September 1, 2017 By Suzanne Robertson

As a small business owner, you understand that one of the most important aspects to the success of your business is time. Furthermore, how that time is being spent.

With rapid changes in modern technology, smart phones, and social media, work life and personal life are blending like never before – making it hard to draw a line between the two. Recent studies show that 70 percent of U.S. workers are disengaged from their workday due to distractions.

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Distractions found within the workplace can include:

  • Smartphones
  • Personal emails
  • Social media

…and several other demands of employee’s personal lives.

While rapid advancements can be advantageous in many ways, this also presents new challenges to employers concerned about how employees spend their time while on the company’s dime.

Thankfully, advancements in technology have brought on an influx of apps, and other software, aimed at increasing employee productivity.

The best way to ensure maximum productivity of employees while on the clock is to track and measure employee productivity and performance…

…But, how can you do that without imposing on your employee’s workspace and hindering their productivity?

A few simple ways to monitor your employee’s productivity include:

1. Utilize smart card technology

Contactless smart cards can be used to track employees time and attendance records. In addition, contactless smart cards can give employees permission to access specific company files, networks and PCs, and even rooms within the office building. Later, the data recorded on the smart card is sent to the cloud for storage and processing. Then, the employee record database will be made available allowing you to see the working hours, time spent on the computer, accessed files and more of each employee.

2. Measure tasks, not hours or days

It’s no secret that not every employee works at the same pace – this is one aspect that can make performance monitoring so difficult for businesses. Make note of the basic productivity formula: productivity = output divided by input.As a business owner, your overall goal should be to find ways to increase output while keeping the input level constant – aim to make your employees more productive in the time already allotted.By tracking each employee’s tasks completed in comparison to the days and hours they worked, you can begin to recognize a pattern of who is more efficient.

3. Closely monitor outcomes

Ultimately, your main focus is the outcome provided by each employee. Are they getting their project done on time?Are they providing high-quality work?While quantity is important, quality is just as important as quantity. What good does it do your business if one employee can pump out 20 reports in an hour, but they all have huge mistakes? I’ll answer that for you – none.

Monitor the outcomes of each employee to see who appears to be spending the majority of their time researching and perfecting their final products.

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4. Use Asana to manage tasks

Asana is a great tool for task management amongst employees. Using this monitoring software, employers can form different sections for each project, and only invite the appropriate team members to join. From there, tasks can be assigned with the option of adding notes to the project and a due date.This gives employees a built-in planner for each project, reminds them of when something is due and allows them to easily let you know updated information about each individual project.

Pro Tip: Also try using the Asana feature called Harvest Timer. Harvest Timer allows you to be in the loop in regard to how much time is spent on each task for the day. Each task can be individually tracked in real time for monitoring.

5. Ask for daily updates

This can be tricky as not all employees will be completely honest, but it does encourage higher productivity when employees know they will be confronted about their success for the day.Ask each employee for a daily or weekly report, noting what they completed and why there are still tasks remaining, if applicable.

6. Check out iDoneThis for team management

Based in San Francisco, iDoneThis was created as a “personal productivity tracker.” Rodrigo Guzman created this service to ensure he stuck to his weight-busting exercise regime. However, it has now grown into a business-focused management tool.If you decide to focus more on the number of achievements rather than hours worked, ask employees to use iDoneThis to track each achievement completed and how long they worked on the achievement.This puts the main focus on the final project but still allows you to decipher the time spent on each project.

7. Use Time Doctor to track computer interaction

One of the biggest distractions employees are presented with, especially in a desk job setting, is the computer. Without even looking at their phone, employees are still able to browse social media or engage in other personal tasks via your company computer, internet bill and time.

While you might not be able to stand over their shoulder all day, you can install Time Doctor on company computers.

It is time management software used for prevention of wasted time and real-time tracking of tasks.Time Doctor records employee’s internet usage and provides you with a report of websites and applications used. The software also takes screenshots of their computer every 3 minutes to confirm each employee is on a work-related site.

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About the Author

Annabelle Short is a writer, blogger at Content Blossom Blogging, a seamstress in her free time and a mother of two. She splits her time between London and Los Angeles. Annabelle has experience in leading and managing different project teams.

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