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15 Ideas To Measure Remote Team Productivity

on 21 October 2022

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Posted by Kevin Senior
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Remote work has become a staple in the business world, a fact that’s not surprising when you consider how beneficial it is for both employees and employers.

Employees don’t have to worry about commuting, they gain location independence, and are in a better position to improve their work-life balance. Meanwhile, employers gain access to a larger talent pool, benefit from happier and more engaged employees, and even lower their operating costs. In fact, research-based consulting firm Global Workplace Analytics estimates that a typical U.S. business can save an average of $11,000 per half-time telecommuter per year.

Despite all these benefits, many businesses continue to have concerns about employee productivity in alternate work settings. If you find yourself in the same boat, it might help to know what other companies are doing to stay on top of output and maintain good relationships with employees at the same time. Keep reading to learn a few tricks of the remote trade from business leaders across a number of industries.

15 Tips For Measuring Remote Team Productivity

1. Track results, not people.

"Outline clear short- and long-term goals for your team, and track progress—not people. Also, focus on constructive communication and feedback, and have 1:1's to inspire psychological safety. The goal is to lead people, not manage them."

Remote team productivity tip from Ieva Vaitkeviciute of Mindletic—Ieva Vaitkeviciute of Mindletic

"Measuring output means allowing your employees to work on their tasks within a certain deadline, and not constantly micromanaging them to ensure they are doing it the way you want. Allowing them flexible hours will increase their productivity."

Remote team productivity tip from Anthony Martin of Choice Mutual—Anthony Martin of Choice Mutual

"All that matters is whether or not a remote employee performs well at their job. Getting to work less hours is actually a perk and incentive of remote work so long as the job is completed."

Remote team productivity tip from Calloway Cook of Illuminate Labs—Calloway Cook of Illuminate Labs

"Output measures the results that a team produces and is often directly tied to company goals. By tracking output, you can see how well a team is performing and identify any areas where they may need improvement."

Remote team productivity tip from Linda Shaffer of Checkr—Linda Shaffer of Checkr

"As a leader, it's important to measure results, not daily activities, especially in a remote environment. Avoid micromanaging and focus on the quality and timeliness of the tasks assigned. This demonstrates trust."

Remote team productivity tip from Stacy Cason of Planetarie—Stacy Cason of Planetarie

"When applicable, it is preferable to measure team success in quotas. This will prevent you as manager from confusing true productivity with simple busyness. If workload can be quantified, then hold employees accountable against that benchmark."

—Derek Warburton of MR WARBURTON MEDIA

"Cementing the same quotas for the whole team doesn't consider individual work styles. Forgo data and focus on how well and timely employees complete tasks, because emphasizing quality over quantity yields better and longer-lasting results."

Remote team productivity tip from Jayme Muller of RTA Outdoor Living—Jayme Muller of RTA Outdoor Living

"A remote team’s productivity should be measured by growth and achievements. Looking at how your team has grown and what they’ve achieved says so much about how productive they are and what you can do to ensure they are working optimally."

Remote team productivity tip from Simon Elkjær of avXperten—Simon Elkjær of avXperten


2. Use KPIs.

"Key performance indicators (KPI) allow us to measure the performance or progress of our team members toward achieving company goals and targets. It motivates everyone to make our objectives of prime importance."

Remote team productivity tip from Monica Chan of  DigiWorks—Monica Chan of DigiWorks

"A reasonable prod KPI for a marketing director, for example, may be to grow monthly subscribers by 205. A salesman, on the flip side, may be entrusted with closing twenty sales every quarter, which therefore identifies their productivity."

Remote team productivity tip from Christine Brownstein of Palaleather UKs—Christine Brownstein of Palaleather UK

"Develop several key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure productivity, such as the time they take to reply to messages or emails, the time taken to complete a task, and how consistently they reach their goals."

Remote team productivity tip from Lydia Mwangi of Barbell Jobs—Lydia Mwangi of Barbell Jobs

"Measuring employees by way of hours spent working is no longer the most effective measure of productivity. By instead using KPIs—such as those focusing on the customer, net profit, and process—you can more reliably evaluate a worker's performance."

Remote team productivity tip from Max Wesman of GoodHire—Max Wesman of GoodHire

"It's a numbers and deadlines game. As long as my content team hits their numbers and their deadlines, then we increase our opportunities for success with our audience. And if our audience is happy, it means we're successful."

Remote team productivity tip from Chris Kowalski of Autopadre—Chris Kowalski of Autopadre

"To measure remote team productivity, set weekly KPIs like confirmed sales and a specific number of client outreach emails to make. This will help your team know what is expected of them without you having to micromanage them."

Remote team productivity tip from Ethan Drower of CiteMed—Ethan Drower of CiteMed

"Take the guesswork out of measuring your remote team's productivity by using clearly defined KPIs. Tracking the team's KPIs means you will be able to monitor both individual and team results, and ensure they hit the targets."

Remote team productivity tip from Colin Palfrey of Crediful—Colin Palfrey of Crediful

"Communicate clear KPIs and OKRs from the get-go so employees will have a standard for their performance. This will help keep remote operations seamless without micromanaging employees, which can cause unnecessary stress for them."

Remote team productivity tip from Christiana Claudia Gancayco of Leg Master—Christiana Claudia Gancayco of Leg Master

"Remote team members can prioritize, focus, and feel accountable when they know their KPIs. You can then track and calculate their productivity with task/productivity apps like Trello or ClickUp."

Remote team productivity tip from Kevin Huang of Ambient Home—Kevin Huang of Ambient Home


3. Transition to a goals-focused way of managing work.

"Create goals that are easy to track and promote trust between team members, which is key to making remote work setups work in the long run. It also saves time, since team members don't worry about reporting and I don't worry about always checking in on them."

Remote team productivity tip from Allia Luzong of Sword Encyclopedia—Allia Luzong of Sword Encyclopedia

"For the most part, remote employees will do what they can to achieve their goals once those have been clearly communicated. Employers and employees need to be on the same page as to what success really looks like for any role."

—Jacob Villa of School Authority

"Provide your employees clear goals and deadlines. I also suggest figuring out who could do a task best. These tips help manage my remote team, develop clear standards, and assess productivity based on completed tasks."

Remote team productivity tip from Gary Hunter of CompareGolfPrices—Gary Hunter of CompareGolfPrices

"A remote team is more productive when they have a clear goal in mind and are regularly measuring their progress."

Remote team productivity tip from Jimmy Huh of JH SEO—Jimmy Huh of JH SEO

"Clarifying the key roles and responsibilities for every team builds accountability. Project management software like ClickUp and Slack allow creation of day-to-day tasks and baseline completion times, which helps keep priorities intact."

Remote team productivity tip from Kathryn Boudreau of Caller Smart—Kathryn Boudreau of Caller Smart


4. Encourage collaboration.

"Working together in real time toward a common objective helps individuals to operate more effectively and confidently. Use collaboration tools to engage your distant team members."

Remote team productivity tip from Tom McSherry of Smuggs—Tom McSherry of Smuggs

"Making your team work together collaboratively gives them a responsibility to make their work excellent and produce as fast as possible. Make sure you have the right tools in place so team members can easily communicate with each other."

Remote team productivity tip from Connor Ondriska of SpanishVIP—Connor Ondriska of SpanishVIP


5. Create a productivity baseline.

"By projecting the time needed to complete work, you may create a baseline to quantify productivity. This helps teams acknowledge the employees who deserve proper recognition and awards."

Remote team productivity tip from Kshitij Nigam of Cheef Botanicals—Kshitij Nigam of Cheef Botanicals

"Tally all the jobs or tasks an employee has completed and how long it took them to complete the job. This is a new way to track employee productivity based on how much each employee is contributing to the company’s output and goals."

Remote team productivity tip from Jacob Villa of Authority—Jacob Villa of Authority


6. Prioritize communication.

"Simply ask a remote worker what they're doing to gauge their productivity. Participation in group chats, team-wide updates, and morning check-ins all indicate productivity levels."

Remote team productivity tip from Stavros Zavrakas of Orthogonality—Stavros Zavrakas of Orthogonality

"Studies have shown that up to 93% of communication is nonverbal, and much of this is lost while working remotely. To compensate, make healthy communication a standard practice by requesting updates via Slack, email, and virtual meetings."

Remote team productivity tip from Andrew Gonzales of—Andrew Gonzales of

"Communication is a must to check the present situation of your organization. You should humbly accept the input and then plan how to handle the matter."

Remote team productivity tip from Anton Giuroiu of Homesthetics—Anton Giuroiu of Homesthetics

"We do a weekly team meeting and check-in where we look closely at each person's stats. Additionally, we use Slack and Basecamp to keep all lines of communication open and make sure we know how each person is doing."

Remote team productivity tip from Laura Rike of Simply Pintastic—Laura Rike of Simply Pintastic


7. Use performance management cycles.

"Set goals, monitor progress, review performance, and either reward high performance or incentivize low performance. Treat all employees with this model, and they will understand management's expectations better and meet them more accurately."

Remote team productivity tip from Richard J. Brandenstein of Fusco, Brandenstein—Richard J. Brandenstein of Fusco, Brandenstein, and Rada Legal Services

"The 4 Disciplines of Execution (Focus, Leverage, Engagement, and Accountability) can measure a team’s productivity in a way that helps achieve goals. We create a wildly important goal and track concrete tasks using JIRA."

Remote team productivity tip from Matt Hudson of BILDIT—Matt Hudson of BILDIT


8. Set regular review sessions.

"Engagement is our benchmark for productivity, as studies show a disengaged team is less productive. So we hold regular one-on-one meetings to find out what's influencing their level of involvement."

Remote team productivity tip from Maria Shriver of MOSH—Maria Shriver of MOSH

"You need to be proactive in tracking how things are going and holding regular meetings with the team. In these sessions, you should strive to understand each project's progress and any roadblocks that have come up."

Remote team productivity tip from Adina David of JobzHut—Adina David of JobzHut

"Conduct regular team meetings and individual one-on-ones to track progress on team goals and individual performance levels. Keep communications open and reward the completion of goals."

Remote team productivity tip from Coty Perry of Your Bass Guy—Coty Perry of Your Bass Guy

"Hold a daily virtual standup to stay informed. A 15- to 30-minute meeting helps to bond your team, hold them accountable, overcome obstacles, and focus on today's work. Your team will be happier, less overwhelmed, and more motivated for the entire day."

Remote team productivity tip from Cheryl Texeira, PMP of The Scrum Shop—Cheryl Texeira, PMP of The Scrum Shop

"Progress reports will help you find out what deadlines need to be met and track the progress being made toward those goals. This will help you identify any areas where productivity is lagging and take steps to address the issue."

Remote team productivity tip from Erin Zadoorian of BudPop—Erin Zadoorian of BudPop


9. Promote a feedback culture.

"Feedback culture helps improve the processes that are lacking. Through feedback, remote employees understand if their performance is as expected or if they need to improve to be more productive."

Remote team productivity tip from Shah Aktaruzzaman of Fastsole—Shah Aktaruzzaman of Fastsole

"This lets employees thoroughly explain their cases and provide candid appraisals of their coworkers' productivity and work ethics. The insights you gain may help you better identify areas for growth and get descriptive data on overall productivity."

Remote team productivity tip from David Bitton of DoorLoop—David Bitton of DoorLoop

"Make it mandatory for employees to respond to short surveys honestly about the work ethics and performance of their coworkers, along with their perceptions of the teams’ strengths and flaws."

Remote team productivity tip from Layla Acharya of Edwize—Layla Acharya of Edwize

"You can invite members of your team to participate in focus groups using a tool like Google Hangouts or Zoom. This will allow you to hear directly from employees about what is working well and what needs improvement."

Remote team productivity tip from Sarah Watson of BPTLAB—Sarah Watson of BPTLAB


10. Celebrate incremental wins.

"We monitor our team's KPIs regularly. And we give credit to their small victories in addition to celebrating the big wins because it's much more meaningful to mark incremental achievements as they work toward their larger goals."

Remote team productivity tip from Chris Gadek of AdQuick—Chris Gadek of AdQuick

"Give your remote team a big ‘thumbs up’ publicly. Doing so serves as a productivity booster that positively impacts performance, drives excellent results, and discourages anti-work trends.”

Remote team productivity tip from Ivan Brozincevic of  FAMB—Ivan Brozincevic of FAMB


11. Create fluid job descriptions.

"Personalizing roles and responsibilities enables employees to explore beyond their assigned duties to carve out their niche within the organization. This way, they care more about what they're doing and will manage their performance levels themselves."

Remote team productivity tip from Shaunak Amin of SwagMagic—Shaunak Amin of SwagMagic


12. Measure output in relation to input.

"Employees are required to report their progress as they reach milestones, allowing managers to monitor tasks as they are being executed. Productivity is measured by the speed at which each milestone is completed."

Remote team productivity tip from Dean Kaplan of The Kaplan Group—Dean Kaplan of The Kaplan Group

"One way to measure productivity in a remote team is to compare what's being produced against the resources being used to produce it. Look at things like revenue per employee or the number of leads generated per hour spent prospecting."

Remote team productivity tip from Sinoun Chea of ShiftWeb—Sinoun Chea of ShiftWeb


13. Use the 3Cs: communication, cooperation, and coordination.

"Communication is key to keeping everyone on the same page, cooperation ensures the team is working together efficiently, and coordination ensures that tasks are being assigned appropriately and deadlines are being met."

Remote team productivity tip from Josh Craven of Sprint Funding—Josh Craven of Sprint Funding


14. Make sure employees are a good fit for your culture.

"A team that meshes well with your company's values and goals is likely to be more productive than one that doesn't. You can assess culture fit in a number of ways, including interviews, surveys, and performance reviews."

Remote team productivity tip from Ryan Bolling of Bolling Behavioral Consulting—Ryan Bolling of Bolling Behavioral Consulting


15. Use productivity apps and project management software.

"Different digital application markets offer time tracking solutions. Even if employees don't want these apps on their computer, business owners should use them to track their employees' working hours."

Remote team productivity tip from Ava Collins of Adelaide Examiner—Ava Collins of Adelaide Examiner

"Have a good time management system in place and set goals for each team member. Team management tools are helpful; we use TeamViz. It’s good for communication and management."

Remote team productivity tip from Dr. Staci Holweger of LifePatches—Dr. Staci Holweger of LifePatches

"Use a project management tool. From concept to completion, get a unified look at what you're working on across all departments and share it with your team members. You can organize and prioritize project-specific tasks, coordinate team communication, and streamline workflow."

Remote team productivity tip from Warner Quiroga of Prestige Homebuyers—Warner Quiroga of Prestige Homebuyers

"Have all your remote team members use the same cloud-based project management platform, like Trello, which will allow them to share updates on tasks. This will help you track their productivity without having to constantly ask for updates."

Remote team productivity tip from Nathan Liao of CMA Exam Academy—Nathan Liao of CMA Exam Academy

"Managing remote teams can be a challenge, especially if they're in different time zones. However, one of the best ways to manage remote teams is to work with intuitive project management tools like Monday."

Remote team productivity tip from Ira Sherman of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, Siegel, P.C.—Ira Sherman of Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata, Siegel, P.C.

"It helps to objectively track how much time employees are spending on specific tasks. This information can then be used to create more efficient workflows and optimize team productivity."

Remote team productivity tip from Helena of andcards—Helena of andcards


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About this author: Kevin Senior

Managing Director at Glasscubes. With over 30 years experience working with businesses of all sizes and industries, Kevin brings success to fast growing companies advising on best practices and growth lead technology solutions.