write high-quality content that Pinners want to click through, read, and share.

2) Pin to my own and high-quality group boards, with a keyword-rich description.

3) Continue to Pin my best pins across my own boards/group boards, ruthlessly eliminating Pins that don’t perform well.

One thing to keep in mind is impressions don’t mean much on Pinterest. What counts are clicks to your website. So, you want to design not for impressions but clicks.

What aspects of the online business are you outsourcing or automating and how?

The first thing I outsourced was Pinterest design. I’ll design about 30-40 pins a month, so this was big time saver for me.

Of course, it took some work to get going. At first, I hired 5 or so people on Fiverr. I found one decent designer but the work quality deteriorated over time.

I then went to Upwork and posted a job for a  graphic designer. I found a great team down in Argentina, who I’m very happy with.

I’m currently experimenting with working with a ghostwriter. A few of my latest posts have been transcribed from my recording, with the ghostwriter making sense of it all.

I can compile about 3 posts in 90 minutes, then take another 90 or so minutes to prepare them. Saving me around 3-4 hours per post this way.

What’s your main income stream and why do you think it works for you?

My main source of income for the blog is affiliate revenue. It works because the partners I do have are high-quality businesses, who deliver value and solve real problems. This makes it easy to naturally link to such a partner.

When did you start making more than $10K/month and what was the turning point?

My first month over $10K was in January of 2018. In December of 2017, income was around $3,000 and in July of 2017 around $500. So, it was definitely a jump.

What happened then in January?

First, personal finance is at its peak interest in January.

Second, I had multiple Pins go viral.

Third, in November I started driving traffic via Facebook to the site. So, in January I could take campaigns I’d been fine-tuning for a few weeks and scale them.

How do you balance work and family life?

I have a routine I stick to Monday through Friday.

When inside of my designated working hours, I work. When outside of these hours, I’m not.

This is a lot easier said than done. But the thing important for me is not to take work everywhere I go. This means I don’t have any apps on my phone that are work-related (email, analytics, etc..)

What are you 3 best finance tips for newbies?

  • Focus on your savings rate. How much you save is the most important decision you’ll make.
  • Small incremental improvements add up over time. My favorite example is increasing your savings rate 1% every quarter, means you’ll be saving 20% of your income in just 5 years.
  • Study happiness. Become a student on how to increase your level of happiness. The natural result is you’ll want less overtime, making the game of personal finance a lot easier to win.

What books, blogs or podcasts help you stay motivated along the way of growing an online business?

I read a fair amount to keep fresh ideas in my head.

My favorite podcast is The Tim Ferriss Show.

Two blogs I enjoy reading are:

Farnam Street
Barking up the Wrong Tree

And as far as books. I try to read one a week. A few books I would recommend to online entrepreneurs would be:

Deep Work by Cal Newport
The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy
The Four Hour Work Week by Tim Ferriss

Pin this post if you enjoyed the interview.

Check out my interview with R.J. from TheWaystoWealth to see how he entered the finance niche, started making money blogging, began bringing traffic from Pinterest and monetizing it with affiliate marketing, and is now making $10,000/month from his online business. #blogger #interview #blogtraffic #incomeideas #income