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How Automatic Time Tracking Benefits Remote Employees

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The shift to remote work is here to stay for millions of workers. By 2025, 22% of the workforce will still be remote. Those able to work from home report being happier, more productive, and better engaged at work. 

 

The Downside of Remote Work

 

There are drawbacks to remote work, unfortunately. The loss of physical boundaries between work and home create new challenges. 75% of remote workers experience stress and burnout at work. 37% say they have longer hours in remote work than they did in person. For some, the longer hours are self imposed; they struggle to disconnect at a set time every day.

 

Feelings of burnout lower productivity and increase stress. Such burnout can strip remote work of its original benefits. What can be done about it? 

 

Taking Control of Your Time While Working Remote

 

One thing that can give remote employees more control over their working lives is time tracking. For too long, tracking employee hours has been seen as the employer’s duty alone. While it is true that businesses want to know when their employees are online, tracking time can also empower workers. 

 

When workers know where their time is being spent, they can prioritize better and track long term progress they’re making. They can also take appropriate breaks and schedule time off. 90% of Americans feel more refreshed after stepping away from their computer at lunch. That is one break in the day that every employee should have, remote or not. 

 

Time tracking can only be truly beneficial to employees if it’s implemented correctly. In the US, filing timesheets wastes $7.4 billion a day in lost productivity. Over a third of employers still use paper timesheets and punch cards in the US. If logging hours becomes one more monotonous task employees are required to do, it won’t benefit them to do it. 

 

How should companies track time for remote workers? A shared Excel/Google sheet may work for small companies, but too many users can render a single document unwieldy. Prior to the pandemic, businesses had been installing key cards at their offices. Every time an employee swiped in, they were on the clock. This option is not feasible for remote workers for obvious reasons. 

 

In Conclusion

 

One possibility under consideration is facial recognition software. The software scans an employee’s face when they log in, allowing for the automatic logging of hours. It’s fast and easy, though some are concerned by the monitoring aspect, they may find the convenience of it compelling.

Brian Wallace is the Founder and President of NowSourcing, an industry leading content marketing agency that makes the world's ideas simple, visual, and influential. Brian has been named a Google Small Business Advisor for 2016-present and joined the SXSW Advisory Board in 2019-present.

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