How we improved employee productivity and client satisfaction during a pandemic

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As an outsourcing company that charges hourly for work performed, it’s only natural that we desire our teams to be highly focused and effective. From its beginnings, FatCat Coders has cultivated a culture which discourages long hours, and the consequent employee burnout. Through embracing the 6-hour workday instead of the traditional 8, and giving our members the flexibility to choose their own working hours, we conferred greater freedom in terms of daily routine. Remote work was optional until the COVID-19 outbreak forced us to adapt and become a fully-remote company.
Taking all factors into account, maintaining a high level of service both for our clients and our internal projects was always going to represent a challenge. We needed a way to ensure maximum efficiency within our shorter working hours. Luckily, we didn’t need to look far. For some time, we’ve been working with an emerging startup called Workpuls, and their product met our needs perfectly.

What is Workpuls and how does it work?

Workpuls is an employee monitoring and time tracking tool. It allows managers and employees to track which apps and websites are being used individually, as a team, and at the company level.
When an employee clocks in, the application monitors the apps and websites used. Measuring falls into three categories: productive, unproductive, and neutral. It’s the managers’ responsibility to define which apps and websites they deem productive, and which they don’t.
Workpuls offers two modes of use for the app: stealth and visible. In stealth mode, the app is hidden from users. Workpuls starts automatically when the computer is on, but you can choose whether it tracks your employees continuously, at certain hours, or when computers are connected to a specific network.
Since FatCat Coders greatly values transparency, we opted for visible mode. What that means is that our employees have the freedom to decide when their activities will be tracked, by clocking into the app.
Managers and employees alike have access to the dashboard, where they can track and analyze how time is being used. If managers want tighter control, they can take screenshots for employee devices through the dashboard.

What are the benefits for our clients?

Well, the decision to hire an outsourcing team always comes with a degree of risk for a business - an inadequate flow of information between your company and hired teams can bring uncertainty over how resources are being spent, and uncertainty breeds distrust.
That’s why we at FatCat Coders decided to approach the task with full transparency. Our clients have all information available to them - they can see who is allocated to their project and how they’ve spent their time, thus making sure that they aren’t being overcharged. At any time, our clients have the option to request developer screenshots if they require a further degree of certainty.
Besides productivity monitoring, we also use the time tracking part of the app. What that means is that we know how much time is spent on each task, and on every project. Having all the previous work data accessible at any moment provides valuable insights which will help us to deliver more accurate estimates for future work. On top of that, the option to generate reports offer clients a wealth of useful information to aid their decision-making.

What does it bring to our employees?

Even though employee monitoring can be perceived in a negative light, suggesting a lack of trust towards employees, it essentially brings numerous benefits:
  • It helps us to get into ‘work mode’ quicker, and makes it easier to resist the urge to check into social networks and messaging apps. It reduces procrastination and increases productivity, allowing our employees to finish their work faster, which means more time afterwards for themselves.
  • We can analyze patterns and habits in employee productivity and act upon them - we can better allocate people to various projects, and clear meetings on days when productivity is high, so as to avoid disrupting focus and flow.
  • Easier to manage remote teams - given the advent of the COVID-19 outbreak and the decision to work from home, it’s now easier to track and coordinate the efforts of our employees
  • Summary

    In this age of shorter attention spans and limitless distractions, the ability to fully focus on work is becoming harder to attain. Recognizing which tools can help you to improve the quality of your service will make you stand out from the competition.
    Using Workpuls helps us to gain the trust of our clients by providing transparency for our work. It goes some way towards guaranteeing productivity and assuring clients that they are getting the maximum value from their investment.