With the COVID pandemic still raging, 90 percent of the employees have been asked to work remotely from their homes, apartments, hostels, or wherever they live. This situation will continue for a while, and businesses are concerned about time theft as it is rather difficult to monitor the employee time clock while they work or don’t work.
You can’t blame your employees because they are yet to adapt to the new work atmosphere and may have a hard time adjusting. With the usual distractions (kids hollering, roommates arguing, etc.), adopting effective productivity strategies is not easy.
Unless there is mutual trust, it is difficult to coax your employees to put in their best, and time theft will happen too often.
Here are some tips to prevent time theft and boost productivity:
Check on Them Frequently
Remote employees are not having the time of their lives, working from home under no supervision. They often feel lonely and frustrated as there is no one to talk to and just four blank walls to stare at while they work. It may be challenging for them to fit in with the team and go along, which often leaves them demotivated.
The managers have to keep checking on their employees regularly and inquire if everything is OK. A call and inquiry about how they feel today and how their work is progressing can be very encouraging. Being in constant contact boosts the confidence level of the employees as they know they are being looked after and not left to fend for themselves.
Providing the Right Resources
Working from home often affects productivity as employees are no longer in “work mode” at the office, and there is no employee time clock to monitor them. Slackening a bit can be expected; however, you can help your employees get back on track and reduce time theft by providing some resources that will help them manage their time better.
Here are some quick ideas:
- Share a list of blogs on personal productivity methods that asks your employee to take short breaks now and then and other such bits of advice.
- Conduct regular time-management workshops and training webinars.
- Enroll employees for online courses and paid webinars (reimbursed by the company).
- Encourage your employees to share any productivity techniques they’ve developed on their own. They can share the info on Slack, Jira, or Basecamp.
Invest in an Automated System
If you find it challenging to keep your employees un-distracted while working on your critical projects remotely, invest in an automated system to avoid time thefts. Employee time clock software helps maintain accurate timesheets for remote teams. You can find the best solution offering features like GPS location, secure kiosk, face recognition, and smart insights. You can generate instant payroll reports and DCAA compliant audit logs.
The pandemic has thrown everything out of gear, and the new working conditions forced on the employees can often be overwhelming. Under the circumstances, having clear policies on what is acceptable to the company and what is not helps. If the current policies do not say anything about remote work, update your policies, and share them with your employees. Some documents you can share:
- Anti-time theft and anti-fraud policies.
- Work schedules, break timings and leave and attendance policy.
- Usage of company devices (laptops, mobile phones, etc.), internet, email etiquettes, and accessing social media during work hours
Avoid being Rigid, be more Flexible
Working from home puts a lot of restrictions on the employees. They need to adjust the timings according to other factors; hence they will find it challenging to stick to a 9 to 5 routine. Allow them to pick their timings, and as long as they clock the mandatory hours, strict timing should not be stressed upon. While one employee may have to drop the kid at school and another run a quick errand, being flexible with employees helps boost their productivity.
Whatever schedule your employees will follow, insist on each of them being present for team meetings and other essential video meetings with co-workers. With social distancing having put a stop to team outings, keep employees in high spirits through open communications.
Summing it Up
The COVID pandemic has forced most of the working community to work remotely. No one knows when exactly the situation is going to change. Some companies are mulling over bringing in work from home as a permanent culture, while others are waiting for the virus to abate before they get back to their regular routines. Until such time, time thefts can be prevented by careful planning and frequent interaction with employees.