Productivity is fundamental to the current business situation. As a manager or as a team leader, you are always looking for ways to measure your team’s productivity. Productivity translates into business success, growth, and ROI.
Remote working is the new normal, as businesses are still trying to find their way through the restrictions put in place due to COVID-19. To be able to analyze business effectiveness when operating remotely, you’ll need to have a strategic way to collect, measure data and insights specific to your people, including productivity metrics and feedback.
Before measuring your team’s productivity, you should first identify your company’s long and short term goals. Understanding these is essential in nailing the right productivity metrics. Next, break down long term goals into smaller objectives, an easier way to track down the progress.
Let’s look at 3 ways to measure productivity for remote teams that are applicable for office-based teams, and why it’s important to take both quantitative and qualitative data into account.
Time tracking: task length / total hours used
Nothing is created outside of time, regardless of how much effort you put into. Even though it’s not that popular, time tracking proves useful in quantifying productivity and improving it.
Time tracking software nowadays can not only track all our digital activity, but it can make a profile of our workflow, digital behavior, and productive/unproductive patterns. Though time tracking can sometimes feel intrusive, there are hundreds of free desktop time tracker tools that are user-friendly and easy to test.
Paymo, a work management tool with native time tracking, can help you measure the time spent on a project and task. In Paymo, each member of your team can use the web timer to record their time spent on a task, or they can try Paymo’s desktop widget. Just set up an hourly task budget first. Then each team member can track time the way that best suits them: manually, via the web timer, or one of the dedicated desktop and mobile tools.
Using a time tracking tool is the first step that any remote team should take towards improving their productivity. The quantitative data will give managers the possibility to make better time estimates for future projects and evaluate their team’s performance.
Number of tasks completed
Compared to the time tracking method, this one doesn’t focus on how much time you spent on a task, but how many tasks you manage to complete in a certain time.
Though this is a common method used in businesses with various departments, the best approach to get results is to start with a planning session, where the whole team gets informed about the goals and the importance of each task. Next, delegate tasks according to their skills and set a deadline for the completion of the task. You can see the status of numerous tasks once the deadlines are up. The aim is to have all the tasks completed or as many as you can.
Of course, this technique has its pros and cons. The biggest advantage is that unplanned tasks are off the table, due to the planning and the limited time to complete the tasks. However, on the other side, a disadvantage is that it takes a while to work out which tasks take up more time, and therefore learning how to prioritize them.
By comparison to the ones described above, this method offers qualitative data. There are no numbers here to point out how productive a team member is, but you can measure the productivity of an individual through the feedback of his colleagues.
This technique is incredibly effective in small teams where tasks require team member collaboration. This means that each team member will report on their peer’s work, and have a clear understanding of the roles and duties of each other. Cornerstore or 15five are worth mentioning as feedback measuring tools, if you want to automate and make appraisals part of your culture.
Some employees might feel uncomfortable giving and receiving feedback from others, but this technique has proved to be effective in understanding areas of support needed, which directly influence the professional development.
Though remote work can be challenging, measuring your team’s productivity doesn’t have to be the same. You have a few methods now to give you a starting point. Take into account your company’s goals and objectives, assess which one of these methods, or what mix of them would be the best fit for your team.