Every year, businesses lose over ahundred billion dollarsin wages paid to workers for idle time.
It’s no secret that managing remote employees is one of the most challenging tasks for organisations and team managers. The lack of visibility is a major challenge in managing remote employees. It is common for remote employees to indulge in idling, which is unsuitable for their productivity and the company’s profits and revenues.
But real-time monitoring and tracking can be the answer to idling among field employees, and what better than employee tracking software to help you?
Read this article to know why your employees are delving into idling and the best ways to eliminate it.
What is Idle Time?
Idle time is when your employees are available for work, but actually, they aren’t working. It could either be waiting time or wasting time.
For example, the sales department has to share lead/ client details with the on-road sales team in the morning, but the information reaches the remote employees at noon for various reasons. Now the time between morning and noon is idle time for the remote sales team where they were available for work, but they could not work due to latency.
On the contrary, if the sales reps receive all the intel on time but the reps unnecessarily extend their lunch break or spend working hours on random chit-chatting with people. This is called time-wasting.
In both cases, mismanagement and underutilisation of the organisation’s resources are common. Because of this, it does not matter whether idle time happens due to latency in communicating information or employees’ intentions. It’s harmful to the organisation and needs to be fixed immediately.
What are the Reasons Behind Idle Time in Your Organisation?
At TrackoField, we continuously come across companies unaware that their employees are indulging in idle time and the losses it is causing the company. We know it’s shocking but true. Therefore it’s best to advise companies to analyse their team’s performance through employee tracking software to detect and point out the causes of time idling before taking further action.
Not to forget that every organisation has different causes of idle time, but the common causes are:
Idling causes employees to perform tasks inefficiently. Employees might take breaks too frequently, compromising their focus on tasks. Also, putting intense pressure on remote employees renders them inefficient. Therefore it is vital to ensure that the employees work in the right state of mind for super results.
Poor Workflow Coordination
It is common for in-office staff and remote employees to deal with not-so-perfect coordination due to geographical gaps. This often leads to chaos and mayhem in the workflow, forcing employees to idle time.
Some organisations are still adamant about relying on outdated infrastructure or traditional working methods, pushing their employees to idle time. Remote work, for example, wastes time if the company refuses to update its methods of managing on-the-road employees.
In the current scenario, if you want to run remote work operations, time tracking is crucial and no better way than compact solutions like TrackoField.
If your remote workforce is unsatisfied or feels unmotivated, you will witness a rise in idle time. The reason is that dissatisfaction and frustration directly affect employees’ motivation to work. Therefore, businesses must ensure employees are happy with their work methods and culture.
Lack of Supervision
It is common for remote employees to easily indulge in idling when they know they are not being monitored directly. This lack of visibility of their activities harms the business and allows the reps to slack off.
Once it’s clear what is causing your remote employees to delve into idling time, the next step is solving them. TrackoField has proposed some solutions to reduce idle time.
Be Open About the Topic
The first step towards reducing idle times in the company is to acknowledge it. Managers need to eliminate the stigma around idle time.
Telling your remote employees that idling or feeling unproductive is common and that you are always there to help them. This will encourage them to come forward and share their idle times problems freely. Thus helping to build a bond of trust and connection among the team.
And using employee tracking software shares real-time productivity reports making it easy for managers to analyse areas causing employees to increase idle time.
Make Idle Timing Relaxing
To clarify, we are here talking about good idling time, which is vital for employees to stay refreshed and focused on tasks. For example, lunch, washroom, and small power breaks throughout the day can help prevent burnout.
Improve Team Collaboration and Communication
Throughout the day, remote employees wait for confirmation or other data from in-office staff which is involuntarily causing idle time. Therefore, waste can be reduced drastically through well-defined communication and collaboration channels and time.
Additionally, remote employee tracking software is a centralised and cloud-based platform allowing employees access to crucial data anywhere and anytime.
Time tracking becomes essential if managers want to reduce idling and increase productivity. When done subtly, it will not put much pressure on the employees. Tracking the time spent on each task helps ensure that not too much time is spent on a single task. This helps to detect the challenges employees face leading to frustration and dissatisfaction.
Employee tracking software tracks the real-time location of remote employees and the time spent on each task. This is also the answer to the lack of visibility.
This is the most important tip. Forming a proper work schedule is a two-way street for employees and managers.
Remote employees should take full responsibility when provided with a flexible work schedule to deliver work on time. Similarly, managers should set achievable deadlines for their employees that wouldn’t put them under too much pressure.
Remote Employee Tracking Software
Remote employee tracking software is a concise tool that will help you keep track of the employees’ time and bring visibility into the remote operations through its solutions like:
Geo-coded Attendance and Leave Management: Remote employees no longer have to wait to mark their attendance by going to the office. The software’s geo-sensitive attendance tracking features let the employees mark their presence once they reach their first task location remotely.
Similarly, field employees can apply for leave remotely. Managers will be notified, and they, too, can respond to the request remotely.
Task Management: This feature is vital because it helps to determine time tracking by monitoring the status of the tasks in real-time. Also, managers can form a schedule in advance for each remote employee and monitor their task’s timeline with the help of the calendar view.
Real-time Updates and Monitoring: There exists no better way than real-time monitoring or tracking to identify idling. The tracking is done with consent, and platforms like TrackoField track employees with great accuracy and with next to no downtime.
In-built Chat Box: The platform has an in-built chat box for better collaboration and communication. All sorts of documents, pictures and information can be shared in the chat box.
Analytical Reports: The system provides real-time automated reports to make it easier for managers. Analytical reports containing data on the productivity, time spent on each task or the amount of idling done makes the job of managers easy.
All idling done is not bad. A bit of idling is also essential as it helps to keep the remote employees refreshed and focused on tasks. But excessive idling is no doubt bad. So it’s better to identify and stop it timely. To do so, you must constantly monitor and analyse employees’ performance. To make it easier and a lot more effective, it’s best to use employee tracking software.
TrackoField is a well-known field force management software. Using it guarantees that the management of remote employees becomes far easier. Its cloud-based solutions offer automation, making it easier for the field workforce to access data remotely.
Tithi Agarwal is a content writer at TrackoBit. She enjoys writing blogs which are knowledgeable yet fun to read. And when she is not typing away to glory she has her nose buried in books.
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