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What is Remote Work Monitoring?

Remote work monitoring is a way for employers to monitor employees' activity and productivity for the organization's good. Though controversial because some believe it infringes on employee's privacy and sense of autonomy, it can help managers get quick visibility into teammates' progress and deliverables. 

Below we share tips to help you optimize remote work monitoring while maintaining a positive work culture where employees feel trusted and respected. 

How to implement remote work monitoring without alienating employees

Sometimes, remote employees who feel spied upon or distrusted may become deliberately slow and rebellious in their tasks, leading to the opposite desired effect. 

The four tips below help to implement remote work monitoring while maintaining a good work culture. 

Be transparent about the monitoring process

Once decided by the company's management, it is wise to have a company-wide announcement using the best communication medium, e.g., video or email newsletter. In this communication, include specific details about how the monitoring process will work, what it will track, and to what end productivity will touch on. 

When employees understand that the remote work monitoring tool will help boost their productivity, accountability, and progress on specific progress, they may be encouraged to work more efficiently. 

Give employees a level of autonomy

Instead of imposing an autocratic decision down your remote employees' throats, it is better to offer incentives or vary the remote work monitoring levels for employees to choose from. 

Document the remote work monitoring rules

Organizations should establish formal, written rules about their monitoring policy. These guidelines should be easily accessible for employees to review and reference. These guidelines should be clear about what employers will track, what devices, and how the data collected is used. 

These transparent documentations hold the organizations responsible, reassure remote employees, and establish what areas managers focus on when it comes to evaluating employee performance. 

Remain open to feedback and change

After introducing your monitoring policy, it's wise to check in with your team and employees after a while so that you can collect genuine feedback on how productive or accountable the policy has made them. 

As a manager or leader, you can also use this time to discuss what you have learned about organizational work patterns and productivity since remote work monitoring started. You may find that some processes, and maybe even teams, operate more efficiently when monitored and others don't. 

When it comes to a strong remote work culture, it’s important to build in transparency, autonomy, and inclusion into everyday processes. Learn more about what it takes to build a strong remote work culture