Metrics & the Remote Manager

By: Crossover on May 30th, 2016

Print/Save as PDF

Metrics & the Remote Manager

Remote Work

Metrics can go a long way to inform and liberate your remote workplace when used with intelligence and care. Armed with sophisticated analytics, a manager can lead a team to increased productivity, personal satisfaction and save time and money. Metrics are also deep in the process of changing a traditional manager’s role, as performance reviews are left in the objective hands of intelligent machines rather than human subjectivity.

So how do you start with managing your teams through metrics?  The answer is simple. Set up a backend means to capture data. Start creating an environment of transparency in your workplace. Got that in place already? Great. Now get smart about how you use your data.

Need some tips on how to get a dashboard in place? Ask us how we can help.


Visibility leads to the best management. The metrics show you where and how your employees spend their time. That clarity helps manage expectations, timing and work habits. It also helps you target how your team can improve.Metrics-Deep-Work.jpg

At Crossover, we believe that longer, uninterrupted segments of focused work lead to the highest productivity and the biggest breakthroughs. Use metrics to discover how long each team member spends his or her time on a task. Metrics-Performance-Evaluation.jpgLengthy, inefficient (and often painful) annual performance evaluations can kiss themselves goodbye. As a manager, learn keep in clip with team performance real time. Employees appreciate being evaluated against metrics, as they provide clear goals and they objectively measure performance.

Metrics-Promote-Work-Life-Balance.jpgChair time no longer dictates value. Employees beholden to long office hours do not necessarily produce the most results. Use the analytics to pinpoint ways for everybody to save time at work, so they are liberated manage their life out of the office.

A recent Harvard Business Review article by Scott Behson highlighted how Ryan, LLCpivoted their long-standing reputation as a sweatshop into an award-winning workplace through the use of performance analytics.

“Once Ryan made the change, some employees who had been receiving high ratings by working 70 hours weeks were revealed to have been less productive than many who worked fewer but more efficient hours,” says Behson. “Turnover plummeted; satisfaction, engagement, and financial performance soared.”

Behson also nails the difference between the shallow task of monitoring data, and the power of reading it with an managerial eye for creating deep insights.

“A fitness wristband can track how long you sit in your desk chair. It takes a leader to understand how the work really gets done, and by whom,” he adds.

Intelligent metrics will change your role as a manager. Liberated from your time spent as a monitor, you can devote yourself to healthy team workflow. You can analyze bottlenecks and solve them in the name of productivity. You can target room for improvement and elevate your team’s standards and results. Think of your role as empowering, rather than powerful. Delegate certain tasks to automation, outsourcing and more practical ways of getting the job done.


Metrics-Wise-Calendaring.jpgCalendaring is a great way to foster visibility. Good calendaring forces managers to ask the right questions. It should also allot for 80% of employee time spent on metric-specific work. If that goal is off-skew, it’s likely that there’s an issue in your team’s pipeline that needs attention.

Crossover Calendaring Case Study: The Recruitment Analyst team evaluates applicants through Crossover’s rigorous grading scale. One part of the team’s function is to enter the gradings into the system, and analyze not only an application’s status but also better ways for our company to fine-tune its mission to find the best talent on the planet. A review of the team’s analytics revealed that a remarkable amount of time was being spent on Google Sheets when it should have been spend on the site (its specific metric). An investigation into the bottleneck revealed that the steps in the process that involved the Google Sheets sucked up time that could otherwise be automated. We turned to our engineers and created a tool that allowed the computers to do that data entry work. As a result, the team’s productivity skyrocketed. They now spend 75-80% of their time directly on our site.

 We have created our own interface, called WorkSmart. WorkSmart creates a 100% transparent environment and tracks all activities that take place on the job, including metrics, productivity, goals, communication, progress and timesheets. Managers can tailor the incoming data according to their individual needs and team goals. Contractors can use WorkSmart to gain insights on their own performance by checking out the charts. Objective visibility is hard to find in a traditional office. WorkSmart tackles that challenge in a non-intrusive manner on the contractor side. The manager side features a design that allows team members to feel connected despite working from all corners of the globe.

As Bill Carmody adds in his article, “Managing a Powerful Work Force: Performance Analytics, Not Time Tracking,” using analytics can not only revolutionize your role as a manager within your company, but the global business world as a whole.

“Hourly time tracking has driven many services-based industries for years. Lawyers, for example, charge not based on the value delivered or outcome achieved, but rather how many hours they spend on behalf of any client,” he says. “The rise of performance analytics over hourly time tracking has profound implications for how businesses can and should charge for their services.”

At Crossover, it’s true that we do use data-driven visibility to our advantage to manage work teams. But we never monitor computer time in idle. Instead, we interpret the facts and create deep insights. With solid advice and some cold analytics, we can and should help guide you towards a brighter future.

1. By far the most important thing is to find the right metric. It shouldn’t be a percentage; it has to measure both quality and quantity.

2. Work hard to get buy-in on the metric from your team. If your team believes in the metric, they’ll work harder towards it.  Make it very visible to them, talk about it in team meetings, let the top performer share it each work so everyone can learn why it’s important.

3. Managing a team is about communication, growth, goals and much more than metrics. Take a step back and think hard as a manager to clarify what your needs are and let the data assist you in every aspect of driving your team towards the future.

Want to receive more insights into remote work, productivity and how techology can serve your workplace? Subscribe to our blog and get a module full of exclusive information and industry research on managing remote teams.