How to Deal With Employees Not Accountable for Their Time at Work (Remote Work)

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Many employees don’t spend a lot of time under your watchful eye in the workplace, including sales representatives, consultants, telecommuters and those who travel a lot on the job. Even employees who work on-site might not be that easy to monitor all the time. As a supervisor, you have several options for dealing with and tracking the whereabouts and performance of your employees to make them accountable for their time.

Monitor Hours Worked or Job Performance

Decide what you want from each position in your company. Are you more interested in the number of hours an employee is physically in your place of business, or are you more concerned with the volume and quality of work being performed? Some managers feel they need to see an employee to make sure he is busy. For example, if you manage a store, you want to make sure you employees are helping customers when customers are around, or arranging merchandise when customers aren't around. In other cases, however, you might be comfortable letting employees set their own schedules as long as they are meeting their responsibilities in a timely manner. If you manage a sales branch, you don't want your people hanging around the office when they should be out in the field drumming up business.

Are Employees Salaried or Commissioned?

Hourly employees can be asked to punch a time clock, check in and out at a front desk, or submit a detailed work log to account for the hours they work. Commissioned employees expect more leeway in tracking their hours. They should be given this leeway provided their performance goals are met. A commissioned employee's paycheck is based on how much revenue he generates for the company. As such, he might need more flexibility in the hours he puts in to accommodate before- and after-hours sales calls. You can make these employees accountable for their work by establishing specific financial goals or sales quotas.

Monitor Work Stations

Managers can use commercial software programs that let them track the time an employee spends on his computer, whether he is telecommuting or working in an office environment. This not only allows a manager to monitor the hours being worked. It also her track Internet usage to ensure work time is not being spent on personal pursuits, such as surfing the web, shopping, playing games or checking social media accounts. Employees who misuse their work time can be reprimanded according to corporate policy for conducting personal business on company time.

Monitor Recurring Bad Habits

If you have an employee who is often away from his work station, or who fails to complete assigned tasks on time, it’s time for a frank, one-on-one discussion. An employee cannot account for his work time might be leaving work early, arriving late, or spending time on non work-related activities. Meet with this person in private to discuss your concerns. You might find the employee has a medical condition that requires frequent restroom breaks, or one who tries to leave work for short periods to check on a child or elderly parent. Once the issue is out in the open, you can discuss solutions or actions. If the employee has a valid reason for being away from work, consider a more flexible schedule or reduced work hours. If an employee is ambivalent about his job or is just lazy, insist on hourly personal check-ins and weekly time breakdowns that detail hours and work performed. Revisit the issue at regular intervals to ensure work time continues to be accounted for.

Timeboxing - An Efficient Time Management Technique for Productivity

Our inability to efficiently manage time often lands us in hot water, with hordes of delayed assignments and fast-approaching deadlines. Keeping up with the daily activities then becomes a Sisyphean task where you do not actually get anything done but are always in the grind with no way out.

While most of us are eager to start and end our daily tasks on time, very few of us are actually able to do that because of poor time management. Even with a set to-do list or proper planning, staying on track is a difficult feat. Fortunately, we have the gift of different time management tools and techniques that aid in improving our time efficiency.

People use different methods and tools to make the most of their time. On average, a person uses around 13 different methods for time management. Among these different methods, one that has proved its efficiency time and again is timeboxing.

Timeboxing is hailed as one of the best methods for time management. The method targets gaps in time management to help you improve your work productivity. Additionally, the technique can help you fight procrastination and narrow your focus for better working.

This article will answer your questions as to what is time boxing and how to use time boxing.

What Is Time Boxing?

As we mentioned earlier, timeboxing is a time management technique. The unique method offers a different approach to time management wherein you allot a specific time to a task.

This method of management can help you focus your attention on the task at hand without any distractions or lapses in the focus. Your goal is to accomplish the task within the specified time limit. There is no flexibility in terms of increasing your time.

Scheduling your tasks into timeboxes significantly improves the time spent on tasks. When you start your timebox, you have to rid yourself of disturbances to make sure you optimize your working during this time and accomplish your goal.

Hard Timeboxes Vs. Soft Timeboxes:

There are two types of timeboxes that you can schedule your work in:

Choosing between the two is completely up to you!

How To Use Time Boxing?

How to timebox your tasks? Managing your time through timeboxes is as easy as it seems. Follow the following steps and you will realize how easy and quick it is to manage your time with timeboxing technique.

1. Create A Timebox for The Items in Your To-Do List

The first step of the technique involves determining the complexity of each task on your to-do list and allocating a timebox to it. You have to determine the approximate time that will be required to complete the task and create a timebox accordingly.

Make sure to leave some time for breaks and unexpected disturbances that may hinder the smooth working. You should have sufficient time to complete the task within the specified timebox.

2. Set A Timer on Mobile or Desktop

Once you have figured out the time you will spend on each task, you can set a timer that will alert you whenever you have to move on from one task to another. The time will help you stay focused so that you can optimize your work performance during that time and accomplish your goal within the specified time.

You can use your phone or desktop for this purpose.

3. Hard Timebox or Soft Timebox

Before starting the timer, you can also decide whether you will go with a hard timebox or a soft one. A hard timebox will work better if you are looking for perfection and are certain that you will be able to complete the task without any delays.

If you are not sure about the time limits or are afraid that it might take more time to complete the task, you can go for soft timeboxes that offer more flexibility. A soft timebox will give you the freedom to adjust your time and keep yourself focused on the task.

4. Start The Timer

Now that you decided everything, the only thing left is to start the timer for the timebox and start working. The end of the time limit does not only indicate the end of the allotted but also notifies you of the impending task that needs your attention. So, make sure to follow the timebox.

5. Evaluate And Revise

Once you have completed your tasks, evaluate your performance and revise your schedule to improve your work efficiency. Take a look at your performance during the day and analyze whether you completed all the tasks on time? Is there any room for improvement? How can you optimize your work?

With each evaluation, you can identify the gaps in the process and develop strategies to enhance your productivity.

All in all, timeboxing is a simple and easy technique. You can easily use the method to make significant improvements in your work.

Benefits Of Timeboxing Your Daily Tasks

Timeboxing has several benefits to offer, some of which include the following:

With all these benefits, timeboxing can help you ace all your tasks within the deadline.

Tips To Make Timeboxing Work for You:

Before we conclude this article, we would like to add a few tips to make sure that the technique works for you:

You can take help from these tips and create efficient timeboxes for your work. These tips will surely come in handy when you are working with timeboxing.


We hope that this article has answered all your answers related to timeboxing or how does it work. What do you think of this technique? Is there any other technique that you use to manage your time?