By the Numbers

Many employers have clued into the need for tracking employee productivity—in particular for those working remotely. With the proliferation of productivity tracking tools in recent years, employers have more resources with which to do so. However, it appears many employers still struggle to identify which metrics matter, often erring on the side of over-tracking, over-reporting, etc. By tracking the “wrong” metrics, businesses may not be able to ascertain real productivity and related variables, and may actually be alienating their employees with overbearing, unnecessary, and ultimately unhelpful tracking and data collection.

Business Takeaway: Distinguish between key performance indicators (KPI’s) with respect to productivity (good) and a “big data” approach to the workforce (not so good, per Noise, by Kahneman, Sibony & Sunstein). Further, recognize that common areas of tension with on-site work (e.g., an overbearing manager) are the same for remote employees (e.g., overbearing data collection). What really measures the role’s success,  how do we measure that, and how confident are we in the metrics?