remote employee monitoring

Remote Employee Monitoring: Leveraging Technology for Success

Remote employee monitoring has emerged as a critical tool for businesses navigating the evolving landscape of remote work. With the proliferation of telecommuting arrangements, employers face the challenge of maintaining productivity, ensuring data security, and fostering accountability among their distributed workforce. Remote employee monitoring encompasses a range of technologies and strategies aimed at tracking and managing employee activities, both to optimize performance and safeguard organizational assets. In this discussion, we explore the significance of remote employee monitoring in today’s digital workplace and its implications for productivity, privacy, and employee well-being.

1. Use tailor-made project management software.

Project management software supports you in managing all tasks related to your projects and ensures the monitoring of employees around their work performance.

At the start of the project, project managers can assign employees to teams, distribute tasks accordingly, and manage deadlines. In line with this, all team members receive appropriate access authorization, which they can use to log in at any time and from any location.

A project management solution offers numerous useful tools, such as real-time project progress tracking.

You can always track and check the period during which teammates are busy with certain activities. You can encourage online collaboration, accurately track task time, and adjust workloads accordingly.

In addition, you can request work reports, create your reports, and set KPIs to evaluate the performance of your team and individual colleagues.

Thanks to the software’s productivity tracking features, you can analyze your team members’ behavior patterns and devise solutions to improve their performance.

2. Record working hours

Recording employees’ working hours helps employers control the workforce and allows employees to document their work. Work-from-home monitoring tools also provide time tracking.

An online time clock enables your remote employees to start, pause, or end the working day. This procedure is practical for monitoring remote employees who work from home and can hardly be physically monitored.

Through time tracking, you can also manage various absences, which are entered into the absence list and give you an overview of who works remotely or is unavailable due to rosters, holidays, or illness.

By monitoring working hours, you know exactly how productive your employees are and can prevent bottlenecks.

If you employ colleagues whose work is billed hourly, the time record in tasks can also be useful. Immediately after creating a task, notifications are sent, and the work progress and the result are evaluated. If there are delays, team members are immediately informed that they are overdue.

3. Ensure reliable workflow management.

Using predefined workflow management software, employee monitoring is supported by allowing them to submit leave requests, business trips, accounting, and other issues directly in the activity stream.

If workflow changes are made, they also appear in the activity stream. You decide what permits are needed and how everything is implemented in practice.

To design such flexible workflows, you can use a visual business process editor, which allows you to assemble your workflows easily using drag-and-drop.

This allows task management to be automated, automation rules to be set up, triggers to be set, task dependencies, time tracking in tasks, and practical templates to be used.

You can use automation rules in tasks and in the CRM to design adaptable business processes and check the work performance of individual employees or entire remote teams at any time.

4. Work with to-do lists.

To-do lists are convincing with their simplicity and serve the purpose of clearly presenting the upcoming work and subdividing it into tasks and subtasks.

You can use to-do lists to track exactly where the company is currently in the project implementation, which to-dos lie with which employees, and how far along they are with the processing.

To-do lists thus allow seamless monitoring by project managers and supervisors and offer employees an ideal working basis for coping with daily tasks. You can add relevant information, such as PDF documents.

By the way, you also promote the self-management of remote colleagues, who can record to-dos clearly and according to priorities and assign tasks with software support.

As soon as a to-do is completed, it is marked with a virtual tick, which shows that the employee has already completed the area.

This happens in real-time because to-do lists are, by nature, not static. New developments and tasks can be added individually, and all changes can be seamlessly traced.

5. Keep an eye on email activity.

Remote employee monitoring may also include tracking email activity. They especially consider that some colleagues spend up to 50 percent of their working day in their email inboxes.

It is not enough to know that this is the case; one must also know how many emails are received each day, to whom emails are sent, how quickly leads are responded to, and much more.

Mail allows you to create email accounts for each employee, set up counters for incoming emails, and identify important recipients and senders.

Check what times of day and days of the week most emails are sent and how long it takes to answer incoming emails.

Email activity indicates which team members are particularly busy interacting with business partners and customers and where the workload may need to be rebalanced.

6. Check the work progress regularly.

Good employee monitoring software always involves the people concerned directly. Create clear rules for your remote teams regarding their self-assessment.

For example, every employee can send a short report to the project manager or supervisor at the end of each working day or week, explaining which tasks were worked on during the review period and what time was used for them.

Software for such tasks enables you to collect various work reports from your employees, which can also be customized accordingly. Have the work reports sent to you daily, weekly, or monthly. Appropriately, you can accept, reject, comment, and rate reports on the work progress.

Filters are available to monitor the work reports. You can use them to select the reporting period, employees, or department or to display report statistics.

Work reports from remote employees promote self-discipline and enable individual colleagues to communicate how they feel about the current situation and whether they might need relief or would like to take on more responsibility.

They self-reflect on their work, consciously discussing whether they are under or overworked or whether a balanced workload is being implemented.

In combination with subjective analyses from the individual work reports, you can also rely on objective reports that you can generate from a software solution. You can find out how to use this aspect to monitor your employees in the following section.

7. Ensure objective reporting

For evaluation, many software offers checklists, burnout/burndown charts, Gantt charts, Kanban boards, and dashboards, which you can use to compare estimated numbers and indicators with the actual results achieved by your employees.

You can now use integrated HR functions to monitor employees and manage performance. You calculate, evaluate, and compare employees’ performance using absence tables, working hours, days off, working day settings, and more.

So-called performance reports offer full transparency and the option of measuring the effectiveness of your employees’ work. They can be determined based on the number of completed and overdue tasks of the employees and their respective superiors’ assessments of the work.

For a detailed overview, you also have the option to create reports based on leads, closed deals, or other activities of your employees. You use an integrated report wizard to define the name, description, and report conditions and add your desired columns. How can you automatically limit your report results by the selected parameters?

For better visualization, you can add linear, bar, or pie charts to your reports.

8. Include subjective factors and work ethic.

Employee monitoring should always be balanced and include a social component in addition to employee self-assessment, supervisor evaluation of work performance, and control of objective diagrams and reports.

Include a certain degree of subjective observation, especially if you are in personal contact with the employees and occasionally conversing with them.

Pay attention to how your remote employees act in video conferences or behave in possible physical meetings. Use your social skills to speak openly with employees about possible problems or work ethic, and focus on the statements of the respective employees about the current workload.

It is often important to read between the lines here. Especially when employees seem stressed, do not complete tasks satisfactorily, constantly exceed deadlines or log out early, and do not complete enough working hours.

Stay on the ball and seek personal contact with the employee to find where the shoe pinches. The monitoring extends here to subjective impressions that help you assess your employees and offer them the right framework conditions for their work.

If the affected employee responds to your request, you can remedy the critical situation by taking appropriate countermeasures. Small things such as a different workload distribution or specific tasks often make remote employees more satisfied with their work and actively contribute to the company remotely.

Fair and transparent: monitoring of employees who work from home

In addition to suitable software for tasks and projects, the remote monitoring of employees requires a certain amount of sensitivity. Reviewing the work does not give your colleagues the feeling of being monitored.

Involve employees, project managers, and supervisors alike, and thus ensure reliable and regular time recording and reporting.

To ensure long-term business success, remote monitoring should be used transparently, show its advantages for individual employees, and use company resources efficiently.


What is Remote employee monitoring?

Remote Employee monitoring encapsulates the application of various methods of work monitoring, which enables the collection of information on an organization’s employees’ work, activities, and whereabouts. The monitoring can be done in the office or remotely.

Is monitoring employees allowed in the workplace?

Monitoring employees in the workplace is generally permitted, but only following the legal requirements, which include the Federal Data Protection Act. Employer monitoring software may only be used in this context if the employee has consented to the monitoring.

Why is remote employee monitoring important?

Monitoring employees is important to determine the workload and to counteract a possible overload by delegating tasks to other colleagues. It also helps identify team members who need to be more responsive or complete deadlines. This significantly reduces inefficiency.

How can employees be monitored?

Employees can be monitored using project management software, recording working hours, optimizing work processes, sharing to-do lists, checking email activities, querying work progress, objective reporting, and various subjective factors.

What role does data protection play in monitoring employees in the workplace?

Data protection is crucial in monitoring workplace employees because it is based on data processing. Consent is required for the collection of personal data. Companies must present all measures relating to monitoring employees transparently and consider paragraph § 26 BDSG.


In conclusion, remote employee monitoring presents opportunities and challenges for modern organizations seeking to adapt to remote work environments. While it offers valuable insights into productivity levels, resource allocation, and compliance with company policies, it also raises important considerations regarding privacy, trust, and employee autonomy. To leverage the benefits of remote monitoring effectively, businesses must strike a delicate balance between accountability and empowerment, fostering a culture of transparency and communication. By implementing ethical and transparent monitoring practices, organizations can harness the full potential of remote work while respecting the dignity and privacy of their employees.

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