While common, remote workforces present a unique challenge. But how do you know if your remote staff is actually working and not wasting time?
Remote workforces have become increasingly common, especially in the startup world. But how can you tell if your remote staff is spending the appropriate amount of time actually working? 11 entrepreneurs from YEC share their favorite apps for tracking the amount of time remote employees spend on their projects.
1. Time Doctor
"I find TimeDoctor to be the best tool in the market for tracking time for remote employees. It even has the option for screen capture, required work hours and everything you could want in a time tracking software." –Syed Balkhi, OptinMonster
2. Roadmap App
"The Project Management Roadmap application was so resourceful in tracking time for our remote employees, that we began tracking time for our in-house team, too! Productivity has spiked, as has our return on our employees' trackable time. It has been incredibly important to our business." – Joe Apfelbaum, Ajax Union
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"Our remote team has used Basecamp for years to manage project based work quite successfully. Recently, we have added hourly consulting to our suite of services. TickSpot has been a huge help to not only track time, but make sure projects stay on budget. It integrates directly with Basecamp and allows our team members to see in real time how close to finishing the project they are." – Nicole Munoz, Start Ranking Now
"If you're relying on a tool to measure time, you're after the wrong metric. It's incredibly easy to make a five-hour task take 10 hours. Instead, understand before you assign work about how long it will take, and make sure you get those results in about the required time." – John Rood, Next Step Test Preparation
"I've worked with a lot of time monitoring apps, but Timely so far has been the best for me and my team. You can track your time per project, and the interface is easy and simple. Best of all, if a worker forgets to "stop the timer" on a certain project, you get a notification via email that the clock is still running. You can go in and edit as you like. It's just the best." – Rob Fulton, Exponential Black
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"Since we work with clients all over the world, we allow our team to create their schedules. However, we recommend TSheets to our customers because it has so many ways for remote workers to clock in and out -- so there can be no excuses!" – Marjorie Adams, AQB
"Asking people to track their time can be a lot of overhead. Instead of asking people to track time, we use iDoneThis to track achievements, such as "launched new website" or "fixed a bug." I started asking people to annotate the time they spent on each achievement, and that's made us all more efficient." – Pablo Villalba, 8fit
"Not everyone can work from home or a remote office. But if you've hired self-starters who are intrinsically motivated for such positions, that's all the tracking you need. Software programs are all well and good but with a small team you'll know if someone isn't pulling their weight. Making your remote team use tracking tools can also give their jobs a Big Brother vibe, which nobody wants." – Grant Gordon, Solomon Consulting Group
"Without being Big Brother, Basecamp allows us to see the time an employee checks off an item on their to do list, as well as the time they add something new. Management is able to see that employees are spending the appropriate amount of time on tasks and that they are steadily working throughout the day." – Brooke Bergman, Allied Business Network Inc.
11. Google Forms and Spreadsheets
"We use Google Spreadsheets to track our part-time and remote workers. It's not glamorous, but we have created simple forms that folks fill in daily, highlighting their hours and what work they've completed. By integrating all of that into one file, we're able to see progress as well as budget for upcoming weeks. The added benefit is that it's easy; there's no time wasted learning a new system." – Aaron Schwartz, Modify Watches
Editor's Note: Looking for employee monitoring software for your business? If you're looking for information to help you choose the one that's right for you, use the questionnaire below to have our sister site, BuyerZone, provide you with information from a variety of vendors for free: