Manage Remote Employees Better with These 6 Tools

Header image for blog post about tools to help you manage remote employees better

Your remote employees may be the lifeblood of your team. Studies show that remote employees are happier than their onsite counterparts and equally productive.

But, as vital as they are, remote workers present a unique challenge in terms of management. This is especially true for team leaders who have historically led teams in an office environment.

Fortunately, there are tools to help you overcome the challenges of managing remote employees. To simplify communication, scheduling, and prioritization, you can use one or more of the management tools below.

Remote management tools

Asana and IDoneThis help you manage individual tasks and team projects. The remaining tools let you see how tasks and projects are getting done.

ToolDescriptionFree TrialPrice
Asana
Track team projects from start to finish and create daily task lists$8.33/employee/month
Hivedesk
See what your team is working on with screenshot and time tracking software$15+/month
Hubstaff
See what your team is working on and easily pay them for work completed$5-10/employee/month
IDoneThis
Get progress reports for projects and daily updates about team activity$9/employee/month
Toggl
Have remote workers track time with one click and see what’s being worked on$10/employee/month
Worksnapps
Monitor remote workers with screenshots taken every 10 minutes$20+/month

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Know what your team is working on and pay them for hours worked

Free for 14 days

Asana

Asana dashboard for projects

Asana helps you manage projects and communicate with remote workers. You can create tasks for individual projects, track conversations you have with team members, and create workboards with custom columns that complement your business goals.

  • Create tasks for yourself and your team
  • Create subtasks for larger tasks
  • Convert tasks to projects when tasks become larger than expected
  • Create daily to-do lists to stay on track

Hivedesk

HiveDesk dashboard for projects

Hivedesk takes random screenshots and gauges productivity based on your team’s keystrokes and mouse movements. In the dashboard, you can see who is working and what is being worked on. The $15/month plan includes one administrator (you) and three team members. Larger plans are available.

  • Review and edit time tracked by employees
  • Customize the frequency of screenshots
  • Set the default pay rate for each freelancer or employee

Hubstaff

Hubstaff dashboard with team activity and productivity levels

Hubstaff is a native time tracking tool that includes screenshots, time tracking, and project management features. This insight helps you avoid unproductive catch-up calls because you already know what’s been worked on.

  • Allow employees to track time
  • Monitor site/application usage
  • Get screenshots of what’s being worked on
  • Set hourly rates and cap weekly billable hours

IDoneThis

IDoneThis dashboard for tasks

IDoneThis gives you live updates about your team members’ progress so you don’t have to wait for a week’s end report. It also has them respond to a nightly email in which they list the tasks they worked on that day. By the next morning, a full comprehensive list of these reports is delivered directly to you.

  • Keep daily status updates from team members in a central place
  • Get progress reports for tasks and projects being worked on
  • Compared to Asana it has a very minimal user interface

Toggl

Toggl dashboard with overview of employee activity and cost

Toggl provides one-click time tracking and team activity reports. It also lets you define priorities for each team member.

  • Add sub-tasks and have team members track time to them
  • Put different team members in different groups (marketing, product, etc)
  • Use an “Employee of the Week” productivity feature

Worksnaps

Worksnaps dashboard for team activity

Worksnaps closely monitors the activity of your remote workers so you know you’re getting the work you pay for. The application takes screenshots every 10 minutes and logs keystrokes and mouse movements.

  • See work being done in real time
  • Integrate with other software like Freshbooks
  • Get detailed activity and productivity reports

Get more done with more transparency

With the tools listed above, you can keep everyone on your remote team on task and encourage a high level of productivity. These resources are available for nominal pricing and help you achieve your company goals with transparency.

If you use any other tools for managing remote employees and their tasks, let everyone know about them in the comments.

  • Hey Gil. Thanks for stopping by and sharing your strong feelings.

    I used to feel the same way before I started working with Hubstaff. But then I saw through the stigma of time tracking tools being micro-management software for cheapos.

    As the blog manager for Hubstaff, I’m able to cut down on meeting times with writers for the Hubstaff Blog. If I want to know what they are working on, I just go through the screenshots. This saves me and the freelancer from a dead boring catch-up call. They don’t have to tell me what they are working on. I can see it. I do this at the end of every week. Not to “monitor” them but to see what’s been worked on.

    As for hours worked, the hourly freelancers that I manage prefer to work hourly. That is how they market themselves. I think anyone would agree with you that results matter more than anything else. Hourly is definitely not for every situation, but having knowledge of what’s being worked on is key for successful project management.

    I’m interested to hear your thoughts on this if you have a few minutes, and your backstory if you don’t mind sharing.