Editor’s note: Tanya focuses on employee productivity tracking software, which has become trending due to the rise of remote work, especially after the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak. Tanya relies on ScienceSoft’s experience to suggest key functionality that will help software vendors create a viable product for employee productivity tracking. If you are going to build such software but don’t know where to start, feel free to turn to our consulting team for professional advice.
Trust me, there's no better time than now for building a tool for employee productivity tracking. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic outbreak, around 70% of the global workforce telecommuted at least one day in a week. And after the pandemic ends, the trend of remote work is expected to continue as the crisis has already accelerated digital transformation and changed the way we work.
Despite tangible benefits like reduced office lease and utility costs, remote work poses a serious challenge to business continuity and employee productivity. This makes many companies search for software that ensures effective monitoring of employees’ performance and helps improve their productivity. And that’s where you can step in with your product.
Core functionality for your tracking software
ScienceSoft’s experience in software product development and helping businesses move to telework allows me to summarize the most wanted features of employee tracking software. All these features can be powered by AI, a smart technology that is growing fast now. According to Gartner, AI is expected to become the source of 80% of emerging technologies by 2021.
If you want to succeed in the market of employee productivity tracking software, I recommend you to consider including the following features in your product:
Your product should be able to define a working day duration based on tracking employees’ log-in and log-out. However, employees can work offline, too. For example, they can discuss some issue over the phone with a colleague or have a meeting with a customer. Therefore, I recommend enabling users of your software to manually log time spent on offline work-related tasks. Also, don’t forget about mobile remote workers and support your product with a relevant mobile app. Let me provide you with an example of such an app that ScienceSoft’s developers built for one of the customers. It was a time-tracking app that allowed logging working time manually or automatically (upon detecting the Wi-Fi network).
User behavior monitoring
Any employee tracking software has features for collecting data like a number of emails, conversations, meetings and records, who accesses and edits files, and more. But it’s not enough for modern employers, and I believe your product should also be able to determine behavioral patterns that negatively affect employee productivity, such as wasting time on social media and internet surfing for personal reasons. According to the statistics, businesses face an estimated 40% productivity loss each year due to non-work related internet surfing. So, I recommend you to enable your product to track app usage and visited sites, including such time thieves as Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. What’s more, you can enrich your product with the capability to block any sites considered to be distracting. Let me provide you with an example. For one of our customers, we developed an anti-procrastination desktop app that allowed users either filter certain sites or completely block internet access during the working hours.
As an optional feature, you can make your software count keystrokes, switching between apps and take screenshots every 15 minutes, which will also help employers to measure employee productivity for certain job positions, e.g., software developers or content managers.
Project and task management
Employee monitoring software should provide project management capabilities and show statuses, progress and deadlines for projects and tasks in real time. For managers, it ensures full visibility into employee working activities and allows measuring their performance. For employees, it’s a convenient way to manage tasks. They can organize them in groups, receive relevant notifications about upcoming deadlines, and more. ScienceSoft implemented such functionally in one of our projects. It was an app that enabled employees to easily manage their working tasks due to organizing them into 4 groups: unplanned tasks, organized tasks, related activities and completed tasks.
Analytics and reporting
From my experience, effective employee tracking software should not only collect various metrics but also be able to analyze them. The analysis is needed to measure employee productivity and reveal areas for improvement. For example, employers can get insights about prioritizing tasks differently or automating repetitive manual tasks. To facilitate the analysis, your employee productivity tracking software should be able to present all relevant collected metrics in a convenient way, for example, in the form of dashboards and diagrams. Thus, managers will easily see the full picture of employee performance and compare productivity scores of different employees, which influences decision-making about promotions, salary reviews, additional training, and more. Thus, for one of our customers, we implemented a solution that allowed them to evaluate efforts and resources spent on projects due to merging a variety of reports and metrics from different internal sources into one integrated system.
Employee privacy considerations
When creating your employee productivity tracking software, don’t forget about compliance regulations like HIPAA or GDPR that require securing sensitive data related to employees. To ensure protecting remote employee privacy, I recommend introducing the following restrictions to your product:
- Monitoring employee activities only during working hours.
- Blurring screenshots taken at regular intervals to see whether an employee is active without revealing the contents of the page.
- Not recording sensitive information like passwords and bank card details.
Start building your feature-rich software for employee productivity tracking
I’ve highlighted the most recommended features for your employee productivity tracking software. I advise you to leverage AI capabilities as implementing AI-based features is quite affordable now due to the availability of open-source and highly functional frameworks.
When you define a core feature set, you can start planning the development of your employee productivity tracking software. To reduce the product’s time-to-market, I suggest going for iterative development. Thus, depending on the complexity, your MVP can be ready in 3-6 months. Also, I suggest automating development and testing and choose cloud-native architecture, which will help you launch your product faster.
If you need help with developing your MVP, enriching your product with AI-powered features or solving any challenges related to productivity tracking software development, you are welcome to reach out to ScienceSoft’s experts for professional advice.
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